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New annual classical music fest to add to the calendar

Classic Revolution 2020 Beethoven to be held at Lotte Concert Hall

A new classical music festival is coming to town, in the usually slow summer season.

The Lotte Foundation for Arts is to host classical music festival Classic Revolution 2020 Beethoven in August. 

Poster image for Classic Revolution 2020 Beethoven (Lotte Foundation for Arts)
Poster image for Classic Revolution 2020 Beethoven (Lotte Foundation for Arts)
Artistic Director Christoph Poppen (Lotte Foundation for Arts)
Artistic Director Christoph Poppen (Lotte Foundation for Arts)

On Monday, the Lotte Foundation announced plans to host an annual classical music festival, Classic Revolution, featuring diverse offerings from recitals and chamber music to concertos and symphonies. The festival will highlight a single composer each year, with the inaugural year dedicated to Ludwig van Beethoven. This year marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. The festival will have a permanent home at the Lotte Concert Hall in Jamsil, eastern Seoul.

Christoph Poppen, the principal conductor of the Cologne Chamber Orchestra, will take the helm as the artistic director of the music festival.

The festival will kick off Aug. 17 with the Busan Municipal Performing Art Company’s concert. The program will feature the Overture to “The Creatures of Prometheus” in C major, Op. 43; Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21; and Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 73, “Emperor” by pianist Kim Tae-hyung.

Chamber Music Day on Aug. 23 promises to be one of the highlights of the festival, which runs Aug. 17-30. Three themes will be featured on the day -- “Beethoven, the Young Genius,” “Beethoven, the Desperate Man” and “Beethoven, the Philosopher,” at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively. Esme Quartet, Lux Trio, TIMF Ensemble, Trio Gaon and Tenor Kim Seung-jick are to perform.

Poppen will take the baton Aug. 19 with the KBS Symphony Orchestra and again Aug. 30 with the Seoul Tutti Chamber Orchestra. The violinist-turned-conductor will take the bow Aug. 26 and 30, performing Beethoven’s violin sonatas and two romances, as well as a symphonic work.

The summer music festival will close Aug. 30 with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Associate Conductor David Yi, performing Overture to Coriolan in C minor, Op. 62; Triple Concerto in C major, Op. 56; an homage to Beethoven composed by Cho Eun-hwa, “Tantot Libre, Tantot Recherche”; and Fantasia in C minor, Op. 80.

Tickets for the evening performances are priced from 30,000 won to 50,000 won ($24.46 to $40.76), while matinee tickets cost 30,000 won to 40,000 won. Various package deals for the tickets are available at discounted rates ranging from 20 to 40 percent.

Tickets open May 13 for Lotte Concert Hall Vineyard members and May 30 for the general public. For more information, call 1544-7744 or check the website at

By Im Eun-byel (