“Having everyday life forever changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m starting to realize how precious the things we had taken for granted were.”
The theme of the 13th Seoul International Music Festival (SIMF) is “Amusement Park.” In a press conference held in Seoul last week, art director Ryu Jae-joon said he wants to give people the hope that they can have those moments of happiness in life again, like the moments they enjoyed the rides in amusement parks with their loved ones.
The festival consists of seven concerts, including the opening concert at the Concert Hall of the Seoul Art Center (SAC) on Oct. 23 and the closing concert on Oct. 30.
The SIMF orchestra, which consists of famous soloists in the country, will perform at the opening concert, “The Sound of Bell.” They will be performing Ryu’s work Symphony No.2, which is based on Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. It is a masterpiece featuring a symphony orchestra, chorus, and five solo vocalists.
“The lyrics of my symphony are based on the sonnets written by Shakespeare when all theaters were closed due to the plague that spread through London,” Ryu said. Ralf Gothoni, who served as the art director of the Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland, will conduct the orchestra.
Other concerts include a concert for up-and-coming musicians scheduled on Oct. 24 at the JCC Art Center, three chamber music series to be held at SAC from Oct. 26 to Oct. 28 and the closing concert “Merry-go-round” to be held at the Lotte Concert Hall On Oct. 30.
Twelve cellists aged from 20s to the 79-year-old Finnish cellist Arto Noras will perform works by the tango master Astor Piazzolla, celebrating his 100th birthday.
This year’s SIMF will be an eco-friendly festival as part of a Less Paper Campaign. Advertising materials and program booklets will not be created and all information will be available online. The programs will be also presented on the screen using a projector.