PyeongChang music fest wows crowds in finale

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PyeongChang music fest wows crowds in finale


Chung Kyung-wha plays Brahms’ “Violin Concert in D major, Op. 77,” her final piece as the artistic director of the PyeongChang Winter Music Festival, during the closing performance on Feb. 16 at the Gangneung Arts Center in Gangwon. [PYEONGCHANG MUSIC FESTIVAL]

The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games came to an end on Sunday. In tandem with the Games, Korea showed off its cultural dexterity through an array of culture and arts programs that were organized across Pyeongchang County and Gangneung in Gangwon. There is still more to come for the Paralympic Games, which kicks off on March 9, but a highlight of the so-called Culture Olympiad held during the Games was the PyeongChang Music Festival’s closing ceremony held at the Gangneung Arts Center on Feb. 16.

Perhaps it’s because the concert finally seemed to show the fruits of the two artistic directors - cellist Chung Myung-wha and violinist Chung Kyung-wha - who have been leading the festival since 2010.

The Tongyeong International Music Festival Ensemble performed Mendelssohn’s “Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage” under the baton of Sung Shi-yeon, followed by Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major Op. 58,” accompanied by pianist Son Yeol-eum and finished up with Brahms’ “Violin Concert in D major, Op. 77,” accompanied by Chung Kyung-wha on the violin.

“Music and sports share many things in common,” said Chung. “Athletes and musicians practice through blood, sweat and tears to put on the best performance they possibly can. We both hope to bring peace and harmony through what we do and we could see that both at the Games and here at the festival.”

Park Jung-sook from Gangneung, who came to the concert with her husband, said that she was surprised that Korean musicians could stage such a high-level performance.

“We don’t get that many opportunities to enjoy classical music performed by renowned artists like Chung Kyung-wha and Son Yeol-eum,” said Park. “We hope the festival continues annually even after the Games so that more people can enjoy classical music to remember and feel proud of the Games.”

The Chung sisters announced their departure as artistic directors, blurring the future of the festival. The Gangwon Arts & Culture Foundation said that the music festival will definitely be held this upcoming summer, but they are not sure about its future.


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