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SPO and van Zweden to hold charity concert in April

March 6, 2023 - 16:10 By Park Ga-young
The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra's incoming music director Jaap van Zweden conducts at the orchestra's New Year Concert at Lotte Concert Hall in Seoul, Jan. 13. (SPO)

The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, with its incoming music director Jaap van Zweden, will perform a special concert in April for those in need.

On April 7, "A Very Special Concert" will take place at Ewha Womans University with guest violinist Kong Min-bae, an 18-year-old violinist who was diagnosed with high-functioning autism at the age of 5. He first learned to play the piano as part of his treatment. At 10 years old, Kong started to take violin lessons.

During a press conference in January, van Zweden had expressed a desire to give an annual concert for the vulnerable and disadvantaged.

Van Zweden and his wife, who have a son with autism, founded the Papageno Foundation in 1997 to help children and young people with autism.

The event is also part of SPO’s 45 community engagement programs in which the orchestra will perform outside of concert halls at venues like museums, libraries, schools, parks and churches throughout the year.

"A Very Special Concert" will run for 85 minutes without intermission. The orchestra will perform Beethoven's Egmont Overture, Op. 84, Mendelssohn's Allegro molto appassionato from Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, Respighi's Pini di Roma, P 141 and Ravel's Bolero.

Tickets cost 10,000 won ($7.71) and all proceeds from the concert will be donated to charity. Van Zweden will conduct the concert gratis.

The Dutch conductor, currently the music director of the New York Philharmonic, will officially begin his five-year term at the SPO in January 2024.