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Korea-France friendship concert celebrates 10th anniversary

Korea-France friendship concert celebrates 10th anniversary

Posted October. 16, 2017 07:48,   

Updated October. 16, 2017 08:30

At 7:30 p.m. on Friday, a long line was formed in front of Madeleine Church in Paris, France. There was more than thirty minutes before the concert started, but the church was crowded with Koreans and French to watch the “Korea-France Friendship Concert,” which marks the 10th anniversary.

The person behind this event, which became an official event for the two countries with the support of the French Ministry of the Interior, was Lee Mia (age 49), president of Echos de la Corée (the Echo of Korea). In 2013, her work was recognized and received the “Cheval‎ier,” which is a medal for culture and art.

Lee Mia, once a professor of Korean Studies at the University of Evry, started introducing Universal Ballet of Korea and the Chunhyang-jeon opera from 2001. In 2004, she established a public relations company and became the “Preacher of Korea.” When asked about the reason why she quit her stable job as a professor, she said, “It was pitiful that the number of people I could introduce Korea was limited to only 50 students.”

Lee Mia held a Korea-France concert at Madeleine Church every year since 2008. For the first four years, famous Korean singers including popera singers Lim Hyung-joo and Jung Se-hun as well as vocalist Choi Seung-won were invited and introduced at the concert. Then, from the fifth year, she invited French orchestras for a more genuine exchange of culture between Korea and France. Starting from inviting the Orchestra of the Republican Guard, which is in charge of presidential events, Lee Mia continued to invite orchestra of the French government, including orchestra of Foreign Legion and French Police Orchestra.

“There is no one as symbolic as war veterans of the Korean War when talking about peace,” said Lee Mia. “While living amidst the fear of terrorism, I will challenge myself again by sending a message of peace with musicians of UNESCO member states from next year.”

Jung-Min Dong ditto@donga.com