The Korea Herald


Classical music lovers to get their fill come October, November

Nine internationally acclaimed orchestras will take to the stage in Korea with sought-after pianists, violinists

By Park Ga-young

Published : July 15, 2023 - 16:01

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Conductor Andris Nelsons and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (Mast Media) Conductor Andris Nelsons and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (Mast Media)

In October and November, a number of orchestras from around the world will be performing back-to-back in South Korea. These performances will feature collaborations with top Korean and international musicians like pianists Cho Seong-jin and Lim Yun-chan. They will also be an opportunity to compare different renditions of the same piece by different orchestras.

A concert by the London Philharmonic Orchestra on Oct. 7 at the Seoul Arts Center will launch the string of concerts. Led by Edward Gardner, LPO’s principal conductor since September 2021, the orchestra will perform Brahms' Violin Concerto Op. 77, featuring German violinist Christian Tetzlaff.

The Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, a Swiss orchestra led by Estonian American conductor Paavo Jarvi, will perform Nielsen's Violin Concertos with Korean violinist Kim Bomsori on Oct. 13 and Brahms' Symphony No. 1 in C minor Op. 68 at Seoul Arts Center.

On Oct. 24, also at Seoul Arts Center, the Czech Philharmonic led by principal conductor Semyon Bychkov will showcase an all-Dvorak program consisting of Carnival Overture, Op. 92, the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in G minor, Op. 33 and Symphony No.7, Op. 70. Japanese pianist Mao Fujita will take the stage for the piano concerto.

Conductor Klaus Makela (Marco Borggreve) Conductor Klaus Makela (Marco Borggreve)

After all that Dvorak, will come an all-Sibelius program by the Oslo Philharmonic. On Oct. 30, the orchestra will perform at Lotte Concert Hall under the baton of Klaus Makela, a 27-year-old Finnish conductor. Dutch violinist Janine Jansen will collaborate on Sibelius' Violin Concerto.

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra led by Russian conductor Tugan Sokhiev is set to perform Nov. 6 at Lotte Concert Hall and Nov. 7 and 8 at Seoul Arts Center. In March 2022, Sokhiev resigned as both music director of Russia’s Bolshoi Theatre and music director of France’s Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, citing pressure to weigh in on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The orchestra will collaborate with Chinese pianist Lang Lang. The program has not yet been announced.

The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (WCN) The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (WCN)

The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra will make its seventh visit in November. On Nov. 11, the orchestra, led by conductor Kirill Petrenko, will present an all-symphonic repertoire that includes Mozart’s Symphony No. 29 and Berg’s Three Pieces for Orchestra. On Nov. 12, celebrated pianist Cho Seong-jin will take the stage with the orchestra to perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 In G Major, Op. 58 at Seoul Arts Center.

Also on Nov. 11, at Lotte Concert Hall, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, led by Italian conductor Fabio Luisi, will perform Weber's Oberon Overture and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5. Pianist Yefim Bronfman will join in a performance of Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 2.

Pianist Cho Seong-jin (Mast Media) Pianist Cho Seong-jin (Mast Media)

The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, under the baton of its music director, Andris Nelsons, will take to the stage in Korea, Nov. 15 and 16, its first visit here in 12 years.

Pianist Cho Seong-jin will also take to the stage with the orchestra on Nov. 15, this time performing Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54. Cho is performing two days apart with two different orchestras and two very different works. Cho debuted with the orchestra on April 21 in Leipzig, Germany.

Nelsons, who will make his first trip to South Korea, will also present Mendelssohn’s “The Fair Melusina” Overture and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56, known as the "Scottish."

On Nov. 16, the 280-year-old orchestra will present Wagner's Prelude and Liebestod from "Tristan & Isolde" and Bruckner's Symphony No. 9, WAB 109. Both concerts will take place at Seoul Arts Center.

Pianist Lim Yun-chan (Moc Production) Pianist Lim Yun-chan (Moc Production)

Korean maestro Chung Myung-whun will hold the baton for the Munich Philharmonic when it visits in November with an all-Beethoven program. Pianist Lim Yun-chan will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58 with the Munich Philharmonic at Seoul Arts Center on Nov. 26 and on Nov. 29 at the Sejong Center. Outside Seoul, the orchestra and Lim will perform at Suseong Artpia in Daegu on Nov. 24 and at Daejeon Arts Center in Daejeon on Nov. 25.

To wrap up the tour, the orchestra will take the stage with violinist Clara Jumi Kang to perform Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major Op. 61 at Seoul Arts Center on Nov. 30.