The Korea Herald



By Korea Herald

Published : April 12, 2013 - 21:45

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Classical Music

“Ars Nova”: The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra is holding its “Ars Nova” concert series on April 16 and 19, dedicated to contemporary classical music. Under the theme of “Vienna,” a chamber unit of the SPO will perform music by Alban Berg, Hans Abrahamsen’s rearrangement of Arnold Schonberg, Georg Friedrich Haas, Bae Dong-jin and Olga Neuwirth at 7:30 p.m. on April 16 at Sejong Chamber Hall. On April 19 at 8 p.m. at LG Arts Center, the music of Charles Ives, Bernd Zimmermann, Alberto Ginastera and York Holler will be presented. Forty minutes prior to both concerts, the SPO composer-in-residence Chin Un-suk will give a pre-concert lecture to better audiences’ understanding of each piece. Concert tickets are priced between 10,000 won and 30,000 won. For more information, call 1588-1210.
“Ars Nova” (Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra) “Ars Nova” (Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra)

“Beethoven’s Complete 32 Piano Sonatas”: Pianist Kim Sun-wook will resume his journey to complete all 32 Beethoven sonatas this year. The series that started last year will have four more sessions -― April 13, June 20, Sept. 14 and Nov. 21 at LG Arts Center in southern Seoul at 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 8 p.m. on Thursdays. On April 13, Kim will perform “Tempest,” and sonatas in E-flat Major, G Minor, G Major and C Major. Tickets are priced between 30,000 won and 70,000 won and can be purchased at For more information, call (02) 2005-0114.

“Lorin Maazel & Die Mnichner Philharmoniker”: Maestro Lorin Maazel will conduct the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra at Seoul Arts Center on April 21 at 5 p.m. and April 22 at 8 p.m. The orchestra, named one of the top 10 orchestras of all time by Grammophone magazine, will feature Beethoven’s “Coriolan Overture” and Symphonies No. 4 and No. 7 on Sunday; and Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet Overture,” Beethoven’s piano concerto No. 4 and Stravinsky’s “Le Sacre du Printemps” on Monday. Up-and-coming Korean pianist Cho Seong-jin will join the orchestra for Beethoven’s Piano Concert No. 4. Tickets are priced between 70,000 won and 350,000 won and booking is available at For more information, call (02) 599-5743.

“J.S. Bach’s Six Cello Suites”: Cellist Yang Sung-won is holding a recital featuring Bach’s six suites for cello on April 21 at 4 p.m. at LG Arts Center. Yang is said to have studied the manuscript of Bach’s second wife, Anna Magdalena, one of the oldest available, and three others to research what seems to be the closest to the original Bach scores. Internationally acclaimed music critic David Ledbetter will give a brief introduction about the world of Bach before the 3 1/2-hour concert. Tickets are priced between 30,000 won and 70,000 won with a 20 percent discount for students. For reservations and information, call (02) 2005-0114 or visit


“Jesus Christ Superstar”: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar” is being staged in Seoul, starring top musical stars Park Eun-tae, Yoon Do-hyun and Michael Lee in the leading roles. Based on the Gospels’ accounts of the last week of Jesus’ life, the rock opera features political and personal conflicts between Jesus and Judas. “Jesus Christ Superstar” runs from April 26 to June 9 at Charlotte Theater in Jamsil, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information, call 1577-3363. 
A scene from “Jesus Christ Superstar” (Seol & Company) A scene from “Jesus Christ Superstar” (Seol & Company)

“Festival Bo:m”: Festival Bo:m, an annual avant-garde visual and performing arts festival, is having its seventh edition this year. A total of 26 cutting-edge works from Korea and abroad will be featured at a number of venues in Seoul. One of the highlights is Italian theater director Romeo Castellucci’s controversial work “On the Concept of the Face, Regarding the Son of God,” which deals with a devoted son who repeatedly cleans up his ill father’s mess and washes him. Other notable works include French artist Jerome Bel and Zurich-based company Theater HORA’s “Disabled Theater,” which features actors with learning disabilities; and local artist Chung Hee-young’s film “Stranger,” in which the filmmaker revisits her childhood home and meets up with those living there today. The festival funs from March 22 to April 18. For more information, visit

“Those Days”: Late folk-rock singer Kim Kwang-seok’s (1964-1996) music is being made into a musical. The piece, titled “Those Days,” features a total of 30 songs written by the late artist, while telling the story of the daughter of a Korean president who goes missing on the day of the 20th anniversary of Korea-China diplomatic relations. It features popular musical and TV actors Yoo Jun-sang and Oh Man-seok, as well as actresses Kim Jeong-hwa and Bang Jin-ui. The show runs from April 4 to June 30 at Daehangno Musical Center in Hyehwa-dong, Seoul. Tickets range from 55,000 won to 99,000 won. For more information, call (070) 7016-2470.

“Shear Madness”: The Korean adaptation of the popular German play “Shear Madness” is back for its second run in Seoul. The play is one of the longest running in the world, premiering in 1963. The play takes place in a hair salon, which is owned by a gay hairdresser named George. After George and his flirty assistant Suji welcome two customers, one a wealthy housewife and the other an antique dealer, the landlady of the shop is murdered upstairs. The audience is asked to participate in the process of solving the crime, trying to figure out who is the murderer among the four characters in the salon. “Shear Madness” is currently on an open run at Daehangno Culture Space Feeling 2 in Hyehwa-dong, Seoul. All tickets cost 30,000 won. For more information, call (02) 744-4334.

Pop music

“Psy Concert Happening”: The man who infected the world with his notorious invisible horse dance will be returning to Seoul in an event sure to draw attention from around the world. Psy rose to international superstardom with the release of his comedic single “Gangnam Style,” as well as its signature dance moves. The rapper will reveal his much-anticipated follow-up single at the solo concert, which will be held at the Sangam Seoul World Cup Stadium on April 13. Tickets for the show range from 55,000 won to 110,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit

“Kraftwerk”: German-based group Kraftwerk, widely considered a pioneer in electronic music, is a unique veteran electronic group that combines techno instrumentation, synthesizers and computer-speech software as well as video projects during live performances. Kraftwerk was formed more than 40 years ago and the band’s combination of computerized and electronically engineered music was revolutionary. Its unique sound has influenced countless musicians and bands including U2, David Bowie, Franz Ferdinand and many others. Kraftwerk will host a special 3-D visual performance at Jamsil Sports Complex on April 27. Tickets for the show are 110,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit

“Unite all Originals Live with Snoop Dogg”: Snoop Dogg, a.k.a. Snoop Lion, will be performing in Seoul for the first time. Snoop Lion is one of the most iconic figures in the American hip-hop industry. After a trip to Jamaica last year, the rapper revealed his conversion to the Rastafarian movement and announced his rebirth under the name Snoop Lion. The rapper was previously known for his hardcore and violent lyrics, but shifted his gears from hip-hop to reggae music following his conversion. Snoop Lion will perform live at the Olympic Park Soccer Stadium on May 4 along with special guests 2NE1. Ticket prices for the show range from 55,000 won to 88,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit
Jason Mraz is to perform his sixth concert in Seoul on May 17 at Jamsil Sports Complex. (9 Entertainment) Jason Mraz is to perform his sixth concert in Seoul on May 17 at Jamsil Sports Complex. (9 Entertainment)

“Jason Mraz Live in Seoul”: One of the most beloved American pop singers in Korea, Jason Mraz is returning to Seoul to host his sixth concert. The singer, who started his career playing in coffee houses, released his first commercial debut album “Waiting for My Rocket to Come” in 2002. After the release of his second album, “Mr. A-Z,” three years later, Mraz’s popularity sky rocketed. Last year Mraz released his fourth studio album “Love is a Four Letter Word,” featuring the lead acoustic ballad single “I Won’t Give Up.” Mraz will perform live in Seoul once again on May 17 at Jamsil Sports Complex starting at 6:30 p.m. The concert will also feature guest performers Roy Kim, IDIOTAPE and Joe Brooks. Ticket prices for the upcoming performance range from 110,000 to 132,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit


“Shimchung”: Korea’s Universal Ballet Company is staging its original work “Shimchung” in May. Based on the classic Korean folk tale, the ballet tells the story of a young woman named Shim-chung who volunteers to sacrifice herself to the sea god in a desperate attempt to restore the sight of her blind father. The piece premiered in 1986 in Seoul, and is considered one of Korea’s most successful ballets. “Shimchung” runs from May 9 to 12 at the National Theater of Korea. Tickets range from 10,000 won to 100,000 won. For more information, call 1544-1555.
A scene from Universal Ballet Company’s “Shimchung” (UBC) A scene from Universal Ballet Company’s “Shimchung” (UBC)

“Gangdong Spring Dance Festival”: Seoul’s Gangdong Arts Center is holding its annual festival featuring a total of 19 works in diverse genres, including ballet, modern, and traditional Korean dance. The festival celebrates its second edition this year, featuring the work of more than 45 local dance companies. Some of the notable performances include Kook Soo-ho’s Didim Dance Company’s traditional Korean dance “The Grand Concert of Drums” choreographed in 1985. Dancers carry and play a number of large traditional drums as they dance. The second Gangdong Spring Dance Festival runs from April 21 to May 19. For more information, call (02) 440-0500 or visit


“At the Nexus of Painting and Writing”: The paintings of the famous Western abstract art masters and contemporary artists from around the globe, especially those expressing elements of calligraphy, are gathered under the theme of “At the Nexus of Painting and Writing” at the Seoul Art Calligraphy Museum. The exhibition displays 79 works by 59 artists whose works highlight the importance of the physical human touch in the digital age, and the influence of calligraphy on contemporary art. The exhibition continues through May 5 at the Calligraphy Museum of Seoul Arts Center in Seocho-dong, Seoul. For more information, call (02) 580-1655.
“Logotype – Nike” by Son Dong-hyun (Seoul Arts Center) “Logotype – Nike” by Son Dong-hyun (Seoul Arts Center)

“Opulence: Treasures of Korean Traditional Craft”: Opulent artifacts of ancient Korea are on display at the Samsung Museum of Art, Leeum. The museum gathered 65 pieces of crafts from national museums in Korea and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston to show the extravagance and opulence that dominated the high society of the Three Kingdoms Period (57-668), Unified Silla (668-935) and Goryeo (918-1392). Among the artifacts on exhibit are nine national treasures and 14 treasures. The artifacts are not only beautiful treasures, but are also invaluable historical pieces that offer glimpses into ancient Korean society. The exhibition runs through June 2 at Samsung Museum of Art, Leeum in Hannam-dong, Seoul. For more information, call (02) 2014-6900.

“Le Sacre Du Printemps”: Though the chill still lingers in the morning air, spring is here with the flower buds waiting to bloom and the warm breezes in the afternoon sun. Opera Gallery Seoul is celebrating the season with an exhibition of masterpieces by artists such as Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Bernard Buffet, Salvador Dali, Raoul Dufy and Rene Magritte. The exhibition “Le Sacre Du Printemps,” meaning the Rite of Spring, a title borrowed from a Stravinsky work that premiered in Paris in 1913, features 70 artworks inspired by the dynamic energy of and fascination with the new life of spring. It runs through April 28 at Opera Gallery on Dosan Boulevard in Gangnam-gu, Seoul. For more information, call (02) 3447-0070.

“Love Actually”: The warm spring breeze and flowers put people in a good mood and perhaps evoke thoughts of spring romance. Fittingly, a love-themed art exhibition opened at Seoul Museum on March 14, a romantic day celebrated in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea when men give presents to women in return for what they received on Valentine’s Day. The museum has combined romantic movies and art under the theme of love at the new exhibition “Love Actually.” It presents six themes of love such as new love, pure love, everlasting love, passionate love and past love with movies that best represent each theme with matching artwork. The exhibition, which runs through June 16, also runs free screenings of movies every Saturday. The movie schedule is available at For more information, call (02) 395-0100.

“Peranakan World: Cross-cultural Art from Singapore and the Straits”: The National Museum of Korea is holding an exhibition about Peranakan, loosely translated as “local-born” in the Malay language. They are the descendants of Southeast Asians and “outsiders” in Singapore. About 230 items showing the lives of the affluent and hybrid culture of the Peranakan in Southeast Asia are displayed Tuesdays through Sundays until May 19. A docent program is offered at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. while a “conversation with the curator” will be held Wednesdays at 7 p.m. For more information, call (02) 2077-9000.

“Seoul Nostalgia ― A retrospective photographic exhibition of Kim Han-yong”: The Seoul Museum of History is holding an exhibition of noted photographer Kim Han-yong, who photographed ordinary Seoulites’ lives after the Korean War (1950-1953). Kim, who started his career as a photographer for a newspaper, later worked in the advertising industry. On view are 160 panoramic pictures of Seoul in the post-war period alongside 60 of the most famous advertisement pictures Kim took or collected. The curators replicated Kim’s photograph studio inside the hall, where people can see portraits of top celebrities of the time. The exhibition is held through May 5, from Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, call (02) 724-0154.


“Hampyeong Butterfly Festival”: Hampyeong, South Jeolla Province, becomes a “land of butterflies and flowers” each spring. During the festival, about 120,000 butterflies will be released over flower gardens spread across an area of 1 million square meters. The program will include releasing butterflies, making butterfly-themed craftwork and masks, a bug race, a beetle-wrestling competition, and various performances and exhibitions. Eco-friendly farm produce will also be on sale. The festival will take place at Hampyeong Expo Park from April 26 to May 8. For more information, visit or call 061-320-3364. (Yonhap News)
Government officials and children release butterflies on March 20 to celebrate the upcoming butterfly festival in Hampyeong. (Yonhap News) Government officials and children release butterflies on March 20 to celebrate the upcoming butterfly festival in Hampyeong. (Yonhap News)

“Shinan Tulip Festival”: Shinan, a county made up of over 1,000 islands off Mokpo on the southwest coast, is an ideal area for growing tulips with its abundant sunshine and fertile soil. Imjamyeon of Shinan County boasts the largest tulip-growing area in Korea with a total size of 10 hectares. At this time of year, Imjamyeon is in bloom with 3 million tulip bulbs in 73 different tulip species. Programs include making flowerpots, walking through rapeseed flower fields, and riding horses and bicycles. The festival runs from April 19-28. For more information, call (061) 240-8880 or visit

“Hangang River Yeouido Spring Flower Festival”: The annual festival will be held in Yunjung-ro, the cherry blossom tree-lined street behind the National Assembly in Yeouido. Citizens can also enjoy other spring flowers such as royal azaleas and forsythia. The festival will start on April 12 with an opening ceremony, followed by a street music concert, parade and performances during the festival period, which ends on April 18. For more information, call (02) 2670-3125.

“Ulsan Whale Festival”: Ulsan, a habitat for whales, holds an annual whale-themed festival from April 25-28 at Jangsaengpohang Port and Taehwagang River. Visitors can go whale watching, see demonstrations of traditional whaling and more. The festival also holds entertainment activities such as a whale-themed parade and folk games for family visitors. For more information, call (052) 276-8476.