The Korea Herald


11 maestros to fill Seoul Philharmonic's 2023 season before new artistic director joins in 2024

By Park Ga-young

Published : Nov. 11, 2022 - 15:54

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Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO)

In 2023, a year without an artistic director, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra will offer a season with a series of programs with 11 guest conductors including outgoing and incoming artistic directors.

Osmo Vanska, whose term is ending this year, will continue the ‘Sibelius Cycle,’ a project to perform all of the Finish composer’s symphonies,’ until March next year, as a guest conductor. He began the project in April this year and will open SPO's next season with Sibelius' Symphony No. 7 on Jan. 12 and 13, accompanied by Finnish soprano Helena Juntunen.

SPO's next artistic director, Dutch conductor Jaap Van Zweden, will take the stage with the SPO eight times in July, November and December before he officially begins his term in 2024. Zweden, who is currently leading the New York Philharmonic as the music director, will meet the Korean audience with popular symphony repertories including Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and No. 9 Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 4 and No. 5 and Shostakovich Symphony No.5.

In addition to Vanska and Zweden, nine guest conductors will be on the podium with the Seoul-based orchestra.

German conductor Anja Bihlmaier will make her South Korean debut in a concert with SPO and Swedish violinist Daniel Lozakovich on June 9.

Markus Stenz, who served SPO’s Principal Guest Conductor from 2017 to 2020, will collaborate with Korean pianist Park Jae-hong on May 11 and 12 and American violinist Joshua Bell on May 18 and 19.

Pianist and composer Mikhail Pletnev will appear on the stage with the orchestra and Korean pianist Sunwoo Ye-kwon this time as a conductor in June.

On Feb. 16 and 17, American conductor Hugh Wolff and Chinese cellist Jian Wang will perform Elgar’s Cello Concerto and more.

Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck will join forces with Korean soprano Im Sun-hae for a concert on Sept. 14 and 15.

On Oct. 20, Fabien Gabel will return for the first time since his collaboration with the SPO in 2019, and will lead the orchestra and cellist Choi Ha-young, the winner of this year’s Queen Elisabeth Competition.

Korean pianist Kim Sun-wook will perform both as a pianist and a conductor in October.

Making a debut in South Korea next year through the SPO are Moldovan-Austrian Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili.

For French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard who will perform Ligeti's 'Piano Concerto' and Ravel's 'Spanish Rhapsody' under the baton of David Robertson in April, the concerts will be his debut with the SPO.

For more information, visit the official website of the SPO.