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 Pop music

“2013 Ansan Valley Rock Festival”: As Korea’s biggest rock festival, the Valley Rock Festival presents one of the best line-ups of big musicians from Korea and abroad such as this year’s headliners The Cure, NiN, Skrillex, the Foals, the XX, My Bloody Valentine, Idiotape, Peppertones and many others. This year’s festival has moved from Jisan Resort to the Daebu Sea Breeze Theme Park. The three-day festival will be held July 26-28. Ticket prices are 120,000 won for a one-day pass, 230,000 won for a three-day pass and 245,000 won for three-day pass plus an admission ticket to the camping ground. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit

“2013 Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival”: The Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival is an annual three-day music festival that features some of the hottest acts in the international and local music scene. Since its inauguration in 2006, the festival has been responsible for bringing in top acts such as Muse, The Black Eyed Peas, The Strokes, Korn, Hoobastank and many others. This year’s festival will be held at the Incheon Songdo 23 Geunrin Park from Aug. 2 to 4 and will feature headlining acts including Fall Out Boy, Suede, Deul Guk Hwa, Porno Graffitti, Glasvegas, Mamas Gun and more. Ticket prices are 89,100 won for a one-day pass, 128,700 won for a two-day pass and 148,500 won for a full three-day pass. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit
Official poster of the 2013 Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival to be held on Aug. 2-4 at the Incheon Songdo 23 Geunrin Park. (Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival)
Official poster of the 2013 Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival to be held on Aug. 2-4 at the Incheon Songdo 23 Geunrin Park. (Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival)

“2013 Shinhwa Grand Finale: The Classic”: Korea’s longest running idol group Shinhwa will be celebrating its 15-year anniversary with a special two-day concert performance in Seoul as part of the group’s Asia tour. The six members of Shinhwa recently released their eleventh album, “The Classic,” on May 16 and the album’s lead track “This Love” landed them the Triple Crown on M! Countdown as well as eight other first place titles on various TV music programs. Shinhwa will hold their upcoming concert at the Seoul Olympic Gymnastics Stadium on Aug. 3 and 4. Tickets to the show range from 66,000 won to 143,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit

“Hyundai Card Super Concert 19 City Break”: Joining the club of summer music festivals, this year the Hyundai Card Super Concert 19 City Break two-day music fest is bringing some of the hottest bands in rock to Korea. The line-up includes Metallica, Muse, Iggy and the Stooges, Limp Bizkit and Rise Against, as well as popular local acts Jang Ki-ha and the Faces, Kwon Soon-kwan and many more. The festival takes place on Aug. 17 and 18 at the Jamsil Sports Complex. Tickets are 250,000 won for a two-day pass and 165,000 won for a one day pass. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit


“Avenue Q”: American adult puppet musical “Avenue Q” has its Seoul premiere this summer. The show is a coming-of-age tale featuring the anxieties and struggles associated with entering adulthood. The show, which also features “Sesame Street”-inspired puppets along with the actors and actresses, is famous for its adult-themed subject matter, such as pornography, racism and homosexuality. “Avenue Q” runs from Aug. 23 to Oct. 16 at Charlotte Theater in Seoul. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information, call 1577-3363.
A promotional image of “Avenue Q” (Seol & Company)
A promotional image of “Avenue Q” (Seol & Company)

“A Tale of Two Cities”: “A Tale of Two Cities,” a musical based on the novel of the same title by Charles Dickens, is being restaged in Seoul after its first run in the city last year. The piece is set against the conflicts between the rebels and aristocracy during the French revolution and its parallel world in 18th-century London. It tells the story of Sydney Carton, a shrewd young English lawyer who develops a strong, unrequited love for Lucie Manette, a young, loving French woman who grew up in England. The show runs from June 18 to Aug. 11 at Charlotte Theater in Seoul. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information, call 1544-1555.

“American Idiot”: Broadway musical “American Idiot,” an adaptation of punk rock band Green Day’s seventh studio album of the same title, will be staged for the first time in Korea. Green Day’s 2004 studio album enjoyed enormous popularity worldwide, selling over 15 million copies with more than 6 million sold in the U.S. alone. The rock musical album tells the story of three young men and their struggles to make sense of the world and find meaning in their lives post-9/11. The musical follows the album’s plot; its script was co-written by Billie Joe Armstrong and director Michael Mayer. “American Idiot” will be performed from Sept. 5 to 22 at Blue Square’s Samsung Electronics Hall in Hannam-dong, Seoul. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 150,000 won. For more information, call 1588-5212.

“Les Miserables”: The all-Korean production of Cameron Mackintosh’s legendary musical “Les Miserables” is being performed in Seoul. Based on 19th-century French writer Victor Hugo’s novel of the same title, the musical tells the story of Jean Valjean ― a hapless French peasant who serves 19 years in prison for stealing a piece of bread for his starving family in turbulent 19th-century France. After being released, he manages to assume a new identity and becomes mayor of a town. While trying to avoid being recaptured by Javert, a police inspector, he agrees to take care of Cosette, the illegitimate daughter of Fantine ― a sick, abused prostitute who had to sell her hair and teeth to make a living. “Les Miserables” is currently on an open run at Blue Square’s Samsung Electronics Hall in Hannam-dong, Seoul. Tickets range from 90,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information, call 1544-1555 or visit

Classical music

“Opera Gala Concert”: The Prime Philharmonic Orchestra is inviting Korean opera singers actively working overseas to present essential arias of Verdi at Seoul Arts Center on July 14 at 8 p.m. Soprano Lee Myung-ju at Austria’s Landestheater Linz; soprano Seo Sung-young of Theater Basel in Switzerland; mezzo soprano Yang Song-mi of Wien Staatsoper in Austria; tenor Chung Eui-keun of Luzerner Theater in Switzerland; tenor Chung Ho-youn of Wien Staatsoper; and baritone Kim Dong-sub of Tiroler Landestheater und Symphonieorchester Innsbruck in Austria will feature arias from “La Traviata,” “Aida,” “Un Ballo in Maschera” and “Rigoletto.” Tickets are priced between 30,000 won and 100,000 won. Reservation is available at or For more information, call (031) 392-6422. 
Poster for “Opera Gala Concert” (Seoul Arts Center)
Poster for “Opera Gala Concert” (Seoul Arts Center)

“Asian Orchestra Festival in Andong”: Musicians from 12 countries will form an orchestra and perform at the second Asian Orchestra Festival from July 26-28 in the historical city of Andong, North Gyeongsang Province. A total of 200 people from Korea, Japan, China, Iraq, India, Taiwan, Mongolia and others will join the amateur orchestra led by Kang Suk-hee and Cheong Chi-yong, and feature Franz von Suppe’s Overture “Light Cavaly”; Beethoven’s Triple Concerto for Piano, Violin and Cello; Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”; and Kang Joon-il’s Concerto for Samulnori & Orchestra “Madang.” For more information about the event, visit

“Un Ballo in Maschera”: Cinema chain Megabox is screening Verdi’s opera “Un Ballo in Maschera” from June 29 and “La Traviatta” from July 6 at its COEX, Central and Mokdong branches in Seoul and at the KINTEX and Baekseok branches in Gyeonggi Province. They are part of “The Met: Live in HD 2012-13” series, which selects some of the best operas staged at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. “Un Ballo in Maschera” features conductor Fabio Luisi, singers Sondra Radvanovsky, Kathleen Kim, Stephanie Blythe, Marcelo Alvarez and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. “La Traviata” was conducted by Julian Kovatchev and the grand set was designed by Argentine director Hugo de Ana. Tickets are priced at 30,000 won and reservations can be made at

“Great Mountains Music Festival and School 2013”: The Great Mountains Music Festival and School 2013 will introduce works of Nordic composers and musicians as well as commissioned works for the festival and operatic highlights from July 14-Aug. 6 in Pyeongchang, Cheolwon, Wonju and other parts of Gangwon Province under the theme “Northern Lights.” Noted musicians from around the world including pianists Paik Hae-sun, Robert McDonald and Kevin Kenner; violinists Chung Kyung-wha, Kim Nam-yun, Koichiro Harada, Christel Lee and Clara-Jumi Kang; cellists Chung Myung-wha, David Geringas, Gary Hoffman and Jian Wang; violists Roberto Diaz and Hun-Wei Huang; bassist Michinori Bunya; as well as ensembles such as Fantasia Quintet; Novus String Quartet and St. Michel Strings will perform at the remote mountainside resort. They will play pieces by Grieg, Britten, Mozart, Schumann, Paganini, Dvorak, Verdi, Beethoven, Shostakovich and Faure as well as relatively unfamiliar northern European composers including Einojuhani Rautavaara and Dag Wiren. Ticket reservation is open at For more information, visit


“Once Upon a Time in Ballet”: Korea’s Wise Ballet Theater is presenting its original repertoire “Once Upon a Time in Ballet,” which combines ballet with tap dance and B-boying. The ballet is loosely based on Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” but closes with a happy ending. It tells the story of two young lovers whose love for dance and each other ultimately reconciles their feuding families. It also features soundtracks of famous films, including “Kill Bill,” “Love Affair,” “The Godfather” and “West Side Story.” The show runs from July 6 to 7 at Guro Arts Valley in Seoul. Tickets range from 20,000 won to 30,000 won. For more information, call (02) 322-9690.
A scene from “Onegin” (UBC)
A scene from “Onegin” (UBC)

“Onegin”: Korea’s Universal Ballet Company is presenting John Cranko’s three-act ballet using Tchaikovsky’s music in an arrangement by Kurt-Heins Stolze. It is based on Alexander Pushkin’s 19th-century novel “Eugune Onegin,” which features the tragic love story of a young, but selfish and arrogant man. Two American Ballet Theater dancers ― Korean-born Seo Hee and Roberto Bolle ― have been invited to perform the leads. “Onegin” runs from July 6 to 13 at Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater. Tickets range from 10,000 won to 100,000 won. For more information, visit or call (02) 540-1300.


“Takashi in Superflat Wonderland”: PLATEAU, Samsung Museum of Art presents a solo exhibition of pop artist Takashi Murakami from July 4 to Dec. 8. As the first retrospective of Takashi Murakami held in Korea, this exhibition allows one to experience and examine the artist’s oeuvre by featuring a broad panorama of his creative endeavors including his anime-inspired figures, paintings that reflect his theory of “Superflat,” which explains combination of elements of Japanese traditional painting, manga culture, fine arts and commercialism.
“DOB in Pure White Robe (Pink and Blue),” 2013 by Takashi Murakami/KaiKai KiKi Co., LTD. (Galerie Perrotin/Plateau)
“DOB in Pure White Robe (Pink and Blue),” 2013 by Takashi Murakami/KaiKai KiKi Co., LTD. (Galerie Perrotin/Plateau)

“Happiness”: Gana Art Gallery presents old Korean color paintings overlooked during the Confucian Joseon period that valued the ink-and-wash approach. Paintings on exhibit include an 18th-century leopard-skin-patterned painting, a painting depicting Taoist hermits as well as paintings of peonies, pine trees, peaches and elixir plants that represent wealth and longevity. The gallery is showing Korean color paintings in two parts: The first part is open until July 14 and the second part runs from July 18 to Aug. 20. For more information, call (02) 720-1020.

“Gauguin and After: Voyage into the Myth”: Masterpieces of the French post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin are on exhibition in Seoul. The exhibition, which runs from Friday to Sept. 29 at the Seoul Museum of Art, is the first-ever comprehensive survey of Gauguin’s artistic career presented to a Korean audience. It showcases about 60 artworks on loan from 30 major museums around the world, created during the two major periods of the artist ― Brittany, France (1873-1891) and Polynesia (1893-1903) ― that include well-known masterpieces “Vision of the Sermon,” “The Yellow Christ,” “Where Do We Come From, What Are We, Where Are We Going,” and some sculptures and paper works. Admission is 13,000 won for adults; 10,000 won for teenagers and 8,000 won for children. The exhibition is closed on Mondays. For more information, call 1588-2618.

“Muneyoshi Yanagi’s Collection”: A collection of Korean folk crafts put together by late Japanese collector Muneyoshi Yanagi (1889-1961) is on exhibit in Seoul, shedding light on how Korean aesthetics were viewed in imperial Japan. The exhibition, currently held at Deoksugung Palace Museum of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, showcases 139 works and documents collected by Yanagi, who was one of the first in his country to accept Western influence on art and literature during the early 1900s, and who is also known for his affinity for Korean ceramics. The artifacts are on loan from the Japan Folk Crafts Museum in Tokyo. The exhibition continues through July 21. For more information, call (02) 2188-6114.

“Made in Changsin-dong”: The Seoul Museum of History will highlight life in Changsin-dong, a garment manufacturing district in Seoul since the late 1970s. Leftover pieces of fabric are assembled to create a map of Changsin-dong while discarded sewing machine tables are transformed to create a chair and a table. Photographs by Hong Sun-tae, who followed the lives in the shacks in the neighborhood with his camera, will be exhibited along with photo albums belonging to the area residents. Visitors will also be able to look at today’s Changsin-dong using Daum’s Road View service. The exhibition is open through July 21. Admission is free of charge and the museum is open Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, call (02) 724-0145.

“The Guardians of Buddhism”: The National Museum of Korea is exhibiting paintings and other artifacts highlighting the sacred figures of Buddhism who are ranked lower than Buddha or Bodhisattva but are equally important. The show comprises six sections, each section focusing on a different guardian with different blessings and meanings. The exhibition is held through Sept. 8 at Buddhist Arts Hall from Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, call (02) 2077-9000.


“Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival”: The 2013 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan 2013) will enchant film maniacs with science fiction, thriller, fantasy, mystery and horror movies from around the world. About 229 films from 44 countries will be screened from July 18-28 at the festival in Bucheon, just west of Seoul, well-known in South Korea as a center for the film and animation industries.

For more information, call (032) 327-6313 or visit 
Poster for the 2013 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival
Poster for the 2013 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival

“Daegu Chicken and Beer Festival”: Korea’s favorite snack ― chicken and beer ― will be officially celebrated at a festival dedicated to the snack combination in Daegu from July 18-21. The Daegu Chicken and Beer Festival, held at Daegu Duryu Stadium, will start with free fried chicken, organized by eight sponsors including Kyochon Chicken. The festival will also feature a comedy performance by comedian Jeon Yoo-seong on the “souls of dead chickens,” followed by other dance and music concerts throughout the festival. For more information, (available only in Korean).

“2013 Chuncheon Makguksu and Dakgalbi Festival”: A festival based around two famous local dishes ― makguksu, a Korean buckwheat noodle dish served in a chilled broth and dakgalbi, stir-fried marinated chicken ― will be held in front of Chuncheon Station in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, from June 29 to July 7. The festival holds a makguksu eating contest, a cooking class, and folk craft art making sessions during the festival. It also offers free makguksu and dakgalbi to more than 100 visitors between 3 p.m.-4 p.m. during the festival period. For more information, visit (available only in Korean).

“2013 Boryeong Mud Festival”: The annual mud festival in Boryeong, South Chungcheong Province, will be held from July 19 to 28 at Daecheon Beach. In its 16th year, the mud festival has become one of the few internationally known festivals, attracting over 2 million visitors. With mud from the Boryeong mud flats, visitors can experience the well-known health effects of mud on skin and play in the mud with friends and other participants. The festival will offer a variety of fun events featuring mudslides, mud fights, a mud tub, mud fountain and colored mud zone. For more information, visit