The Korea Herald


Old but fresh

Baroque music feature of spring concert schedules

By Korea Herald

Published : Feb. 3, 2014 - 19:31

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Berliner Barock Solisten. (Seoul Arts Center) Berliner Barock Solisten. (Seoul Arts Center)
A handful of early music specialists are coming here this spring, offering the Korean audience chances to explore the world of 17th- and 18th-century music.

Setting the tone in this Baroque-music concert lineup is flutist Emmanuel Pahud and Berliner Barock Solisten, who will perform the works of Bach and Telemann, two of the most appreciated composers of the era, at Seoul Arts Center on Feb. 22.

Pahud, who was named principal flutist of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 22 some 20 years ago, is one of the top flute players in the world. Some music critics even call him the best flutist alive.

The Berliner Barock Solisten, or Berlin Baroque Soloists, is an ensemble dedicated to Baroque-era music. Founded by prominent members of the world-renowned Berlin Philharmonic in 1995, the group plays old-but-modernized instruments, using bows from different periods, depending on what they play.

The program for their Seoul concert features the Symphony for Strings, “Brandenburg” Concertos and “Musikalisches Opfer” (Musical Offering) by Johann Sebastian Bach, and two concertos ― one for viola and the other for flute ― by Georg Philipp Telemann.

The concert starts at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from 30,000 won to 120,000 won. For information, call (02) 580-1300. 

Il Giardino Armonico. (Seongnam Cutural Foundation) Il Giardino Armonico. (Seongnam Cutural Foundation)
On March 12, Italian ensemble Il Giardino Armonico will present their interpretations of Baroque-period music, including the works of compatriot composer Antonio Vivaldi. Recorder soloist-and-conductor Giovanni Antonini will lead the group, well known for its authentic interpretation of the Baroque repertoire, using period instruments.

The program includes Vivaldi’s “La Follia” sonata for two violins and basso continuo in D minor, and concertos by George Frideric Handel and Telemann.

The concert will be held at Seongnam Arts Center, located near Exit 1 of Imae Station on the Bundang line of the Seoul subway. Tickets range from 40,000 won to 100,000 won. Call (031) 783-8000 or visit

In April, early-music heavyweight Jordi Savall will bring his Hesperion XXI ensemble to Korea for a concert titled “Orient & Occident.” The Spanish master last performed here in 2005, offering Korean audiences a rare chance to discover the musical riches from earlier centuries through his idiosyncratic interpretations.

In the upcoming concert, the conductor-cum-viol player-cum-composer will present music from the Mediterranean area from the 13th to 18th centuries as part of his efforts to bridge the yawning gulf between the Islamic Arab region and Christian Europe through music.

The Hesperion XXI, an ensemble Savall put together, will feature three players of traditional Arab instruments. Savall himself will play the rebab, a traditional string instrument in Arab countries.

The concert will be held at LG Arts Center in southern Seoul. Ticket starts from 30,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2005-0114.

By Lee Sun-young (