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Tongyeong fest to highlight Asian composers

March 20, 2012 - 19:36 By Korea Herald
Asian music will be among the highlights of the 10th Tongyeong International Music Festival (TIMF) to be held under the theme of “without distance” from Friday through March 29 in Tongyeong, South Gyeongsang Province.

The organizers of the festival said Tuesday the 10-year-old festival is now turning its eyes toward Asian music, which has received less attention in the international music scene.

The Asian Composers’ Night on Saturday will feature music by Yun I-sang, one of South Korea’s great contemporary music composers, Artyom Kim of Uzbekistan, and works by Central Asian composers.

Ensemble Omnibus from Uzbekistan will perform music by Asian composers.

Pianist Yuki Kuramoto of Japan, Korean traditional music singer Lee Jaram and Japanese guitarist Kazuhito Yamashita are among the Asian musicians to be featured during the six-day festival.

The festival also includes the debut of the “Tongyeong Festival Orchestra,” made up of promising young musicians currently taking part in the world’s leading orchestras. 
Main poster for Tongyeong International Music Festival that runs from March 23-29 in Tongyeong, South Gyeongsang Province. (TIMF)

The orchestra, under the baton of the festival’s artistic director Alexander Liebreich, will premiere “Meditation 2012,” music in honor of the victims of the tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster composed by Japan’s Toshio Hosokawa, during the opening concert on Friday. Renowned South Korean pianist Kim Sun-wook will join the orchestra to perform L.V. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op.37.

A total of 13 performances are scheduled to be held through March 29 at the Tongyeong Arts Center, including the opening concert by the Tongyeong Festival Orchestra.

Trio Medieval, composed of three sopranos, will play anonymous 12-13 century medieval music from Worcester, England on Saturday, while German violinist Carolyn Widmann plans to perform J. S.

Bach’s Partitita for solo violin No. 1 in B minor BWV 1002 and other works of Bach and B. Bartok on March 28.

Capella St. Petersburg from Russia will sing sacred and secular vocal works on March 27. Munich Chamber Orchestra will play on Saturday, while the Korean Music Ensemble plans to perform works by Korean and international composers on March 28.

Works of this year’s TIMF Composer in Residence Beat Furrer and T. Hosokawa will be performed by TIMF Ensemble on Monday and TIMF Artist in Residence Kim Sun-wook will throw a solo concert the same day. There will also be a lecture, a music theater and symposiums during the festival.

Inaugurated to commemorate Yun (1917-1995), who was born in Tongyeong, the festival has been held each year since 2002.

Tongyeong is also known locally as the “Pearl of the Orient” and the “Naples of Korea” for its scenic beauty.

On the sidelines of the official festival, a variety of free performances are being held at various venues in Tongyeong as part of the Fringe Festival. 

(Yonhap News)