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The Korean Symphony Orchestra officially adds ‘national’ lable to its name

March 18, 2022 - 18:08 By Park Ga-young

The Korean National Symphony Orchestra led by conductor David Reiland performs during a concert on Jan. 23. (KNSO)

The Korean Symphony Orchestra on Friday is officially adding “national” into its name following the culture minister’s approval earlier this month.

The name change for the orchestra, which is under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, has been pushed for several years, but faced opposition from the KBS Symphony Orchestra, which was once the National Symphony Orchestra.

Despite being an organization supported by a national budget, the orchestra has been long mistaken as a private institution.

The Korean Symphony Orchestra complained that its activities faced limitations due to this misconception, and began to consider the name change in earnest in June last year.

“Through this name change, we will strengthen our identity as a national arts organization and contribute to the development of domestic orchestras," Choi Jung-sook, the head of the Orchestra, said. “We will do our best to leap forward as an orchestra that the people can be proud of.”

The new name, the Korean National Symphony Orchestra, will be officially used for the first time at the upcoming regulator concert slated to take place on Tuesday.

The Korean Symphony Orchestra was founded by conductor Hong Yeon-taek in 1985.

In 1987, the orchestra was designated as the in-house orchestra for the National Theater and began performing with the Korea National Ballet and Korea National Opera. Together with the two national art groups, the orchestra took residence at the Seoul Arts Center in 2000, as part of the Culture Ministry’s push to vitalize the cultural complex in southern Seoul.

In 2001, it became a foundation under the Culture Ministry, which provides more than 70 percent of the orchestra’s annual budget. Its head is appointed by the culture minister. (