The Korea Herald


Jongmyo Jeryeak to be performed in Germany

By Kim Hae-yeon

Published : Sept. 7, 2022 - 14:09

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Jongmyo Jeryeak is performed at the National Gugak Center (NGC) Jongmyo Jeryeak is performed at the National Gugak Center (NGC)
The National Gugak Center is scheduled to tour four German cities with Jongmyo Jeryeak -- royal ceremonial music with singing and choreography, performed for ancestors of Joseon kings enshrined at the Jongmyo Shrine.

The tour will start Monday and run through Sept. 26.

As a joint initiative taken by the Korean Embassy in Germany and the Korean Cultural Center Germany along with the NGC, the fall music tour celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Korean-German Cultural Agreement.

The four stops in the tour are Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Munich where the team will perform at theaters Berliner Philharmonie, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Cologne Philharmony and Prinzregenten Theater, respectively, according to the NGC.

Registered as the nation's first Intangible Cultural Heritage in 1964, and inscribed on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list in 2001, Jongmyo Jeryeak exemplifies the traditional music and culture at Joseon royal courts.

Jongmyo Jeryeak made its first run outside the country in Tokyo in 2000. In 2007, the performance toured Italy and Germany.

In 2015, Jongmyo Jeryeak opened the stage a number of special event marking the 130th anniversary of Korea-France diplomatic relations, at the Theatre National de Chaillot in Paris.

A total of 83 artists and staff are taking part in the performances in Germany, with 48 musicians and 17 dancers set to perform on stage.

To help audiences better understand Jongmyo Jeryeak and its artistry, a lecture will precede each performance. Frank Boehm, a music professor at University of Hamburg, an expert in the field of Korean culture in Germany, will give the lectures.

"Traditional Korean music that destroys chord harmonies gives a very mysterious and modern aesthetic experience," an NGC official said, adding hopes for Korea's traditional music to be appreciated at a global level.

Tickets range in price from 15 euros to 59 euros. Reservations can be made through the Musikfest Berlin website.

By Kim Hae-yeon (