The Korea Herald


After multiple cancellations, SPO’s artist-in-focus to perform for the first time since 2019

By Park Ga-young

Published : March 16, 2022 - 09:04

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Augustin Hadelich, an Italian-German-American violinist (SPO) Augustin Hadelich, an Italian-German-American violinist (SPO)

Augustin Hadelich, an Italian-German-American violinist and Seoul Philharmonic’s Artist-In-Focus, will take the stage later this month for the first time without any cancellations as a visiting artist since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Five concerts featuring the 37-year-old violinist will take place as planned starting from March 31, an official at SPO confirmed on Monday.

During his visit to Korea as SPO’s Artist-In-Focus, he will play a wide-ranging repertoire, including Sibelius, Brahms, Morzart and Tchaikovsky.

Hadelich is one of the artists designated as an Artist-In-Focus in 2022, along with German trumpet player Hakan Hardenberger, whose live concerts were cancelled for two years in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hardenberger was originally named an artist-in-focus in 2020, but his activity as artist-in-focus was practically barred due to the pandemic, and his designation was cancelled.

Earlier this month, four concerts featuring Hardenberger were either altered significantly or canceled last minute as the musician opted out of entering the country due to COVID-19 quarantine rules.

Hardenberger was originally scheduled to appear in four concerts. Two were to be performances in collaboration with conductor Tung Chieh Chuang and two performances dedicated to him earlier this month.

The artist had decided not to come to Korea due to the stricter quarantine rules that were in place amid a surge in the highly transmissible omicron variant.

Activities of last year’s Artist-In-Focus Martin Grubinger, an Austrian drummer and multi-percussionist, were also scrapped.

SPO’s Artist-In-Focus program was launched in 2018 to invite world class musicains.

“We feel really sorry for the cancellations. We tried to make it until the very last minute but to no avail,” an official at SPO told The Korea Herald about the canceled Artist-In-Focus concerts of the previous years.

The SPO has been led by Finnish conductor Osmo Vanska since 2020.