London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Elevator music leads to defection

Richard ClaydermanTo many it’s the sort of music one would endure all sorts of hardship to get away from — but to a talented North Korean pianist it was a revelation which led him to defect to the South. Yes, it’s the easy-listening grooves of Richard Clayderman which inspired the conversion. It says something about the state of music in North Korea that such cocktail-lounge doodling should seem like an oasis in the desert. But the Gallic charmer is also big elsewhere in Asia: a story from last year has a music teacher blowing more than $100 to assure himself of a front row seat at a Clayderman gig in Shanghai. Not my sort of music, but if you spot a market, go for it I say. Meanwhile, the Korean pianist in question, Kim Chul-woong, gave his Seoul debut last month.

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