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Classical music meets media art at Lotte Concert Hall's 'In House Artist' series

April 20, 2023 - 15:57 By Hwang Dong-hee
Violinist Yoon So-young (left) and pianist Lee Jin-sang perform together during a press conference held at the Lotte Concert Hall in Seoul, Tuesday. (Lotte Concert Hall)

Two artists-in-residence at the Lotte Concert Hall, pianist Lee Jin-sang and violinist Yoon So-young, will perform three sets of classical performances incorporating media art in April, June and November.

Joining the pair are creative director Cha Jin-yeob, a dancer-turned-director, and media artist Hwang Sun-jeong.

Since 2021, the classical music concert venue has sponsored the “In House Artist” series, a program which gives promising artists an opportunity to experiment with their musical imagination beyond a typical recital stage.

Kicking off the first part of the series on Saturday is pianist Lee, performing Liszt's “A La Chapelle Sixtine” and Berlioz's “Symphonie fantastique.”

“(During the rehearsal), it felt much more intuitive. It was amazing to see the images inspired by the music unfold visually,” Lee said during a press conference held at the Lotte Concert Hall in eastern Seoul on Tuesday.

“This is definitely a challenge for all of us because we specialize in different fields. But to bring creativity together through this experiment was truly inspiring,” he added.

Lee is the first Asian to win the triennial Concours Geza Anda in 2009, considered one of the most prestigious and demanding piano competitions. He took an unusual path of learning the craft of piano-making at Steinway Austria in search of the perfect sound.

During the concert, a female dancer will be starring in Berlioz’s symphony. The emotion of the music will be expressed through the dancer’s movements, Cha said.

(From left) Pianist Lee Jin-sang, violinist Yoon So-young, director Cha Jin-yeob and media artist Hwang Sun-jeong attend a press conference held at the Lotte Concert Hall in Seoul, Tuesday. (Lotte Concert Hall)

On June 23, Yoon will perform Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” and Richter’s “Recomposed Four Seasons.”

“Richter’s music comes to me like a blank page, so I thought it would fit well with media art. I hope the audience will enjoy comparing Vivaldi and Richter,” Yoon said.

Yoon was also the first Korean to win the International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in 2011.

On Nov. 29, Lee and Yoon will perform together. The program has not been released.

Director Cha said working with the musicians, she realized that each note has a story.

“There is a narrative and emotions in a piece of music, like a novel,” said Cha. “We tried to organically combine media art, dance, music and the space itself to maximize emotions.”

Hwang said she created media art to give a feeling of “playing together,” adding that the focus was to “express space beyond the two dimensional."