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Kim Sun-wook’s concerts canceled, Sunwoo Yekwon on track for May shows

Though the performing arts scene has been gearing up to get back into the groove as the number of COVID-19 cases drops, concerts remain canceled in April.

Pianist Kim Sun-wook’s concerts with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra in April have been canceled. Kim, a Beethoven specialist, was to perform with the SPO on April 24 at the Lotte Concert Hall in eastern Seoul.

Pianist Kim Sun-wook (Marco Borggreve / Vincero
Pianist Kim Sun-wook (Marco Borggreve / Vincero

The program was to include Haydn’s Symphony No. 102 in B flat major Hob. I: 102, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in B major, Op. 19 and Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier Suite, Op. 59.

The following day, Kim was to perform with the SPO once again at the Sejong Center in central Seoul, presenting Haydn’s Piano Concerto in D major, Hob. XVIII: 11, Beethoven’s Wind Octet in E flat major, Op. 103, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12 in A major, K. 414.

However, the SPO canceled the planned concerts as a preemptive measure against the COVID-19 spread.

“The SPO has decided to cancel the concerts due to the prolonged ‘red’ level virus alert and continuing cases of virus infection in the Seoul area. It is following Seoul Metropolitan Government’s guideline regarding cultural events, to ensure the health and safety of performers and audiences,” the city-funded orchestra said.

While Kim’s concerts have been canceled, Sunwoo Yekwon’s recitals in May are to take place as scheduled. Sunwoo and violinist Ray Chen, with whom Sunwoo studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, will perform Schumann’s Violin Sonata No. 1 in A minor, Op. 105, Brahms’ Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 100 (“Thun” or “Meistersinger”) and Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 9 in A major, Op. 47 “Kreutzer” in Busan and Daegu on May 12 and 13, respectively.

Pianist Sunwoo Yekwon (Jeremy Enlow / Mast Media)
Pianist Sunwoo Yekwon (Jeremy Enlow / Mast Media)

The Seoul engagement will take place May 15 at the Seoul Arts Center in southern Seoul.

The two musicians are known for their active engagement with the fans on social media as well as their efforts to promote younger artists. Sunwoo is encouraging young, talented artists as the artistic director of the Korean Young Pianist Series mentoring project. Chen in 2019 held “Play with Ray” with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, giving unrecognized musicians a chance to perform to a global audience.

By Im Eun-byel (