“I spent half of my life in Vienna where Beethoven was based, and I always felt him in the city. Now I can spend the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in a more meaningful way,” said Park Seung-yoo (33) who has been selected as Next Stage’s conductor of this year. Next Stage is a project to nurture young musicians by the Korean Symphony Orchestra. Park, who won at the London Classical Soloists Conducting Masterclasses at the age of 28 in 2015, will lead Beethoven’s Fidelio overture and Symphony No. 4 at the concert hall of the Seoul Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. on August 19.
It is an “All Beethoven” program where 16-year-old pianist Lim Yoon-chan who won at the Isangyun Competition last year will play Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Next Stage gives a conductor of the year an authority to compose a program.
Park studied cello at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg and graduated from the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien with a major in conducting. He won the second prize and the audience prize at the Jeunesses Musicales International Conducting Competition in Rumania in 2018.
“I was more interested in post-Beethoven composers in early days,” Park said. “But I felt his influence over next-generation composers and their respect for him as I studied, and Vienna was another factor that got me into him.”
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4, the main piece of the concert, is a work called “a Greek woman between two giants” as the Symphony is between No. 3 “Eroika” and No. 5.
“Symphony No. 3 and No. 5 have a strong message, but No. 4 lets you focus more on the music itself,” the conductor added. “I picked it because of its free and humorous atmosphere.”
He picked Carlos Kleiber, Claudio Abbado and Mariss Jansons as his role models. “They were maestros who were focused on music itself while showing their originality at the same time,” Park said. “I felt their devotion to music and nobility from their stage. I want to create a stage like theirs.”