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Symphony Music

The Korea Philharmonic Orchestra Society, Korea's first national orchestra, was established in 1945. The Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) Symphony Orchestra was established in 1956 and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra followed in 1957. 

Since then, the number of orchestras has rapidly increased, resulting in a total of 31 orchestras established across the country, in cities such as Pusan, Taegu, Inch'hon, Kwangju, as well as other locations in the provinces. These orchestras have produced many conductors of distinguished talent such as Chung Myung-whun, Chong Ch'i-yong and Yim Hon-jong.

Hwang Byungki

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hwang Byungki
Hangul 황병기
Hanja 黃秉冀
Revised Romanization Hwang Byeonggi
McCune–Reischauer Hwang Pyŏngki
This is a Korean name; the family name is Hwang.

Hwang Byungki (b. Seoul, 1936) is the foremost South Korean player of the gayageum, a 12-string zither with silk strings. Hwang is also a composer and an authority on Korean sanjo, a form of traditional Korean instrumental music.

In 1951 he began playing gayageum at The National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts in Seoul, where he studied under the famous gayageum masters Kim Yeong-yun (김영윤), Kim Yun-deok (김윤덕), and Shim Sang-geon (심상건). In 1959 he graduated from Seoul National University School of Law.

In 1962 he began composing concert and film music using traditional Korean instruments. He presented the premiere performance of Alan Hovhaness's Symphony no. 16 in South Korea in 1963. In 1964 he traveled around the world to Europe, the United States, Japan, and Southeast Asian countries, giving gayageum performances in each place.

In 1985 he served as visiting professor of Korean Music at Harvard University.

Since producing his fifth gayageum album in 2007, Hwang continues to compose innovative Korean music. Ranging in style from the evocation of traditional genres to avant-garde experimentation, a selection of these pieces is available on a series of five albums. He is an emeritus professor of Korean music at Ewha Womans University. Hwang also teaches a course entitled "The Introduction to Korean Traditional Music" at Yonsei University in Seoul.

Hwang serves on the government's Cultural Properties Preservation Committee, and in 2000 was appointed to the National Academy of Arts.

Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
Hangul 서울시립교향악단
Hanja 서울市立交響樂團
Revised Romanization Seoul Sirip Gyohyang Akdan
McCune–Reischauer Sŏul Sirip Kyohyang Akdan

The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, founded in 1945, is one of the oldest and most famous orchestras in South Korea. Its first foreign tour came on a 1965 trip to Japan, followed by performances in Southeast Asia in 1977, the United States in 1982, 1986 and 1996, a 1988 tour of Europe before the Seoul Olympics that year, and a 1997 performance in Beijing. The Philharmonic is an incorporated foundation since 2005. Its current music director is Myung-Whun Chung.

The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO), which was founded in January 1948, has a longer history than any other Korean orchestra. In February 1948, the orchestra held its opening concert, conducted by Maestro Seong-Tae Kim. In October of the same year, the Seoul Philharmonic Society was formed to provide support for the orchestra. The society published the music monthly Philharmony in the following year. After a subscription concert in the Seoul Civic Hall on June 25, 1950, the orchestra had to suspend its activities due to the outbreak of the Korean War, but resumed performance with the name of the Naval Symphony Orchestra, just five months later, to soothe the broken hearts of Koreans during the war.

In August 1957, the Seoul Metropolitan Council passed "The Seoul Metropolitan Ordinances to Install a City-Run Orchestra", the Naval Symphony Orchestra became the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the first Korean orchestra funded by a government. The launching ceremony for the orchestra with triple winds took place in the city council’s chamber. Saeng-Ryo Kim was appointed its first Chief Conductor. Since then, the SPO has helped the symphonies of Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky take root as basic repertoire in the Korean music community.

It was through these concerts that such names as Kyung-Sook Lee, Kun-Woo Paik, Kyung-Wha Chung, Dong-Suk Kang and Myung-Whun Chung, who have finally become maestros to represent the Korean music community, were able to blossom.

With the aim of growing to a major orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra was re-launched as an incorporated foundation on June 1, 2005 and appointed Myung-Whun Chung as its Music Director (he had been Artistic Advisor in 2005).

The orchestra under Chung performed the nine symphonies of Beethoven in 2006 and all of the symphonies and concertos of Brahms in 2007.

Since the re-launch as an incorporated foundation, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra has been performing with such world-class conductors as Charles Dutoit, Alexander Frey, Pinchas Zukerman, James Judd, Pascal Rophe, Xian Zhang, Mikko Franck, Andrey Boreyko, and Francois-Xavier Roth, as well as such distinguished musicians as Viviane Hagner (Vn), Alexander Melnikov (Pf), Ilya Gringolts (Vn), Julian Lloyd Webber, (Vc) Li Wei (Vc) Nicholas Angelich (Pf), Hakan Hardenberger (Tp) Hae-Sun Kang (Vn), Xuefei Yang (Gt), Gary Graffman (Pf), Colin Currie (Per.), Alexei Lubimov (Pf), Martin Frost (Cl), and Richard Yongjae O'Neil (Va).

Focus is also placed on interaction with modern music: the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra adopted the composer-in-residence system for the first time in Korea when it was re-launched as an incorporated foundation, and welcomed Unsuk Chin as its first Composer-in-Residence. Chin, honored by the Grawemeyer Award in 2004, and awarded the Arnold Schoenberg Prize in 2005, is a Korean composer, following Eak-Tai Ahn and Isang Yun. Ms Chin has directed a series of modern music titled Ars Nova since 2006 to introduce Korean music lovers to masterpieces of modern music. Most concerts are of thematic nature. Featured in Fall 2006 was an orchestral concert titled Early & New. In alignment with the Beethoven Symphony Cycle, which was at the heart of the orchestra’s performances in 2006, a program called 'Different Beethoven' was presented. In Spring 2007, two 'Ligeti Memorial Concerts' were held; an analogue concept was presented in Fall 2008 with the 'Messiaen Centenary Concerts'. The concerts in Fall 2007 titled 'ViolaViola' displayed different contemporary approaches to strings in general and to the viola in particular. In Spring 2008, 'Couleurs exotiques' demonstrated how profoundly modern classical music has been influenced by non-European musical cultures; in the same season 'America' showcased the epochal innovations of American maverick composers. Until now, this series has featured 60 Korean premieres - more than thirty of them Asian first performances - of major works by composers such as Webern, Messiaen, Cage, Scelsi, Xenakis, Boulez, Stockhausen, Ligeti and George Benjamin. In several concerts commissions by major Korean composers have been premiered.

In close accordance with the concert programmes, workshops, lectures and additional spectacles have been held, among them a presentation of Hugo Verlinde's digital art, and a performance of the ensemble 'Stringraphy'.


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