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Korean performances at the City of London Festival

This year’s City of London Festival has a Korean focus. And although most of the performances in the festival are of Western classical music, there is a Korean Hamlet from Yohangza Theatre Company (who do a wonderful Midsummer Night’s Dream), fusion music from Ensemble Sinawi and contemporary and street dance too.

Sunwook Kim (piano)

Wednesday 25 June 2014 7.30pm
Venue: Stationers’ Hall
Book tickets here

Sunwook-KimScriabin Sonata No 3 in F sharp minor Op 23
Franck Prelude, Choral et Fugue
Schumann Piano Sonata No 1 Op 11

Seoul-born pianist Sunwook Kim came to international recognition when he won the Leeds International Piano Competition in 2006. Since his debut at the BBC proms 2013, described as “spellbinding” –, his star continues to rise at an extraordinary rate. This one-off concert will showcase Kim’s extraordinary talents in a programme of Scriabin, Franck and Schumann.

Stationers’ Hall, the ancient headquarters of the City’s trading association of stationers and the modern home of the Worshipful Company of Stationers, is a beautiful and grand historic space which will provide a fitting backdrop for this evening of world-class classical music.

Kyung-Ok Lee’s Physical Theatre | Anderson’s gazes

Saturday 28 June 2014 7.30pm
Venue: Mermaid Theatre

Further information awaited.

Seoul Metropolitan B-boy ‘Gamblerz Crew’

Saturday 28 June 12.00 & 1.30pm Millennium bridge
Monday 30 June 1:15pm St. Paul Cathedral Steps
Tuesday 1 July 12.00 & 1.30pm Gherkin, 30 St Mary Axe


Free performances by one of South Korea’s top breakdancing crews. (Image source)

Ensemble Sinawi

Tuesday 8 July 2014 7.30pm
Venue: LSO St Luke’s
Book tickets here

Ensemble Sinawi

Ensemble Sinawi combine traditional Korean folk music and pansori, an epic chant, with a contemporary edge to create a sound that it is entirely new. Their exploration of Korea’s musical heritage led them to discover the potential in adapting traditional rhythms and melodies. Authentic Korean sounds are juxtaposed in the context of chamber-jazz to create new and authentically Korean improvisational musical forms – an extraordinary new form of traditional music for the 21st century.

Yohangza Theatre Company – Hamlet

Saturday 12 July 2014 7.30pm
Venue: Peacock Theatre
Book tickets here


Shakespeare’s iconic tale of tragedy, revenge and intrigue is given a magnificent Korean twist. Yohangza Theatre Company faithfully recreate the tragedy and drama of Shakespeare’s original Hamlet in contemporary Korean language. The staging, costumes and music integrates Korean tradition and shamanism. This is Hamlet like you have never seen it before.

Yohangza’s recent reworking of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Globe was described as ‘a colourful revelation’ The Telegraph

Yeol-Eum Son (piano)

Monday 14 July 2014 7.00pm
Venue: Bishopsgate Institute
Book tickets here

Yeol-eumSchumann Kreisleriana
Alkan Le Festin d’Esope
Stravinsky Three Movements From Petrouchka
Strauss/Godowsky Symphonic Metamorphose Wein, Weib und Gesang

28-year old pianist Yeol-Eum Son is a native of South Korea’s Gangwon Province. Since winning the Silver Medal at the 2011 XIV Tchaikovsky International Music Competition, she has built an international reputation for her concert performances which have “a kind of superhuman éclat that can easily remind you of Hofmann or Lhévinne in its supremely clear, neat and even brilliance” – New York Concert Review.

Performing a programme of music by Schumann, Alkan, Stravinsky and Godowsky, this intimate concert will be opportunity to see the emerging talent of Yeol-Eum Son before her rising star goes stratospheric.

London Symphony Orchestra cond Myung-Whun Chung

Tuesday 15 July 2014 8.00pm
Venue: St Paul’s Cathedral
Book tickets here

St PaulsKathleen Kim (soprano)
Yosep Kang (tenor)
Jongmin Park (bass)
Songmi Yang (mezzo soprano)

Beethoven Symphony No 9

The Music Director of the Seoul Philharmonic, Myung-Whun Chung and four virtuosic Korean soloists join forces with the London Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony Chorus for an Anglo-Korean performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 in St Paul’s Cathedral, the most iconic City venue.

Beethoven’s bold and resonant Symphony No 9 was a ground-breaking choral composition, the first to celebrate the human voice at the same level as the instruments. Today it stands as one of the most played symphonies in the world. The piece is famed as an anthem to peace and reconciliation; it was performed in Berlin to celebrate the dismantling of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and chosen as the EU’s official anthem in 1985. This performance carries a particular resonance given the ongoing situation on the Korean Peninsula.

This concert promises a memorable performance of Beethoven’s bombastic Symphony No 9 inside one of the world’s great icons. The London Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony Chorus’ performance of this piece in 2006 was described as having “enough orchestral punch to knock a listener senseless …” The Times; together with world-renowned conductor Myung-Whun Chung and the four sensational Korean soloists Kathleen Kim, Songmi Yang, Yosep Kang and Jongmin Park, this will be an unforgettable evening.

Kumho Asiana Soloists

KumhoWednesday 16 July 2014 7.00pm
Venue: Bishopsgate Institute
Book tickets here

Da Sol piano
Jehye Lee violin
Hanna Lee violin
Jung Ran Lee cello
Han Kim clarinet

Messìaen Quartet for the End of Time

The Kumho Asiana Soloists is made up of some of Korea’s brilliant young musicians aged under 30 from the Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation. The programme features chamber music of the highest order, including Messìaen’s Quartet for the End of Time.

The Gift

BishopsgateThursday 17 July 2014 7.00pm
Venue: Bishopsgate Institute
Buy tickets here

The Gift gives City audiences the opportunity to marvel at the astonishing skill of some of Koreas youngest virtuosi. The performers will include 16 year-old cellist Ha Young Choi, 1st place award winner of International Johannes Brahms Competition 2011, and 14 year-old violinist Soo-Been Lee, winner of the Junior Division of the 2013 David Oistrakh International Violin Competition.


(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.

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