'Music in PyeongChang’ begins with bow-breaking performance

By Im Eun-byel
  • Published : Feb 10, 2019 - 16:31
  • Updated : Feb 10, 2019 - 16:31

“Music in PyeongChang - Winter Festival” has begun its 10-day run, introducing classical music to local audiences in celebration of the first anniversary of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

On Friday, the first part of the main concert series, “NOwhere: NOWhere” took place at the Seoul Arts Center to a fully packed house.

One highlight from Friday’s performance was “Suite in Jazz Style” by Maxim Rysanov (viola) and Park Jong-hai (piano). Composed by Bulgaria’s Dobrinka Tabakova, the piece consists of three distinct jazz movements.

The jazz-infused piece brought out pianist Park’s identifiable charms. Park, known for his emotionally charged performances, flowed swiftly along to the constantly changing rhythm. The third movement, imbued with a folksy vibe, served up an epic highlight.

All the while, Violist Rysanov captured the hearts of the audience with a vibrant performance based on a full understanding of the piece that was originally dedicated to him by composer Tabakova.

While the first part of the concert consisted of duo performances, the latter was graced by ensembles of three or more.

About halfway through performing F. Schubert’s “Notturno” in E flat D 897, Leonardo Elschenbroich, on cello, broke his bow, shortly bringing the performance to a halt. Afterward, the trio that also included Clara-Jumi Kang (violin) and Son Yeul-eum (piano and artistic director of the festival) resumed the performance from the top. 

From left: Clara-Jumi Kang (violin), Tatsuki Narita (violin), Maxim Rysanov (viola), Timur Yakubov (viola), Julian Steckel (cellist) and Leonardo Elschenbroich (cellist) perform Tchaikovsky’s String Sextet in D minor Op. 70 “Souvenir de Florence” at the Seoul Arts Center on Friday as part of “Music in PyeongChang - Winter Festival.” (MPYC)

The finale was formed by a string sextet of two each violins, violas and cellos performing “Souvenir de Florence” by Tchaikovsky. Violinist Kang led the group, fully delivering the acrobatic melodies of the ravishing four-part piece written by Tchaikovsky over the course of more than four years.

“Music in PyeongChang - Winter Festival” was launched in 2004 to promote the PyeongChang Winter Olympics from the bidding stage. Originally a summer concert series event, it expanded to a biannual event three years ago.

The festival now has a single performance left, an experimental music play titled “Winterreise.” The performance depicts the last days of Schubert. Contemporary dancer Kim Seol-jin will visually re-enact the maestro on stage to the backing of classical music.

The play will be staged twice -- Friday and Saturday -- at the PyeongChang Alpensia Concert Hall in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province. For more information, visit the festival’s website.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)