Local symphony orchestras are waking up from their long coronavirus-induced hibernation one after another.
First in line was KBS Symphony Orchestra, which made a comeback last Thursday. While the regular concert had been cancelled owing to the travel ban of collaborators from overseas, KBS quenched the thirst of orchestra aficionados by holding the special performance titled “Dedication” at Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall.
The Dedication featured the collaboration of Julian Kovatchev, the principal conductor at Daegu Philharmonic Orchestra, and violinist Kim Bomsori playing Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 “From the New World.” All proceeds are going to the MSF’s covid-19 fund.
On Saturday, Senior Conductor Park Yeong-min of Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra is taking up the baton for Mahler’s Song of the Earth. Originally a Chinese poem, this song, whose lyrics have been translated into German later on, celebrates harmony between nature and human while touching upon the vainness of time. It will be performed by Mezzo-soprano Lee Ah-gyeong and Tenor Kim Jae-hyeong.
Starting next Wednesday, Korean Symphony Orchestra is presenting a concerted titled “Interpretation of Romance I” at Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall with Art Director Jeong Chi-yong taking up the baton and Moon Tae-guk playing the cello. The list of songs includes Kim Taek-su’s “Deobusanjo,” Saint-Saens’ Cello Concerto No. 1, and Tchaikovsky’s “Manfred Symphony.” Haile as a hidden masterpiece by the Russian composer, the Manfred Symphony depicts Byron’s theatrical poem on a man wandering about Swiss mountains crippled by self-doubt. The Cello Concerto No. 1 by Saint-Saens is known to be the favorite concerto of Pablo Casals, the legendary cellist who changed the symbolic status of his musical instrument in the world of classical music.
On next Thursday, Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra and its art director Choi Hee-jun are playing Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 “Leningrad” at Suwon SK Atrium. The symphony was inspired by the Siege of Leningrad, one of the most tragic mayhems during the Second World War that killed more than four million people.
For physical distancing, all seats will be arranged with individual space. Audiences are required to keep their facial masks on even after entering the concert hall.