|Berliner Barock Solisten. (Seoul Arts Center)|
“Baroque-music concert”: Flutist Emmanuel Pahud and Berliner Barock Solisten will perform the works of Bach and Telemann, two of the most appreciated composers of the Baroque era, at Seoul Arts Center on Feb. 22. Pahud, who was named principal flutist of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 22 some 20 years ago, is one of the top flute players in the world. Founded by members of the world-renowned Berlin Philharmonic in 1995, the Berliner Barock Solisten is an ensemble dedicated to Baroque-era music.
The program for their Seoul concert features the Symphony for Strings, “Brandenburg” Concertos and “Musikalisches Opfer” (Musical Offering) by Johann Sebastian Bach, and two concertos by Georg Philipp Telemann. Ticket prices range from 30,000 won to 120,000 won. For information, call (02) 580-1300.
“Scottish Chamber Orchestra”: Led by rising star conductor Robin Ticciati, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra will be coming to Korea and performing with pianist Maria Joao Pires, who received raving reviews for her collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra in 2013. The program opens with Mendelssohn’s “The Hebrides,” Schumann’s piano concerto featuring soloist Maria Joao Pires and concludes with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. The concert is on Feb. 23 at Seongnam Arts Center. Tickets are priced at 80,000 won for the R section and 40,000 won for the A section. For more information, call (031) 783-8000.
“London Symphony Orchestra”: For the ninth time, London Symphony Orchestra will be playing in Korea, this time with conductor Daniel Harding. It will hold two concerts at Seoul Arts Center on March 10 and 11. The first concert will feature works by Mussorgsky, Stravinsky and Schubert. For the second one, the orchestra will play Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2, with soloist Kim Sun-wook, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, “Titan.” Ticket prices range from 60,000 won-300,000 won. For more information, call (02) 599-5743.
“Evgeny Kissin Recital”: Child prodigy-turned-master pianist Evgeny Kissin will perform at Seoul Arts Center on March 30, presenting Schubert’s Piano Sonata No. 17 in D Major, Scriabin’s Sonata No. 2 in G Sharp Minor and “Four Sea Interludes” from Benjamin Britten’s “Peter Grimes.” As the story goes, the pianist, whose nickname is Genya, started to play the piano at age 2 after hearing his sister play the instrument. He started his professional musical training at 6, entering the Gnessin State Musical College for Gifted Children, made a debut featuring Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor with the Ulyanovsk Symphony Orchestra, and became an international sensation at 12 when he played and recorded Chopin piano concertos with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. Kissin is also famous for obliging concertgoers, with his 2006 and 2008 concerts finishing after 11 p.m. because of dozens of encore performances. For more information, call 1544-1555 or (02) 580-1300.Theater
|A promotional image for “Sheer Madness” (Musical Heaven)|
“Sheer Madness”: The Korean adaptation of the popular German play “Sheer Madness” is back for its second run in Seoul. Premiered in 1963, the play takes place in a hair salon owned by a gay hairdresser named George. After he and his flirty assistant Suji welcome two customers, one a wealthy housewife and other an antiques dealer, the landlady of the shop is murdered upstairs. The audience is asked to participate in the process of solving the case, trying to figure out who the murderer is among the four in the salon. “Sheer 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.
“Still Life” (Jeongmulhwa): Award-winning Japanese playwright of Korean descent Miri Yu’s early work “Still Life” will be performed in the Korean language in Seoul this month. The play revolves around five high school girls who form a literary club to share their thoughts about life, writing and friendship. One of the girls, Nanako, constantly thinks about the meaning of death and the afterlife. Yu wrote the play when she was in her early 20s and directed the stage production herself. “Still Life,” runs from Feb. 14 to March 16 at Daehangno Arts Theater in Seoul. All tickets cost 25,000 won. For more information, call (02) 764-7462.
“Jersey Boys”: The original Broadway production of “Jersey Boys,” a jukebox musical that features the story of the 1960s rock ’n’ roll group The Four Seasons, is currently being performed in Seoul. Featured songs include some of the greatest hits by the group and its members, including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” “My Eyes Adored You” and “Rag Doll.” “Jersey Boys” runs until March 23 at Samsung Card Hall at Blue Square in Hannam-dong, Seoul. Tickets range from 80,000 won to 140,000 won. For tickets and information, call 1544-1555 or (02) 541-3184.
“The Secret Rapture”: Actress Choo Sang-mi is returning to the stage after a five-year hiatus, with a Korean rendition of “The Secret Rapture,” a 1988 British play by David Hare. It is the first time that the play is being performed in Korea. In the show, Choo plays Isobel, who runs a small graphic design company with her boyfriend, Irwin. She is forced to reunite with her selfish sister Marion, a vice environment minister, when their father dies. The sisters are left to decide what to do with Katherine, their alcoholic and mentally unstable stepmother. “The Secret Rapture” runs from Feb. 7 to March 2 at Dongsoong Arts Center in Seoul. For more information, call 1600-8523.
“Ghost the Musical”: The Korean production of “Ghost the Musical” is being performed in Seoul. The show is an adaptation of the mega-hit 1990 romantic fantasy-thriller film “Ghost,” starring Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, which was also hugely popular in Korea. The musical had its world premiere in Manchester, England, in 2011, and was also performed on Broadway in 2012. The current Korean production is the first in Asia. It tells the story of Molly, a grieving young woman in danger, and the ghost of her murdered boyfriend Sam, who tries to save her with the help of a wacky psychic. The current run stars some of the most popular musical and TV stars in the country, including Joo Won, Ivy and Park Ji-yeon. “Ghost the Musical” runs until June at D-Cube Arts Center in Seoul. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information, call (02) 557-1987.Pop music
|Avril Lavigne will perform at the Olympic Hall in Seoul on Feb. 19. (Avril Lavigne Official Web site)|
“The Avril Lavigne Tour in Seoul”: The internationally renowned Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne will put on a concert in Seoul in February as part of the rocker’s world tour. Lavigne first entered the music scene in 2002 with her debut album “Let Go,” which included her smash hit singles “Complicated” and “Sk8ter Boy.” The album went multiplatinum in a number of countries including the U.S. and the U.K. Lavigne has since sold more than 30 million albums and more than 50 million singles worldwide. In November, the musician released her eponymous fifth studio album featuring lead track “Here’s to Never Growing Up.” Lavigne will perform her solo concert at the Olympic Hall in Seoul on Feb. 19. Tickets prices range from 99,000 won to 121,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com
“Brown Eyed Soul 4th Album Anniversary Concert”: The four-member R&B ensemble of Brown Eyed Soul will hold two solo concerts in Seoul to commemorate the group’s comeback and their latest release, “Thank Your Soul.” The album was released in December to mark the 10th anniversary since Brown Eyed Soul’s debut. The quintet released its first album, “Soul Free,” in September 2003, and is one of the few local R&B groups that pride themselves on their American-style approach to soul music. The upcoming Brown Eyed Soul concerts will be held at the Olympic Stadium in Seoul on Feb. 22 and 23. Tickets prices range from 88,000 won to 132,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com
“Rhythm Power Concentration”: The popular hip-hop trio Rhythm Power, composed of Gee Goo-in, Hang Zoo and Boi B, will be putting on its first solo concert in celebration of the group’s upcoming comeback album, which is scheduled to be released on Jan. 23. After making their start in the local underground hip-hop scene, the three rappers of Rhythm Power landed a record deal and became a part of the Amoeba Culture family ― home to a number of the nation’s hottest hip-hop acts including Dynamic Duo, Primary and Zion.T ― and released their eponymous album in 2010. Rhythm Power will perform the group’s first solo concert at the Yes24 Muv Hall on Jan. 25. Tickets are 33,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com
“Travis Live in Seoul”: Scottish rock band Travis is making its return to Korea, putting on its first solo concert in Seoul in five years. Led by Fran Healy on vocals, Travis formed in the early 1990s in Glasgow and made a name for itself as one of the most well-respected musical acts from the U.K. Although Travis has always seemed to float below the radar when it comes to the most iconic rock bands, the rockers are still often credited with having influenced iconic British bands such as Coldplay and Keane. Travis will perform its upcoming solo concert at the Olympic Hall at Seoul Olympic Park on March 25. Tickets range from 70,000 won to 120,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com
|A scene from “La Bayadere” (KNB)|
“La Bayadere”: The Korean National Ballet is presenting “La Bayadere,” an 1877 piece choreographed by Marius Petipa to the music of Ludwig Minkus. Set in India, the ballet first features a passionate romance between temple dancer Nikiya and young warrior Solor. It eventually turns into a tragedy as the High Brahmin, who has fallen for Nikiya, and Gamzatthi, the ruler’s daughter, herself desperate to marry Solor, make plans to break them apart. “La Bayadere” is the first performance the troupe is presenting after welcoming its new artistic director and famed ballerina Kang Sue-jin. The show will be staged in Seoul in March; finalized dates and casting will be announced later. For inquires, call (02) 587-6181.
“Full Moon” by Pina Bausch: It’s been almost five years since Germany’s legendary choreographer Pina Bausch died, but her works are still as popular as ever. Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal is returning to Seoul this year with her 2006 work “Vollmond (Full Moon).” The troupe last performed in Korea in 2010. The dance is well-known for using a giant rock and deep water that take up a large part of the stage, while its themes include the celebration of life as well as its dangers and joys. “Full Moon” runs from March 28 to 31 at LG Arts Center in Yeoksam-dong, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 40,000 won to 120,000 won. For more information, visit www.lgart.com
“Thank You!: The 30th Anniversary Special Gala”: Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Korea’s Universal Ballet Company presents a special gala in February. Titled “Thank You!,” the program consists of scenes from some of the troupe’s most successful repertoires including “Giselle,” “La Bayadere,” “Onegin,” “Sleeping Beauty” and “Don Quixote.” Along with the company’s principal dancers, including Hwang Hye-min and Uhm Jae-yong, prominent Korean-born dancers who dance for overseas troupes ― Seo Hee of the American Ballet Theatre and Kang Hyo-jung of the Stuttgart Ballet ― will visit Seoul to join the gala. “Thank You!: The 30th Anniversary Special Gala” runs from Feb. 21 to 23 at Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul. For more information, visit www.universalballet.com
|Children pick strawberries at a farm in Yangpyeong during the Yangpyeong Strawberry Festival in 2013. (Yangpyeong Strawberry Festival)|
Yangpyeong Strawberry Festival: Visitors are invited to pick as many strawberries as their baskets can hold at more than 10 strawberry farms in Yangpyeong, northern Gyeonggi Province. The strawberry festival, to be held from Feb. 25 to May 31, also offers diverse strawberry foods such as strawberry rice cakes, sauce and jams. Those wishing to participate in the festival can choose a strawberry farm and book their trip at the chosen farm in advance online at festival.ypnadri.com. A single trip to a strawberry farm is 26,000 won. Participants can spend about five hours at the farm picking strawberries and trying out various foods made with strawberries. For more information, call (031) 774-5427, 5431.
International Snow Crab Festival: Uljin, famous for its snow crab, holds an annual crab festival just in time for the snow crab season from late winter to early spring. The International Snow Crab Festival will take place at the small port of Hupo from Feb. 28 to March 3. The festival will feature a variety of hands-on experiences such as catching crabs, removing crabs from crab nets and other activities. Various local foods will be served along with steamed snow crabs. For more information, visit ujcrab.uljin.go.kr (Korean only) or call (054) 789-6851.
Anseong Ice Fishing Festival: The festival offers a variety of winter activities including ice fishing, ice or snow sledding and folk plays on the Gwanghyewon Reservoir in Anseong, Gyeonggi Province. Organizers have set up a small pool of fish that children can catch using child-friendly fishing tools. With its snow-covered trees, the reservoir is also a good site for photos. Food stalls provide hot food and local delicacies. The festival hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is 5,000 won per person, and free for children under 6. The festival runs until March 3. For more information, call (031) 674-4528 or visit dmfestival.co.kr.Exhibitions
|“Mountain and Moon” by Kim Whanki (Gallery Hyundai)|
“The Artistic Spirits of Modern Artists on Paper”: An extensive collection of paintings and drawings on paper by acclaimed modern Korean artists is on view at Gallery Hyundai, shedding light on one of the oldest and most common art mediums ― paper. The showcase of 132 works by 30 artists highlights the significance of paper in the history of Korean art. Works on exhibit include those using diverse media such as pencils, inks, watercolors and painting markers. Especially notable are Kim Whanki’s gouache paintings on paper, which have been as highly praised as his oil canvas paintings for their distinct color combinations and composition. The exhibition runs until March 9 at Gallery Hyundai, Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul. For more information, call (02) 2287-3500.
“Julian Opie”: Kukje Gallery presents a solo exhibition of Julian Opie featuring some of his new works portraying the lifestyles of pedestrians in Seoul. The new works, results of his observations of people walking by on the streets of the capital city, will reveal his signature style of depicting people in color and outlining them prominently in black. The works on display are paintings, sculptures and pieces made using light-emitting diodes. The exhibition runs from Feb. 13 to March 23 at Kukje Gallery in Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul. For more information, call (02) 735-8449.
“Park Soo-keun Retrospective”: As this year marks the centennial of artist Park Soo-keun, a retrospective seeks to revive public interest in the master painter. The exhibition is being held at the Gana Insa Art Center in Insa-dong, a major Seoul tourist destination lined with antique shops, from Jan. 17 to March 16. The retrospective will feature about 120 works by Park, including 90 oil paintings, watercolor paintings and 30 sketches on loan from private collectors. Its focus is on unveiling works of his that haven’t been shown in previous exhibitions. For more information, call (02) 720-1020, or visit www.ganaart.com
“Rewriting the Landscape: China and India”: This exhibition at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, presents how contemporary artists in China and India perceive social and natural landscapes, and features work by prominent artists from two of the fastest-emerging contemporary art markets. Participating artists include Indian artists Gulammohmmed Sheikh and Achutan Ramachandran and Chinese artists Xu Bing and Yin Xiu Zhen. The special exhibition, held in the newly opened Seoul branch of the national art museum, offers a glimpse into social conflicts, cultural diversity in the two Asian countries and ways artists interpret these in their works. The exhibition continues through March 2 at the Gwacheon museum of the MMCA. For more information, visit www.mmca.go.kr