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Great Mountain Music Festival to feature dance music

Annual music festival in Gangwon to explore inseparable relationship between music and dance

Great Mountain Music Festival & School, a classical music event held in the summer, will focus on the intertwined relationship between music and dance this year, festival organizers said on Wednesday.

Under the slogan “Dancing Through the Centuries,” the festival will feature a wide range of dance music or music composed to accompany dancing from the 17th to 20th century, offering the audience a rare chance to look into two art genres and how the two have evolved in the history of music. The annual summer festival will kick off July 21 and will run through Aug. 11 at the Alpensia Resort in Gangwon Province.

“Many composers have been interweaving dance into music for centuries. Also, many pieces of dance music were composed in different styles over the years and the collaboration between the two art genres contributed a lot to the development of Western music,” organizers said in a press release.

“The audience is invited to appreciate a wide range of dance music this year at the festival.”
Cellist Chung Myung-wha (left) and violinist Chung Kyung-wha co-artistic directors of the Great Mountains Music Festival & School (GMMFS)
Cellist Chung Myung-wha (left) and violinist Chung Kyung-wha co-artistic directors of the Great Mountains Music Festival & School (GMMFS)

Renowned and rising artists from around the world including violinist Chung Kyung-wha, cellist Chung Myung-wha and pianist Kim Sun-wook will join the festival for programs and master classes. The Chung sisters have been leading the festival as artistic directors since last year.

To highlight its theme, the festival will invite two stars from the American Ballet Theater, Maxim Beloserkovsky and Irina Dvorovenko. The husband-and-wife team is scheduled to perform four short ballet pieces at the Alpensia Resort’s concert hall with renowned musicians. The names of the musicians will be confirmed at a later date, officials said.

Korean music for dance performances “Chohi and Her Imaginary Dance” and “Hang-Sang V,” both composed by Korean composer Park Young-hee, will be introduced for the first time at the festival.

Also included in the program are Leonard Bernstein’s final work, a brass quintet “Dance Suite” and Igor Stravinsky’s suite from “A Soldier’s Tale” with a tango. For “A Soldier’s Tale,” Korean top actor Ahn Sung-ki will narrate the story of a soldier who trades his fiddle to the devil for a book that tells the future.

The festival will hold orchestral performances of Hayden’s “Creation” featuring acclaimed Korean and international musicians, including violinists Bae Ik-hwan and Kwon Hyek-joo and, violist Jang Joong-jin at Alpensia and other venues. The orchestra will be conducted by Sung Shi-yeon, assistant conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.

The two artistic directors of the festival, together with renowned pianist Peter Frankl and violist Maxim Rysanov, will perform Brahms’ Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25 on July 29 as part of the festival’s “Distinguished Artists Series.”

The series adds a collaboration between The Michelangelo Quartet, led by violist Nobuko Imai and Korea’s star pianist Kim Sun-wook. They are to play Brahms’ Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34, on Aug. 3.

Soprano Im Sun-hae will perform with lyric baritone Nikolay Borshev at Alpensia Resort and also, Im will hold solo concerts in her hometown of Cheorwon in Gangwon Province.

Im and other artists will participate in the festival’s “Outreach Concert Series” to be held in eight major cities in Gangwon Province, including Chuncheon, Sokcho, Wonju, and Gangneung.

Along with the programs featuring renowned and rising artists, the festival also holds a two-week music school from July 23 to Aug. 7 at Alpensia and also at Yongpyeong Resort in Pyeongchang. A total of 217 music students from 14 countries have applied for master classes led by renowned musicians and the list of qualified students will be released later this month through the festival’s homepage.

For more information on the festival, call (02) 725-3394-5. For information on the music school, call (02) 725-3391. The list of confirmed programs will be released on its homepage, on May 1. Ticket sales open on May 21.

By Cho Chung-un (
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Korea Herald daum