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Pop music

“Seoul Jazz Festival 2013”: The annual Seoul Jazz Festival is a two-day concert event featuring many jazz and jazz-inspired acts from all across the world. This year’s festival will feature more than 25 local and international headliners the Ramsey Lewis Electric Band with special guest Philip Bailey, Mika, Damien Rice, Kings of Convenience, the Parov Stellar Band, the Roy Hargrove Quintet and many more. Bands from the local jazz scene include Chung Won-young, La Ventana with 10cm, and Sungio Jung Band with Sunny Kim among others. The festival is set to kick-off on May 17 and 18 at the Seoul Olympic Park on stages at the 88 Grass Field, the Gymnastics Stadium and the Waterfront Stage. A one-day pass to the festival is 121,000 won and a two-day pass is 194,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit

“Jason Mraz Live in Seoul”: One of the most loved American pop singers in Korea, Jason Mraz is returning to Seoul to host his sixth concert. The singer, who started his career playing in coffeehouses, 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 skyrocketed. Last year Mraz released his fourth studio album “Love is a Four Letter Word,” featuring the lead acoustic ballad “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 won to 132,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit
Jason Mraz will perform live in Seoul at the Jamsil Sports Complex on Friday. (Jason Mraz)
Jason Mraz will perform live in Seoul at the Jamsil Sports Complex on Friday. (Jason Mraz)

“Hello: Cho Yong-pil”: The legendary 63-year-old Cho Yong-pil has returned to the music scene after 10 years, with a comeback that splashed headlines. Cho is considered one of the most influential and iconic Korean singers of all time. Cho first debuted as a musician in 1968 performing for the U.S. Army with his country band Atkins. His single “Come Back to Busan Port,” which was released in 1975, helped launch his career. Five years later he released his first album titled “The Woman Outside the Window” and later became the first Korean pop singer ever to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The versatile singer will begin his “Hello” nationwide tour with three concert performances in Seoul from May 31 to June 2 at the Gymnastics Stadium at Olympic Park. Ticket prices for the show range from 77,000 won to 154,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit

“Ultra Korea”: One of the world’s largest annual outdoor dance music parties, the Ultra Music Festival, is returning to Seoul this summer with some of the hottest DJs from around the globe. This year’s Ultra Korea 2013 two-day music festival summer fest will feature an all-star lineup of some of the most recognized names in the electronic/dance music scene including: a return appearance by Carl Cox along with Kaskade, Sander van Doorn, Tommy Trash, Fedde Le Grand, Boy George DJ Set, Krewella and Riot Gear. The second annual Ultra Korea will be held on June 14 and 15 at Seoul’s Olympic Stadium in Jamsil. Ticket prices range from 100,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit

Classical music

“Yuri Bashmet & Moscow Soloists”: Internationally acclaimed Yuri Bashmet will lead the Moscow Soloists for the orchestra’s fifth concert in Korea on May 29 at the Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall at 8 p.m. Featured will be Bach Piano Concerto BWV 1052 D Minor; Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata A Minor D.821; Paganini’s Viola Concert in A Minor; and Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings.” Korean pianist Son Yeol-eum will perform the Bach piece. Bashmet, who will play the viola for the Bach piece, gained international stardom when he won the Munich ARD International Music Competition in 1978. He was appointed artistic director for the 2014 Sochi International Art Festival. Tickets are priced between 20,000 won and 70,000 won. Reservations are available at,,,, and For more information, call (02) 720-3933.
Yuri Bashmet will lead the Moscow Soloists on May 29 at the Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall. (VIncero)
Yuri Bashmet will lead the Moscow Soloists on May 29 at the Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall. (VIncero)

“The Seoul Spring Festival of Chamber Music”: The Seoul Spring Festival of Chamber Music will be held through May 26 at various spots in Seoul, bringing noted musicians from around the world to perform one of the most intimate genres of classical music under the theme of “Far from Home.” Featured musicians include violinist Kang Dong-suk, who has served as the musical director of the festival since 2006, pianist Peter Jablonski from Sweden, French cellist Jerome Pernoo, Russian cellist Natalia Gutman, Moscow-born violinist Alexander Kagan, Korean piano prodigy Lee Hyuk and the Tokyo String Quartet. Ticket prices range from 20,000 won to 70,000 won. Tickets can be purchased at,,,, and For more information. call (02) 720-3933 for visit

“2013 Korea Opera Festival”: Until June 9, a series of famous operas will be staged as part of the 2013 Korea Opera Festival held by renowned Korean opera groups at the Seoul Arts Center Opera Theater and Shinsegae outdoor plaza. “La Forza del Destino” by the Seoul Opera Ensemble will be stage on May 19. The Noble Art Opera will feature “Rigoletto” on May 24-26 followed by the Korea Opera’s “Sohn Yang-won” on May 31-June 2 and the Korea National Opera’s “Tcheo Yong” on June 8-9. Ticket prices range from 10,000 won to 200,000 won. Reservations can be made at For more information call (02) 580-1300.

“Orchestre des Champs-Elysees & Collegium Vocale Gent conducted by Philippe Herreweghe”: Belgian conductor Philippe Herreweghe will lead his Champs-Elysees Orchestra alongside choir, Collegium Vocale Gent, to perform Mozart’s “Requiem,” and “Jupiter” at LG Arts Center on June 1-2. The concert starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday and at 5 p.m. on Sunday. Herreweghe, one of the most celebrated Baroque music explorers, established the orchestra to delve into the music that was widely popular during the late 16th century to 18th century in Europe. Korean soprano Lim Sun-hye as well as alto Kristina Hammarstrom, tenor Benjamin Hulett and bass Johannes Weisser will join the performance as soloists for the second day. Tickets are priced between 40,000 won-150,000 won and reservation is available at For more information call (02) 2005-0114.


“Kafka on the Shore”: Famed Japanese writer Haruki Murakami’s 2002 novel “Kafka on the Shore” is being staged as a play in Seoul. A production by American director Frank Galati, the show premiered in Chicago in 2008, and had a successful Japanese run in 2012. Based on Murakami’s literary blend of magical realism and suspenseful plot, the play follows its 15-year-old protagonist Kafka who runs away from his father’s home to escape an Oedipal curse. “Kafka on the Shore” runs from May 4 to June 16 at DongSoong Art Center in Seoul. For more information, call (02) 764-1008.
A scene from “Kafka on the Shore” (PAC Korea)
A scene from “Kafka on the Shore” (PAC Korea)

“Les Miserables”: The all-Korean production of Cameron Mackintosh’s legendary musical “Les Miserables” is being performed in Seoul. Based on 19th-century French writer Victor Hugo’s timeless novel of the same title, the musical tells the story of Jean Valjean ― a hapless French peasant who serves 19 years in prison for stealing a piece of bread for his starving family in turbulent 19th-century France. After being released, he manages to assume a new identity and becomes mayor of a town. While trying to avoid being recaptured by Javert, a police inspector, he agrees to take care of Cosette, the illegitimate daughter of Fantine ― a sick, abused prostitute who had to sell her hair and teeth to make a living. “Les Miserables” is currently on an open run at Blue Square’s Samsung Electronics Hall in Hannam-dong, Seoul. Tickets range from 90,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information, call 1544-1555 or visit

“Jesus Christ Superstar”: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar” is being staged in Seoul, with 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.

“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.


“Salves”: Following American choreographer William Forsythe’s cutting-edge performance “Heterotopia” last month, Korea’s dance scene is welcoming yet another experimental work from overseas, this time by French choreographer Maguy Marin. Titled “Salves,” the dance features “pessimism that dominates today’s world,” according to its local promoters. The piece premiered in Lyon, France, in 2010, and received rave reviews from the French press. It takes place in an unexplained indoor space that looks like a “residential house in times of war” or a “secret shelter for natural disaster refugees.” The show’s seven dancers, at one point, set a meal on their table, and then try to escape the property at the next minute. The piece is said to depict the reality of the contemporary world, where “there is no exit” from problems and suffering. “Salves” runs from June 5 to 7 at LG Arts Center in southern Seoul. Tickets range from 40,000 won to 80,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2005-0114. 
A scene from “Salves” (LG Arts Center)
A scene from “Salves” (LG Arts Center)

“2013 HanPAC Soloist”: Hanguk Performing Arts Center is holding a dance bash featuring seven celebrated dancers and seven choreographers. Each dancer was paired up with a choreographer to stage a collaborative piece for the event. Among the seven teams, Korean National Ballet’s principal dancer Kim Ji-young and choreographer Kim Bo-ram are together staging “Chaos Begins,” a dance that explores the theme of a chaotic state of the mind and society. Korean dancer Kim Sung-yong and Brazilian choreographer Gisela Rocha are presenting “Mother & Alien Son,” which features the relationship between a mother and her child. “2013 HanPAC Soloist” runs from May 31 to June 1 at Arko Arts Theater in Daehangno in Seoul. Tickets range from 20,000 won to 40,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3668-0007.

“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


“Chuncheon International Mime Festival”: The lake city of Chuncheon bustles with mimes and tourists during the Chuncheon International Mime Festival, the largest mime festival in Asia. Various mime performances will be held during the 12-day event at the Festival Theater Momzit, Chuncheon Culture & Art Center and other venues. The festival runs through May 26. For further information, visit or call (033) 250-3067.

“Muju Firefly Festival”: This environmentally friendly festival, which runs from June 1-9 in Muju, South Jeolla Province, is a hands-on chance to learn about fireflies. Visitors can observe fireflies up close in their natural habitat as well as learn about them in depth at the Bandi Nara Museum. Other events include trout fishing and rafting in Namdaecheon stream. Visitors are recommended to make an online reservation in advance to observe fireflies at The admission fee for observation is 5,000 won for adults and 3,000 won for children. For more information, visit
The staff of the Muju Firefly Festival perform a traditional ceremony during a previous festival. (Muju Firefly Festival)
The staff of the Muju Firefly Festival perform a traditional ceremony during a previous festival. (Muju Firefly Festival)

“2013 Suncheon Bay Garden Expo”: Suncheon in South Jeolla Province will provide visitors with countless opportunities to experience nature at its finest at the 2013 Suncheon Garden Expo Korea. The Expo, held for the first time in Korea, displays beautifully designed gardens that also stand as examples of green development. The expo site stretches to the city’s iconic natural wetland, Suncheon Bay. The expo runs until Oct. 20. The admission for adults is 16,000 won (13,000 won for a group); 12,000 won for teenagers (10,000 won for a group) and 8,000 won for children (6,000 won for a group). For more information, visit


“Towards”: The nature depicted by artist Kim Bo-hie looks familiar to many with common motifs such as leaves, trees and flowers. But what captures the viewers’ attention are the details ― such as an exotic-looking florescent blue lizard on a tree or colorful birds ― that bring life to her works. Her “Towards” series is a mix of the nature she saw in Jeju, Korea and foreign countries during her travels. The 19 paintings of the series are currently on display at Hakgojae Gallery in Seoul. For six years, Kim has been capturing close views of nature such as leaves of Ravenala, the so-called Traveler’s Tree, and a variety of tropical plants. The exhibition runs through June 9 at Hakgojae Gallery, Jongno-gu, Seoul. For more information, call (02) 720-1524. 
“Towards,” 2013 by Kim Bo-hie (Hakgojae Gallery)
“Towards,” 2013 by Kim Bo-hie (Hakgojae Gallery)

“People and Places: Paintings by Alice Neel”: Portraits by Alice Neel are on exhibit for the first time in Asia at Gallery Hyundai, Seoul. The exhibition, which runs through June 2, features 15 portraits of Neel’s family, friends and lovers that are regarded as unique in the expression of her subjects’ inner personalities. Neel, who didn’t receive much attention during her lifetime, is now considered one of the greatest portrait painters of the 20th century, along with Lucian Freud, for her distinctive portrait style that is not defined by the dominant categories of her lifetime. For more information, call (02) 2287-3500.

“Slant Rhymes”: Kukje Gallery is holding a group exhibition of young artists with experimental ideas. The exhibition arranged by independent curator Kim Hyun-jin shows creative artworks by seven artists including Lee Mi-yeon’s pencil drawings of images from press photographs of natural disasters; and Moon Young-min’s paintings of a man in a suit bowing, which examine the irony of bowing during a memorial service for ancestors and the Western suit the main is wearing. Also, video works by Cha Jeamin reveal the artist’s unique perspectives on today’s Korean society. The exhibition runs through June 16 at Kukje Gallery in Jongno, Seoul. For more information, call (02) 735-8449.

“Contemporary Age”: Gana Art Gallery is holding a group exhibition of 50 well-known Korean artists it has sponsored since its opening in 1973. The exhibition that marks the 30th anniversary of the gallery presents recent works of the established artists such as an abstract painting by Yoon Myung-ro, a pine tree photograph by Bae Bien-u, Sa Suk-won’s new work “Mr. Vincent” and a portrait painting of Hwang Jae-hyung. The exhibition runs through June 9 at Gana Art Gallery in Pyeongchang-dong, Seoul. For more information, call (02) 720-1020.

“Korean Fashion Creator Andre Kim”: The National Folk Museum is exhibiting a total of 18 garments designed by the late fashion designer Andre Kim, which have been recently donated to the museum. The exhibition, “Korean Fashion Creator Andre Kim,” will be held on three occasions: the first through Aug. 26, the second from Aug. 28-Dec. 23 and the third between Dec. 25 and April 21, 2014. The legendary seven-layer evening coat, wedding dress, tafetta dress, organza ensemble as well as sketches and keepsakes of the late designer will be displayed. The museum is open from Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, call (02) 3704-3114.