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Maestro Chung Myung-whun leads a new joint youth orchestra

Maestro Chung Myung-whun leads a new joint youth orchestra

Posted January. 06, 2018 07:35,   

Updated January. 06, 2018 08:10


“Music brings people together no matter where they come from. Once you start playing, you will work for music whether you come from South or North Korea,” said a South Korean pianist and conductor Chung Myung-whun. The One Korea Youth Orchestra led by Chung will give its first performance on Thursday next week. The orchestra, as the name suggests, means that young musicians from North and South Korea gather together for performance.

“Lotte Culture Foundation initially suggested a youth orchestra, but I proposed forming a joint orchestra called “One Korea” because I thought this would be better opportunity to bring the North and South together,” said Chung at a press briefing held in the Lotte Concert Hall, in eastern Seoul, Friday.

At the rehearsal just before the briefing, Chung cheered young members up by repeatedly offering words of encouragement. Even when it is not smoothly played, he went on conducting saying “it is okay to make mistakes.”

“Most Korean students grow up in an educational system where they are supposed to play as memorized,” Chung said. “As a musician, making an effort and studying should be given priority, but it is much more important to play freely.”

The debut performance will be held at Lotte Concert Hall at 8 p.m. on next Thursday, playing Beethoven Symphony No. 3, “Eroica” and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3.

Min Kim kimmin@donga.com