London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Cliff Richard in Seoul, 1969

OK, here goes… possibly LKL’s first ever Cliff Richard post. While searching for vintage Korean vinyl records sold in the UK on the Discogs record collectors website (they do crop up now and then, but if you’re a fan of Songolmae or Lee Mija, forget it: you’re too late!), I found this intriguing item – … [Read More]

Julie Park wins Sir Karl Jenkins Music Award

Belated congratulations to London based violist Julie Park for winning the prestigious Arts Club Sir Karl Jenkins Award in October. She follows violinists Songha Choi, who won second prize in 2019, and Joo Yeon Sir who won the prize in 2014. Julie Park performs tomorrow in Korean Cultural Centre UK’s ‘Home Theatre’ season of online … [Read More]

Shin Seung-tae’s new Trot persona

When Lee Hee Moon announced the disbandment of his glam rock minyo outfit Ssing Ssing last year, I forewent gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, prophesying instead that an abundance of interesting projects must surely follow. And Lo, it did come to pass. Female vocalist Chu Da-hye started her band, Chudahye and The Chagis … [Read More]

KJOU: the new UK hallyu mag

Over on the KCC Facebook page they recently posted about a new hallyu magazine: KJOU. I visited the magazine’s website today and ordered myself a copy of their first issue. If you’re interested, there are a few copies left, but as the second issue is imminent don’t hesitate because they’ll be gone soon. Of course, … [Read More]

Seungri’s shame makes it into the FT

It’s not often that you find a K-pop story in the pink pages of the Financial Times. In fact, if you search their site for “BTS” you will simply get a list of articles about the company formerly known as British Telecom. So what brings them to report the ins and outs of Lee Seung-hyun’s, … [Read More]

Black String win Songlines Music Award

Congratulations to Korean fusion group Black String, whose debut album on ACT, Mask Dance, won the Songlines Music Award in the Asia and Pacific category. Black String, who played at the 2017 K-music festival, were in town for the awards ceremony in Brixton on 20 October, where they played music from the album. [Read More]

BTS’s busy couple of weeks

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Korea’s biggest band: A speech for UNICEF at the United Nations on 24 September. The speech, by the band’s leader Kim Namjun (aka RM), ended as follows: Like most people, I’ve made many and plenty mistakes in my life. I have many faults and I have many … [Read More]

Lee Geonyong receives Thomas Cranmer Award

Congratulations to Dr Lee Geonyong, director of music at Seoul’s Anglican Cathedral, granted the Thomas Cranmer Award for Worship by the Archbishop of Canterbury on 6 April 2018. The Cranmer Award for Worship was first awarded by Archbishop Justin Welby in March 2016. It is named after Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1533 to … [Read More]

In memory of Hwang Byung-ki

In memory of the great man, here’s a video interview on Arirang TV uploaded in January 2015: And here he is playing one of his best-known compositions, Chimhyangmoo (침향무 | 沈香舞), performed on the KBS show Gugak Hanmadang. The definitive obituary in English has been written by Jocelyn Clark in the Asia Times. I was … [Read More]

UK/Korea Creative Futures is launched

Here is the official announcement from the British Council of the collaboration with Korea over the next two years: British Council announces UK/KOREA Creative Futures 2017 London, 20 February 2017. The British Council today officially launched UK/KOREA Creative Futures 2017, a year-long celebration of the long-standing relationship between the UK and Korea which will see … [Read More]

Gangnam Style remembered on Strictly

Thanks to would-be Labour finance minister Ed Balls for brightening up our dull Autumn on the BBC’s celebrity talent show Strictly Come Dancing. Consistently at the bottom of the scoreboard, he is saved by the popular vote. In the most recent episode he had the guts to do a Gangnam Style inspired Salsa, choreographed (with … [Read More]

Choigate, censorship and the arts

At any other time the presence of a demonstrator outside the KCC – and outside the opening screening of the London Korean Film Festival – protesting about artistic censorship that is said to have taken place during the current KCC director’s stint at the National Gugak Centre would have been prominent news. But choreographer Jung … [Read More]

Cho Seong-jin wins Chopin Competition

Congratulations to Cho Seong-jin for winning first prize in the 17th International Fryderyck Chopin Piano Competition. The award was presented on 21 October in Warsaw. The below video is of stage III of the finals on 14 October. Cho starts to play at about 1:13:30 and continues for one hour. Links: chopincompetition2015.com [Read More]

Chloe Mun wins 2015 Busoni Competition

Congratulations to Chloe Mun for winning the 2015 Ferrucio Busoni International Piano Competition, held in Bolzano. The Grand Final was held on 4 September. Minsoo Hong won fourth prize in the competition, while Kim Jong-yun was awarded a special prize for the best interpretation of a work by Ferruccio Busoni. The overall winner of the … [Read More]