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Top orchestras with Korean musicians highlight classical music calendar in 2023

Dec. 29, 2022 - 13:50 By Park Ga-young
Pianist Lim Yun-chan (Vincero)

As most of the world returns to pre-pandemic normalcy, the coming year is expected to bring in worldwide talents and provide many occasions to showcase collaboration between Korean musicians and renowned orchestras.

As early as March, the 475-year-old German orchestra Staatskapelle Dresden, with its principal guest conductor Chung Myung-whun, will hit the stage of the Seoul Art Center. On March 5, featuring Korean pianist Cho Seong-jin, the orchestra will perform a Tchaikovsky piano concerto and more. On March 7, the orchestra will return to perform four symphonies of Brahms.

The Bamberg Symphony, a German orchestra founded in 1946 in Bamberg, northern Bavaria, will take the stage with Czech conductor Jakub Hrusa and Korean pianist Kim Sun-wook on March 29.

On its Korea-only tour, Philharmonie Luxembourg, led by Spanish conductor Gustavo Gimeno, will make its Korea debut on May 25. The orchestra, founded in 1933, and 16-year-old Korean cellist Han Jae-min, the youngest winner of the George Enescu, will present Dvorak’s Cello Concerto. The orchestra will also perform Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.

Pianist Cho Sung-jin (Vincero)

On June 19, The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, a Dutch symphony orchestra based in Rotterdam, will perform with violinist Kim Bomsori.

The Lucerne Festival Orchestra, a European ad hoc seasonal orchestra based at the annual Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, will partner with pianist Lim Yun-chan, the 2022 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition sensation, on July 2 in performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20. The orchestra will perform "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and Symphony No. 4 Op. 90 "Italian," both by Mendelssohn.

On June 27, the orchestra, together with violinist Augustin Hadelich, will present Beethoven’s Violin Concerto while the orchestra will perform Schreker’s Romantische Suite, Op. 14 - III. Intermezzo.

Some of the world’s best orchestras will perform in Korea in the fall and winter.

Another Swiss orchestra, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, led by Estonian American conductor Paavo Jarvi, with violinist Kim Bomsori on Oct. 13 will perform Nielsen: Violin Concertos, Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 and more.

On Nov. 14 and 15, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra with music director Andris Nelsons will take the stage featuring pianist Cho Seong-jin. Cho made a debut with the orchestra on April 21 in Leipzig, Germany.

Cho will return to the stage on Nov. 12, when he will perform with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra led by conductor Kirill Petrenko. In its seventh visit to Korea, the orchestra will also present an all-symphonic repertoire on Nov. 11.

Korean conductor Chung Myung-whun will hold the baton for the Munich Philharmonic when it visits in November. The orchestra will perform with pianist Lim Yun-chan and violinist Clara Jumi Kang.

Sibling musicians Chung Myung-whun and Chung Kyung-Wha of the famed Chung trio are set to take the stage together for the first time in 11 years. Cellist Chung Myung-wha, 78, the eldest of the three, will not join the performance. Chinese cellist Wang Jian will perform in Myung-wha's stead.

Conductor Chung Myung-whun (Vincero)

Soprano Sumi Jo and 12 cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra will celebrate the all-cello ensemble’s 50th anniversary in a concert on July 6 at Lotte Concert Hall.

On Sept. 23 and 24, cellist Mischa Maisky and his pupil Chang Han-na will perform together, but this time with Chang conducting the Ditto Orchestra. Maisky will perform Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1 in tribute to his teacher Mstislav Rostropovich.