Classical music fans can look forward to an exciting year as international household names will be visiting Korea.
Here are some of the events scheduled from January to June.January
Maestro Zubin Mehta will lead the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in a New Year Gala Concert on Saturday and Sunday at the Seoul Arts Center featuring Beethoven’s Ouverture Leonore 3 in C Major Op. 72b, Korsakov’s Spanish Capriccio Op. 34, and Strauss’ Waltz, and Brahms Symphony No. 1 in C Minor. Unusally for a concert in Korea, there is a formal dress code ― tuxedos or dark suits for men and dresses or colorful outfits for women.
The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra is kicking off its Great Series marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Wagner and Verdi on Jan. 25 at the Seoul Arts Center led by Chung Myung-whun. Wagner’s “Tannhauser,” prelude and liebestod from “Tristan und Isolde,” as well as an orchestral excerpt from “Ring” will be performed. February
The 120-year-old Chicago Symphony Orchestra led by Riccardo Muti will perform in Korea for the first time on Feb. 6-7 at the Seoul Arts Center. The program includes Stravinsky’s Divertimento from “The Fairy Kiss,” Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 “Italian.” Muti has led the orchestra ― which was named the top U.S. orchestra by the Gramophone magazine ― since 2010.
Bernard Haitink will lead the London Symphony Orchestra at the Seoul Arts Center on Feb. 28 and March 1. This will be Haitink’s first visit to Korea in 36 years. The orchestra will perform Mozart, Beethoven, Bruckner and others on Feb. 28. The program on March 1 will feature Britten, Bruckner, Mozart and Beethoven pieces. Portuguese pianist Maria Joao Pires, a Mozart specialist, will join the orchestra in the performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17 and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2.March
The Korea National Opera company is premiering Wagner’s ”Falstaff“ on March 21-24 at the Seoul Arts Center. Tenor Anthony Michaels-Moore, known as the best Falstaff in the field, will take the lead role in performances of the comic opera with Korean Symphony Orchestra. April
Maestro Lorin Maazel will conduct the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra on April 21-22 at the Seoul Arts Center featuring Beethoven. Up and coming Korean pianist Cho Seong-jin will join the orchestra for Beethoven Piano Concert No. 4. Maazel is perhaps one of the most Korea-friendly conductors, having visited the country 10 times.
Pianist Kim Sun-wook, now based in London, will resume his Beethoven journey on April 13 at the LG Art Center. Begun last year, Kim is expected to conclude the performance of all Beethoven’s piano sonatas at the end of the year.
The KNO will stage Verdi opera, “Don Carlo,” based on the play “Don Carlos, Infant von Spanien” by Schiller, on April 25-28 at the Seoul Arts Center. Lee Chae-joon, a rising bass singer who performed at La Scala, will meet his Korean fans. May
Yuri Bashmet will perform Bach, Mozart, Telemann and Paganini with his Moscow Soloists at the Seoul Arts Center on May 29, together with Korean pianist Son Yeol-eum. The 25-member chamber ensemble has been one of the most welcomed performing groups in Korea and this is their fourth visit to the country since their first engagement in 2011. June
Top violinist Anne Sophie Mutter will hold “Anne-Sophie Mutter & Mutter’s Virtuosi” with 15 of her protgs on June 14 at the Seoul Arts Center. Mutter will present Currier, Mendelssohn and Vivaldi. Three Koreans ― violinist Choi Ye-eun, violist Lee Hwa-yoon and cellist Kim Doo-min ― will join the team’s Asia tour.
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra led by Charles Dutoit will stage Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Chinese pianist Yuja Wang at the Seoul Arts Center on June 29-30.
The Academy of Ancient Music, acclaimed for its authentic playing of classical music on instruments from the original era, will bring the music of Purcell, Handel and Vivaldi to the Seoul Arts Center on June 18-19. This will be the fourth time the orchestra has performed in Korea.
By Bae Ji-sook (email@example.com)