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European chamber music to grace Korea

By Korea Herald

Published : May 15, 2012 - 19:28

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Three internationally renowned chamber orchestras to perform in Seoul in May, June


Chamber orchestras traditionally performed in palace chambers or great mansions in the West for the privileged few. The venue for these small orchestras today has moved from small private rooms to concert halls and their performances are now open to anyone. However, despite the change in venue over the centuries, there is one enduring quality that continues to mesmerize audiences ― intimacy.

Three internationally renowned chamber orchestras from England, France and Italy will perform in Korea in May and June, offering audiences a chance to appreciate chamber music from different countries and experience intimate musical interactions.
The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields (Vincero) The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields (Vincero)

The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, an internationally acclaimed English chamber orchestra based in London, will perform on May 27 at Seoul Arts Center in southern Seoul. The English chamber orchestra is best known to Korean audiences for its recording of the original soundtracks to “Amadeus (1984),” “English Patient” and “Titanic (1997).”

Founded by Sir Neville Marriner, an English conductor and violinist, the orchestra was a small string group that gave its first concert at St. Martin-in-the-Fields church at Trafalgar Square in 1959. Later it expanded by including wind instruments and became a chamber orchestra performing a wide range of music from Baroque to contemporary.

The orchestra, now led by artistic director Joshua Bell, will bring works by Mozart to Seoul. It will perform Mozart Symphony No. 39 in E Flat Major and will collaborate with Korean pianist Son Yeol-eum in a performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major. Son, winner of the second prize in piano at the 14th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow last year, is one of the rising pianists in Korea today. The orchestra will also perform Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Symphony in F major. Tickets range from 40,000 won to 160,000 won. For more information, call (02) 599-5743.
I Musici (Arcadia Korea) I Musici (Arcadia Korea)

Italy’s I Musici, nicknamed “the legend of chamber music,” will perform in Korea on the last leg of its two-year world tour. I Musici is on tour to celebrate its 60th anniversary and has performed in many cities around the world. The Italian chamber orchestra, famous for its rendition of Vivaldi’s “The Four Season,” will travel to major cities in Korea starting with Seoul on June 15 at Seoul Arts Center. This will be followed by Uijeongbu Art Center in Gyeonggi Province on June 16, Daegu Suseong Artpia on June 17 and Gyeongnam Culture and Art Center in South Gyeongsang Province on June 19. The orchestra, made up of 12 Italian musicians including six violinists, two violists, two cellists, one bass player and one harpsichord player, also performs at Anyang Art Center on June 21 and at Sori Arts Center in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, on June 23.

Founded in 1952, I Musici is an internationally acclaimed chamber orchestra that has long promoted works of Italian composers including Vivaldi. Their 1983 version of “The Four Seasons” sold more than 10 million copies around the world.

To celebrate its 60th anniversary, world famous film composers Ennio Morricone and Luis Bacalov wrote a special piece for I Musici. The chamber orchestra will collaborate with Kim Se-hwang, guitarist for Korean rock group N.EX.T, in its performance of Bacalov’s Concerto Grosso for I Musici’s 60th Anniversary. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 140,000 won. For more information, call (02) 6249-4500 or visit www.arcadiakorea.com.
Le Concert Spirituel (LG Arts Center) Le Concert Spirituel (LG Arts Center)

Le Concert Spirituel, a French chamber orchestra known for its performance of Baroque music comes to Korea for the first time in June. The ensemble will perform at Daejeon Art Center on June 3 and at LG Arts Center in Seoul on June 5. It is their debut stage in Korea designed to meet a growing interest in Baroque music in Korea, a publicist for LG Arts Center said.

In its performance titled “Splendor of the Cathedrals under Louis XIV: A musical voyage from Paris to Strasbourg,” the French orchestra will explore the sacred repertoires of three masters: M. Charpentier, P. Bouteiller and S. Brossard. The ensemble will collaborate with a 12 member all-male choir. This will create very unusual but solemn sound to deliver the message from musicians of the 17th century who tried to communicate with God through music.

Tickets range from 30,000 won to 70,000 won. Call (02) 2005-0114 or visit www.lgart.com for detailed information.

By Cho Chung-un (christory@heraldcorp.com)