Seoul Spring Festival features less well-known music

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : May 15, 2018 - 15:39
Updated : May 15, 2018 - 15:57

The 2018 Seoul Spring Festival of Chamber Music will continue to highlight various chamber music pieces, including those that are less well known.

Starting Tuesday, the Seoul-based chamber music festival will run until May 27, featuring a total of 16 concerts at venues including Seoul Arts Center, Sejong Center for the Performing Arts and the preserved traditional Korean house of former President Yun Bo-sun in Anguk-dong. 

Violinist and the artistic director of the SSF Kang Dong-suk speaks during a press conference in Seoul on May 14. (SSF)

”We tried come up with a program that comprises of relatively unplayed pieces here, while continuing to amuse the audience with widely beloved pieces. Introducing contemporary works, which are sometimes not easy to listen to, is also part of the festival’s duty, I thought,“ said the artistic director Kang. “Arnold Bax‘s Piano Quintet in G Minor was selected in that respect,” said Kang Dong-suk, the artistic director of the SSF at a press conference held on Monday in central Seoul.

Alongside with Bax’s piece, the festival will also shed light on other works that did not have chances to be played here, such as Rossini’s Flute Quartet No. 1 in G Major, Max Reger’s Serenade for flute, violin and viola Op. 141a and Luigi Boccherini’s Quintet for Flute and Strings in F major, G 437.

The score of Boccherini’s quintet was very difficult to obtain, Kang said. The festival had to ask a couple of institutes and send tens of emails before the festival finally acquired it at the very last minute from Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, on permission of the Royal Library of Madrid.

Sinding‘s Serenade for two violins and piano No. 1 Op. 56 and Richard Strauss‘ Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche Op. 28 -- arranged for wind quintet & piano by David M. Carp -- are also the chamber works that are scarcely played here, Kang added.

Titled as “Carte Blanche,” the 2018 SSF has incorporated chamber music pieces carefully selected by participating artists. “I thought it would be fun to gather up ideas from participating artists to forge this year’s program. It has not been an easy process. We have managed to include some of the recommended pieces but had to discard some at the same time. But I tried my best to include pieces that artists have wanted to introduce,” said Kang.

Included in the lineup of the chamber music festival this year are pianist Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden, violinist Ilya Gringolts, flutist Mathieu Dufour and cellist Frans Helmerson, as well as the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, who this year celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Marking its third visit to Korea this time, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio will perform piano trio pieces of Beethoven through three separate concerts, including renowned “Archduke.”

Cellist Edward Arron, solo horn player Herve Joulain and clarinetist Romain Guyot as well continue to make their appearances in Seoul.

Local musicians that will feature in the spring season are cellist Yang Sung-won, violinist Lee kyung-sun, flutist Choi Na-kyung, pianist Mun Ji-yeong and Novus Quartet.

By Shim Woo-hyun (


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The Korea Herald by Herald Corporation