The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra will offer a total of 27 various programs comprising five chamber music and 22 orchestral programs this year, the first season for newly appointed music director Osmo Vänskä. With the half of the 22 orchestral programs played over two days, the orchestra will give 33 concerts in total. The orchestral concerts will be held at the Seoul Arts Center and Lotte Concert Hall while the chamber programs will be played at Sejong Chamber Hall.
Vänskä will conduct six programs, which include Symphony No. 2 by Mahler on February 14 and 15, “Concerto for Orchestra” by Lutosławski on May 21 and 22, “Enigma Variations” by Elgar on May 29, Symphony No. 5 by Sibelius on August 20 and 21, and Symphony No. 5 by Tchaikovsky on November 1. He will also conduct Symphony No. 9 by Beethoven on December 19 and 20 to end the year. Known as one of the most well-known Finnish conductors, Vänskä is also serving a music director at the Minnesota Orchestra and Conductor Laureate of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra.
To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra will present seven concerts. Principal guest conductor Markus Stenz, who received wide acclaim for his interpretation of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 last month, will conduct famous symphonies by the composer. Symphony No. 5 will be played on July 3 and 4 and Symphony No. 6 on July 9 and 10.
The season opening concert will be held on Saturday at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts. Chung Myung-whun, who was the art director of the orchestra from 2006 to 2015, will be on stage for Symphony No. 1 by Brahms and Violin Concerto No. 1 by Max Bruch with Clara-Jumi Kang celebrating the 100th anniversary of his death. This is the first time in three years and four months since Chung’s last performance with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. The first regular concert will be on next Saturday at Lotte Concert Hall where it will play Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with Leonidas Kavakos and principal guest conductor Thierry Fischer will conduct Symphony No. 8 by Haydn and “Slavonic Dances” by Dvorak.