The annual Eagon concert tour will feature special guests from the Berlin Philharmonic Camerata this year.
The concert series, now in its 30th year, will kick off in Seoul on Friday at the Lotte Concert Hall before moving on to the Seoul Arts Center and then to Incheon, Gwangju and Busan. The tour will wrap up in Daegu on July 11.
Members of the Berlin Philharmonic Eagon Ensemble perform during a press conference held Wednesday at the Plaza Hotel Seoul. (Eagon)
This year, the organizers invited eight members of the Berlin Philharmonic Camerata, along with four other individual performers. Together, they have billed themselves the Berlin Philharmonic Eagon Ensemble.
“I think the value of Eagon Concert is that it sets an example. (It aims) to spread classical music,” violinist Romano Tommasini said during a press conference held Wednesday at the Plaza Hotel in central Seoul.
This year marks the violinist’s second time performing in an Eagon concert series. Looking back on his first tour, in 2015, he commented, “The Korean public is extremely enthusiastic about classical music.”
The highlight of this year’s program is Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.” According to the organizers, the piece often tops surveys as South Koreans’ preferred classical work.
The concerts will open with Grieg’s “Holberg Suite,” followed by Tartini’s Trumpet Concerto in D major, Bach’s “Air” from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major and Bach/Vivaldi’s Concerto for Trumpet in D major. Vivaldi’s Four Concerto Grosso “The Four Seasons” will follow the intermission.
“The choice of program is respectful of the public. We chose one of the most popular works by Vivaldi, ‘The Four Seasons,’” Tommasini said. “The aim was to have the most famous numbers for the people who come and listen to the music.”
As an encore, the ensemble will perform “Arirang Fantasie” by Kang Han-moi, who won the organizers’ Arirang Composition Contest last month with the Berlin Philharmonic Eagon Ensemble serving as judges.
“We chose it because the composition was the most dynamic and the most sophisticated,” Tommasini said. “We experienced this (longing for Arirang when we came in 2015). We understood why Arirang is so important for the Korean audience, for the Korean people in general.”
The concert tour, sponsored by Eagon Industrial, a local company that makes plywood products, is in its 30th edition this year.
At Arts Center Incheon and the Seoul Arts Center the ensemble will perform the encore along with students from Incheon Hyegwang School, a special school for the blind.
Park Young-ju, chairman and CEO of Eagon Industrial, founded the classical music event in 1990, having been inspired by music performances on the US Army base after the Korean War.
Tickets are free and can be reserved online through Eagon’s website two days in advance.
By Im Eun-byel (firstname.lastname@example.org)