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Classical Music

“Countertenor Andreas Scholl Recital”: Prominent German countertenor Andreas Scholl will have a recital on Sept. 23 at Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall. A specialist in Baroque music, world-renowned countertenor Scholl is known for having a singing voice equivalent to that of a female contralto or mezzo-soprano. The program for the recital will include notable German lieder such as Haydn’s “Despair,” Schubert’s “Du bist die Ruh D. 776,” Brahm’s “Intermezzo Op. 118 No. 2” and Mozart’s “Das Veilchen.” The countertenor will be accompanied by pianist Tamar Halperin. Ticket prices range from 50,000 won to 90,000 won and can be purchased at For more information, call (02) 541-3183. 
Poster of “Countertenor Andreas Scholl Recital”
Poster of “Countertenor Andreas Scholl Recital”

“Paik Kun-woo Piano Recital”: Paris-based pianist Paik Kun-woo is performing Schubert’s Impromptu Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4; Moments musicaux Nos. 2, 4 and 6; and Klavierstucke Nos. 1, 2 and 3 on Sept. 14 at Seoul Arts Center. Making his international debut at age 10, Paik has performed with numerous internationally acclaimed orchestras such as the London Symphony, Berlin Symphony and BBC Symphony. Tickets are priced between 50,000 won and 130,000 won. For more information call (02) 599-5743.

“American Night”: The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Kwame Ryan and joined by pianist Joyce Yang, will perform in “American Night,” the fourth of five concerts in the Platinum Series that began in February 2013. The program will include Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on a Theme by Tallis,” Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini,” Bernstein’s “Candid Overture,” Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” and classic American composer Gershwin’s “An American in Paris.” The concert will take place on Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. in Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall. Ticket prices range from 10,000 won to 60,000 won.

“La Fantasia”: The Sumi Jo Park Concert “La Fantasia” will take place at the 88 Lakeside Stage in Seoul’s Olympic Park on Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. The acclaimed Korean soprano will perform along with two-time Grammy Award-nominee violist Richard Yongjae O’Neill and vocal ensemble Rottini. Conductor Ariel Kim will lead the Ditto Orchestra. The program will include a mix of classical songs, pop songs and movie soundtracks such as Ennio Morricone’s “Nella Fantasia,” Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm,” Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Waltz No. 2,” John Williams’ “Star Wars” and more. Ticket prices range from 30,000 won to 80,000 won while family seats for four cost 200,000 won. Inquiries and ticket purchases can be made at or 1577-5266.


“Anomalies”: Kukje Gallery holds a solo exhibition of Indian artist Bharti Kher, known for her multimedia works using found objects and traditional Indian motifs such as bindi, the red dot applied to Indian women’s foreheads. Kher alludes to both the cultural and conceptual possibilities of the bindi using them as an unorthodox and highly evocative medium. The exhibition showcases her well-known series of hybrid female figures that intends to reveal the instability and unease of the feminine. The exhibition continues through Oct. 5 at Kukje Gallery in Jongno, Seoul. For more information, call (02) 735-8449.
“Square a Circle 3” by Bharti Kher (Kukje Gallery)
“Square a Circle 3” by Bharti Kher (Kukje Gallery)

“The Sleep of Reason”: British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman hold their first exhibition in Seoul at SongEun Art Space in Apgujeong until Dec. 7. The artists, known for some gruesome images in their artworks, have brought major pieces for the exhibition, including 19th-century portraits of wealthy men and women retouched by the artists to make their faces look as if they are decomposing. “Unhappy Feet” features innumerable miniatures of penguins that turn into predators and kill whales, polar bears and walruses in the South Pole. The adorable penguins in the movie “Happy Feet” are transformed with bloodstains around their mouths, preparing to attack a polar bear. For more information, (02) 3448-0100.

“The 8th Cheongju International Craft Biennale”: The eighth Cheongju International Craft Biennale, the world’s biggest craft festival, will showcase modern craft trends in the country’s birthplace of metal crafts, Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, from Sept. 11 to Oct. 20. Under the theme of “Something OLD Something NEW,” the craft biennale will exhibit all genres of crafts, including metal works, ceramics, wood lacquer, textiles and glass while running academic workshops and educational programs for children. This year’s biennale focuses on the artistic aspect of craftworks as well as their practical uses and purposes, bringing together 6,000 works by 3,000 artists from 60 countries around the world. Admission is 10,000 won for adults, 4,000 won for teenagers and 3,000 won for children. Tickets can be purchased online at The exhibitions open throughout the biennale period including holidays. For more information, visit

“Robert Capa”: Rare original prints by the late Robert Capa are on exhibit in Seoul for the first time to mark the centennial of the photographer’s birth. Hailed as the world’s greatest war photographer, Capa captured moments that became iconic war images and continue to inspire many photojournalists and filmmakers like Steven Spielberg to this day. The photos on exhibit consist of war images from major battles of the early 20th century and portraits of leading cultural figures of the period such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Ernest Hemingway. The exhibition continues through Oct. 28 at Sejong Art Center. Admission is 12,000 won for adults, 8,000 won for teenagers and 7,000 won for children. For more information, visit or call (02) 3701-1216.

“Calder”: Leeum presents a retrospective of works by Alexander Calder (1898―1976), the American artist who transformed the history of art with his use of unconventional materials and his dramatic re-imagining of space. Co-organized with the Calder Foundation in New York, the exhibition at Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in Itaewon showcases over 100 works by the artist, spanning from the 1920s through the 1970s. The exhibition continues through Oct. 20. The museum is open from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is closed on Mondays. Admission is 8,000 won for adults and 5,000 won for students. English-language docent-guided tours are available on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. For more information, call (02) 2014-6901.


“11 Minutes”: The Korea National Contemporary Dance Company is staging “11 Minutes,” a modern dance based on celebrated Brazilian author Paulo Coelho’s erotic novel of the same title. The dance is the first work that the troupe is staging after the appointment of its new director, Ahn Ae-soon. The dance features five young dancers ― three male and two female ― as well as jazz music. “11 Minutes” runs from Sept. 5 to 8 at Seoul Arts Center in Seocho-dong, Seoul. Tickets range from 15,000 won to 20,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3472-1420.
The official poster for “11 Minutes” (KNCDC)
The official poster for “11 Minutes” (KNCDC)

“This is Modern”: Korea’s Universal Ballet Company is staging its contemporary dance piece “This is Modern” this October. The piece is a collection of three contemporary ballets: “Petit Mort” and “Six Dances” by Czech choreographer Jiri Kylian, and “This is Your Life” by Korean choreographer Huh Yong-soon. Compared to classical ballets, the show is said to spotlight the different dancing styles and flair of each dancer. “This is Modern” runs from Oct. 24-27 at Seoul Arts Center’s CJ Towol Theater. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 100,000 won. For more information, call (02) 580-1300.

Pop music

“One Hiphop Festival”: The One Hiphop Festival is an all-night hip-hop music extravaganza featuring some of the nation’s biggest names in hip-hop as well as several world-renowned international rap stars. This year’s hip-hop fest will feature American rappers Nelly and Tyga and local hip-hop artists Jay Park, Bae Chi Gi, Verbal Jint, Bumkey, San E, P-type, Dok2 and others. The Grammy Award-winning Southern rap icon Nelly rose to fame straight from his debut in 2000 with his first album “Country Grammar,” which went on to top the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart. The One Hiphop Festival will be held on Sept. 7 at the KINTEX 8 Hall in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province. Ticket prices range from 99,000 won to 121,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit

“The Killers”: American rock band The Killers, who brought listeners hits “Somebody Told Me” and “Mr. Brightside,” will be hitting the stage in Seoul for the band’s first concert in Korea. The upcoming concert is the 12th installment of the “Hyundai Card Culture Project” series, which in the past brought acts such as Keane, John Legend, Ke$ha, Jason Mraz and many others. The group released its first studio album “Hot Fuss,” featuring the band’s international hit singles “Mr. Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me.” “Mr. Brightside” became the band’s first Top 10 hit in the U.K. and U.S. Billboard music charts. Since then The Killers have released three other studio albums ― “Sam’s Town,” “Day & Age” and “Battle Born” ― and have produced a number of hit singles such as “Human,” “When You Were Young” and “Runaways.” The Killers will perform on Oct. 5 in the Olympic Hall at Seoul Olympic Park. Ticket prices are between 77,000 won and 121,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit 
The Killers will perform on Oct. 5 in Olympic Hall at Seoul Olympic Park. (The Killers)
The Killers will perform on Oct. 5 in Olympic Hall at Seoul Olympic Park. (The Killers)

“Justin Bieber”: Canadian teenage pop star Justin Bieber will be making his way to Korea for his first concert here on Oct. 10 at Seoul Olympic Park’s Gymnastics Stadium. A year after being discovered on YouTube, Bieber went on to release his debut seven-track EP “My World,” which went platinum in the United States. Bieber has released three full studio albums, including his most recent “Believe” which debuted at the No. 1 spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 music chart and recorded record sales of around 374,000 copies in its first week, giving the artist yet another certified platinum album. Ticket prices for the upcoming concert range from 99,000 won to 132,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit

“Global Gathering Korea 2013”: The annual Global Gathering dance music festival is one of the most highly anticipated global music events. This year’s Korea lineup, themed “Dance, Right Now,” will feature rave music superstar Fatboy Slim and American DJ-producer Porter Robinson. After first establishing itself in the U.K. in 2001, Global Gathering has now spread across the world to locations including Russia, Australia, Poland, Ukraine, Turkey and Belarus and is internationally recognized as one of the world’s best dance music festivals. This year’s Global Gathering Korea will be held on Oct. 12 at Everland’s Caribbean Bay in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province. Ticket prices range from 77,000 won to 2 million won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit


“Wicked”: After playing an unhappy Austrian empress (Elisabeth) and a mysterious, obsessive housekeeper (Rebecca), musical actress Oak Ju-hyun has now been cast to play the famous green-skinned witch in Broadway musical “Wicked.” The upcoming run is the first Korean-language edition of the musical, also featuring an all-Korean cast. The musical tells the story of two very different witches in the Land of Oz ― green-skinned, struggling and often-alienated Elphaba and beautiful and popular blonde Glinda. The show is a ravishing spectacle and fantasy, mixed with a touching account of one’s experience of a difficult youth, life-changing friendship and growing up. “Wicked” will open on Nov. 22 at Charlotte Theater in Jamsil, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 140,000 won. For more information, call 1577-3363.
A promotional image for “Wicked” (Seol & Company)
A promotional image for “Wicked” (Seol & Company)

“Bonnie & Clyde”: Broadway musical “Bonnie & Clyde” is being staged in Seoul for the first time. The musical features the infamous love story of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, the well-known American robbers who traveled the central United States during the Great Depression. The show had its Broadway premiere in 2011 and won two Tony Award nominations in 2012. “Bonnie & Clyde” runs from Sept. 4 to Oct. 27 at Chungmu Art Hall in Seoul. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 120,000 won. For more information, call 1588-0688.

“Elisabeth”: Korea’s EMK Musical Company is once again staging “Elisabeth,” a German musical about the real-life 19th-century legendary Austrian Empress Elisabeth (1837-1898). Starring former girl group FIN.K.L. member-turned-musical actress Ok Ju-hyun, singer and actor Lee Ji-hun, singer Park Hyo-shin, and JYJ member and musical star Kim Jun-su, the musical portrays the life and death of the beautiful yet unhappy empress seduced by the spirit of death. Its first Seoul run, which took place last year, was enormously successful, winning many awards including Best Musical at the Musical Awards. “Elisabeth” runs at Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater in Seoul from July 26 to Sept. 7. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 140,000 won. For more information, call (02) 6391-6333.

“The Scarlet Pimpernel”: Broadway musical “The Scarlet Pimpernel” is being staged in Seoul featuring local musical stars including Han Ji-sang and Park Gun-hyung. Set in England and France during the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution, the musical is based on the adventure novel of the same title by Hungarian-born British novelist Emma Orczy (1865-1947), and tells the story of Sir Percy Blakeney, a wealthy and often silly man in London who in fact is the elusive Scarlet Pimpernel, a hero who rescues French aristocrats from death in Revolutionary France. Musical actress Kim Sun-young and former girl group S.E.S member Bada share the role of Percy’s love interest. The musical runs from July 2 to Sept. 8 at LG Arts Center in Seoul. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information, call 1577-3363.

“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.

“Avenue Q”: The American adult puppet musical 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. 6 at the Charlotte Theater in Seoul. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information, call 1577-3363.


“Baekje Cultural Festival”: One of the oldest cultural festivals in the country, the festival highlights the golden days of the Baekje Kingdom (18 B.C. to 660 A.D.), an ancient Korean kingdom in the southwestern part of the Korean Peninsula. Baekje was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Goguryeo and Silla. This year’s festival, which runs from Sept. 28 to Oct. 6, will present nearly 100 events, including parades, a memorial ceremony for the four great kings of Baekje, folk games, exhibitions, and traditional Korean music and mask dance performances. For more information, visit the festival’s website at or call (041) 830-2921~8. 
Poster for the 2013 Baekje Cultural Festival (Baekjae Cultural Festival)
Poster for the 2013 Baekje Cultural Festival (Baekjae Cultural Festival)

“The World Traditional Medicine Fair and Festival”: The world’s first fair dedicated to Oriental medicine will take place in Sancheong, a village on Jirisan Mountain, from Sept. 6 to Oct. 20. The festival, which celebrates the 400th anniversary of the publication of Donguibogam, the ancient Korean medical book, showcases the latest Oriental medicine trends, treatments and health information. Visitors will also get the chance to receive free consultation and treatment at the festival. The venues are Donguibogam village and a Korean traditional medicine town in Sancheong district, South Gyeongsang Province. For more information, visit (English available), or call (055) 970-8600.

“Hyoseok Cultural Festival”: The annual literature festival will commemorate the modern Korean writer Lee Hyo-seok and his popular novel “When Buckwheat Flowers Bloom.” The festival will take place in the main setting of his novel, a small village in Bongpyeong, Gangwon Province. The festival will offer various literary programs including an exhibition of poems, a literary night, a Hyo-seok essay contest as well as many hands-on experiences including cooking with buckwheat. Visitors will also have a chance to visit the author’s birthplace and memorial hall. The festival runs from Sept. 6 to Sept. 22 at the Lee Hyo-seok cultural village. For more information, call (033) 335-2323 or visit