London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Event news: Korean Sounds – East Meet West: Spring

The KCC is again running a series of concerts at Kings Place this year. Great venue. The first is on 12 April:

Korean Sounds – East Meet West: Spring 

with the Members from London Philharmonic Orchestra & Court Music Orchestra of the National Gugak Center
Wednesday 12 April, 7.30pm
Kings Place, Hall One, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG.
Tickets from £9.50 online l Book Tickets

East meets West


Saenghwang and Danso byeonju ‘Yeomyangchun’
Ujo Sijo ‘Nabiya (butterfly)’
String ensemble ‘Dodeuri’
Gasa ‘Chunmyeongok (Spring Indolence)’

– Interval –

Fauré Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 15
Piazzolla (arr. Clint Edwards) Primavera Porteña (Spring) for piano quartet

Presenting opportunities for audiences to hear traditional Korean and classical music in one place, Korean Sounds: East Meets West returns this year as part of the Korea/UK 2017-18.

East Meets West, presented by the Korean Cultural Centre UK at Kings Place has been curated around five themes, each designed to give audiences the chance to listen to both European and Korean music of either similar sentiment, character and purpose, or music from a similar historical period. The programme will present traditional Korean music (gugak) alongside western pieces and in so doing will explore what is common in both musical worlds as well as revealing how they differ.

The theme of the first concert in this East Meets West series is Spring. In the first half of this concert the Court Music Orchestra of the National Gugak Center will perform Korean music depicting a sense of spring. From ‘Cheonnyeongmanse’ (literally meaning a long period of time, referring to the eternal spring), a classical instrumental chamber suite, to ‘Chunmyeongok’ (Spring Indolence) for voice and instrumental quartet, the programme is full of lively sounds which evoke the beauty of nature and the season when life begins.

In the second half of the concert members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and pianist Chiao-Ying Chang have been invited to perform Gabriel Fauré’s first piano quartet and an arrangement of Astor Piazzolla’s’Primavera Porteña’ (Spring). Fauré was barely thirty years old when he wrote the C-minor Piano Quartet, and going through an emotionally challenging period due to his broken engagement to the singer Pauline Viardot. The intense beauty and energy of this piece reminds us that there are seasons in a composer’s lifetime and career too. Fauré’s creativity began to bloom in this period and the piano quartet is certainly one of the best examples of his early year’s work, along with his first violin sonata.

Court Music Orchestra of the National Gugak Center

Court Music Orchestra of the National Gugak Center
Gun-hoy Lee piri – double-reed oboe
Gap-su Han haegeum – fiddle-like string instrument
Seung-yeop Lee daegeum – bamboo transverse flute
Sung-il An janggu – double-headed drum
Yun-jung Ko gayageum – Korean zither with 12 strings
Sung-hye Yoon geomungo – blank crane zither
Oh Hoon Lee danso – vertical bamboo flute
Sung Joon Kim saenghwang – 17 bamboo pipes
Jee-young Chung yanggeum – hammered dulcimer
Il-ha Cho Sijo – Traditional three-verse Korean poem

The Court Music Orchestra has been a part of the National Gugak Center throughout its entire history, performing and handing down royal court music in the spirit of Korean traditional culture. In general, the court music of Korea that is performed today mainly consists of pieces which were played in the royal court or in events organized by the royal household of the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910). Some genres of court music were created during the Joseon Dynasty, whereas origins of other res pre-date these. Court music was considered and served as a medium for people to live in a harmonious way as well as an important mode of communication in a variety of court rituals and banquets. In modern times, it is still enjoyed by Korean people who appreciate its beauty of movement and its stillness. Among this great tradition, Jongmyo Jeryeak (Royal Ancestral Shrine Music of Joseon Dynasty) was designated in 2001 as a part of the world cultural heritage list by UNESCO, substantiating its value and importance.

Members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra

Members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra
Jeongmin Kim violin
Emmanuella Reiter viola
Pei Jee Ng violoncello
Chiao-Ying Chang piano

South Korean violinist Jeongmin Kim successfully combines her orchestral and chamber music careers as well as other interests as conducting and writing. She studied violin with Young Uck Kim in Detmold and Thomas Brandis in Berlin. She also completed a chamber music MA course with Christoph Poppen in Munich. She became sub-principal second violin of the London Philharmonic orchestra in 2008 and has been based in London ever since. She has appeared twice at Wigmore Hall as part of the LPO’s chamber music series as well as other UK venues, and continues to play chamber music in various groups. Cellist Pei-Jee Ng is also a principal player of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Violist Emanuella Reiter, formerly of the LPO, has recently joined the orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Having previously performed in various chamber music groups, they have now formed a piano quartet with the British-Taiwanese pianist Chiao-Ying Chang of the Fournier Trio. Young, vibrant and from diverse backgrounds, these are some of London’s finest musicians.

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