Classical music broadens horizons


Hoping to appeal to a wider range of audiences, the local classical music scene has embarked on more opportunities that break down barriers.

Although classical music performances are often associated with formal attire, rigid expressions, and a rigid audience, more and more artists and institutions are trying to embrace the latest trends in an effort to open up the world. genre to a wider audience.

Classical music festival Hic et Nunc! – hosted by the Sejong Soloists string ensemble – has taken on the ‘metaverse’ bandwagon, which has been the latest trend on the global entertainment scene. K-pop agency SM Entertainment, for example, has focused on developing digital avatars on the metaverse platform for virtual concerts and fan events.

A combination of “meta” and “universe,” the term refers to a virtual world shared by real world people. Users can create personal avatars to participate in activities and communicate with each other.

Although metaverse and classical music may seem like two unrelated concepts, the Hic and Nunc! festival organizers have teamed up with tech company AI Network, creating a virtual world for festival goers to take home.

On the Gathertown metaverse platform, users can enjoy live streaming of the festival’s performances and master classes, communicating with other audience members via avatars, such as playing a video game, according to an official at the festival. festival.

Going online has been an important task for the classical music scene in the midst of the pandemic.

Hoping to interact with more music lovers, pianist Son Yeol-eum opened her own YouTube channel in September 2020, amid the pandemic. She shares her performance clips as well as videos from her daily life, such as unboxing videos, vlogs and more.

“If online music sharing becomes its own genre, more viewers (cinemas) could enjoy the music when in-person performances fully return,” Son said via his social media account.

Adding visual parameters to a performance is another way to spice up classical music performances.

Cellist Song Young-hoon and double bass player Sung Min-jae take the stage at Lotte Concert Hall in Songpa-gu, Seoul on September 15, transforming the concert hall into a 1950s Argentinian nightclub.

Song, Piazzolla specialist who has released two albums on the works of the Argentinian composer, will offer a new interpretation of tango such as “Adios Nonino”, “Nightclub 1960” and more, joined by a jazz trio.

The performance will be complemented by special lighting effects and staging.

Some classical musicians are working on collaborations with other genres.

Pianist Sunwoo Yekwon and K-pop singer-songwriter Kwon Jin-ah will take the stage at Lotte Concert Hall on September 11 in a recital titled “Curtain Call”, produced by local entertainment mogul CJ ENM.

The program will feature Sunwoo performing classical piano works such as Mozart’s Rondo in A minor and Chopin’s Ballad No.1 in G minor and more. After an intermission, the two will perform Kwon’s newly arranged works for the recital. The exact program has not yet been released.

Sunwoo, winner of the first prize at the prestigious 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, has embarked on more audience-friendly opportunities. He was recently featured on terrestrial broadcaster MBC’s YouTube channel, giving a piano performance from the backyard of a country house.

By Im Eun-byel ([email protected])

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