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Highlights

Classical Music

“2011 Ditto Festival”: Male-chamber ensemble Ditto, led by violist Richard Yongjae O’Neill, is to hold its annual summer festival from June 22-July 3 at the Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall and Hoam Art Hall. Highlights of the festival will include Ditto and Parker Quartet’s duo recital on June 25 at the SAC at 2 p.m. The duo program will feature Debbusy’s String Quartet in g minor Op.10, Brahms’ String Sextet in G Major Op.36 and Mendelssohn’s String Octet in E flat Op.20. Another noticeable concert will be a duo recital by pianist Lim Dong-hyek and violinist Shin Hyun-su on July 3 at the SAC at 2 p.m. Both the two artists won the prestigious Long-thibaud International Competition -- pianist Lim in 2001 and violinist Shin in 2008. Their program will include Chopin’s Nocturne, Sarasate’s Faust Fantasy and Prokofiev’s Toccata. Ditto’s recital will wrap up the festival on July 3 at 8 p.m. at the SAC. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 100,000 won. For more information, visit www.dittofest.com or www.clubbalcony.com. 
Poster for ensemble Ditto’s recital on July 3 at the Seoul Arts Center (Credia)
Poster for ensemble Ditto’s recital on July 3 at the Seoul Arts Center (Credia)

“Seoul Philharmonic Explorer Series II”: French conductor Ludovic Morlot and violinist Kang Hae-sun will collaborate with The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra for its “Explorer Series II” on Ibert, Manoury and Mussorgsky on June 23 at 8 p.m. at the Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall. The series aims to broaden the repertoire of the Korean classical music scene by exploring less touched upon classical pieces. The program includes Ibert’s “Escales,” Manoury’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, “Synapse” and Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” arranged by Ravel. Kang and the SPO’s Manoury “Synapse” will be Asian premiere. Tickets range from 10,000 won to 50,000 won. For more information, call 1588-1210.

“2011 Korea Opera Festival”: Local opera companies are to present two original Korean operas at this year’s Korea Opera Festival. Production skills of Korean opera companies have made great progress in recent years, festival organizers said. Five opera companies are to participate in the event which will kick off on June 23 and run through July 24 at the Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater and Towel Theater. The two original Korean operas to be showcased are “Nongae” and “When the Buckwheat Blooms.” The others to be staged are “I Puritani” by the Gloria Opera Company, “Tosca” by the Beseto Opera Company and “Siegfried” for children by the KNO. Tickets during the Korea Opera Festival will range from 10,000 won to 150,000 won. For more information, call (02) 586-5282.


“Seo Ji-soo piano recital”: Pianist Seo Ji-soo will give a solo debut recital after finishing her doctoral degree of musical arts at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. A top prize winner of the 2007 Brandshaw and Buono competition in New York, the Seoul National University graduate has been praised for poetic, powerful performance across the U.S., Europe and her home country. The program includes Scarlatti‘s Sonata K. 466 in f minor, Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 110 in A-flat Major, Scriabin’s Sonata-Fantasie Op. 19 in g-sharp minor, Schubert-Liszt’s Gretchen am Spinnrade, Schumann-Liszt‘s Widmung and Barber’s Sonata Op. 26. The concert will be held at 3 p.m. on June 19 at Kumho Art Hall. Tickets are 20,000 won. Call (02) 6303-7700 or visit www.kumhoarthall.com.


Pop Music

“Daybreak Solo Concert”: Korean pop/electronic group Daybreak will hold a solo concert at the Sookmyung Art Center’s Theater S on June 11 and 12 where Brown Eyed Soul member Jung Yup and male quartet Sweet Sorrow will join as guest artists. Releasing the debut album “Urban Life Style” in 2007 and second album “Aurora” in 2010, the pop group has been actively engaging in live concerts and festivals. Daybreak is also to participate in the upcoming Rainbow Festival in Nami Island in early July and the Jisan Valley Rock Festival in late July. The pop group plans to release its third album in the autumn this year. Tickets range from 44,000 won to 55,000 won. Call 1544-6399 or visit www.mintpaper.com.
Pop-electro group Daybreak (Mint Paper/Happy Robot Record)
Pop-electro group Daybreak (Mint Paper/Happy Robot Record)

“Yeohaeng Sketch Concert”: The original team of Yeohaeng Sketch will hold concerts from June 24-26 at the Grand Hall of Yonsei University. The eight-member folk group, now active only with two members -- Jo Byeong-seok and Nam Jun-bong -- was formed in 1989 with still-popular-song “Byeori Jindane” (A Star is Falling). Consisting of male and female college student singers, the vocal group was known for mixing music with nature sounds such as water running through a valley in the 1990s. To celebrate a brief reunion of the group at the concerts, singer Kim Jang-hoon, Kim Hyun-chul and Han Dong-joon will join the show as guests. For more information, call (02) 6292-9370.

“Linkin Park Live in Seoul”: U.S. rock band Linkin Park, whose concerts in Korea completely sold out in 2003 and 2007, are to visit again to hold a live concert at the Olympic Park Gymnastics Stadium on Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. Ticketing opened on May 19 at ticket.interpark.com. With record-breaking sales of its debut album “Hybrid Theory” in 2000, the band’s musical style has kept evolving over the past 10 years. The upcoming concert is to promote their 2010 album “A Thousand Suns.” Tickets range from 99,000 won to 110,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488.

“2011 Jisan Valley Rock Festival”: The nation’s largest-scale festival takes place from July 29 to July 31 at Jisan Forest Resort in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province. The rock festival began in 2009 and reached 70,000 revelers in 2010. The lineup announced so far includes Suede, The Chemical Brothers, Arctic Monkeys, Incubus, Deli Spice, Jaurim, and 10 cm. The third-phase online ticket purchase, which offers a 10 percent discount, is currently open at valleyrockfestival.mnet.com. One-day passes are 110,000 won and three-day passes 220,000 won, if purchased on-the-spot. A third line-up announcement will be made in the last week of May, organizer Mnet said. For more information, visit valleyrockfestival.mnet.com.


Festival

“World Taekwondo Culture Expo”: The Taekwondo Culture Expo will be held from July 8-13 in Muju and Jeonju in North Jeolla Province. The programs not only include taekwondo competitions of movement, sparring and aerobics but taekwondo performances, cultural activities and sightseeing in Muju, Buan and Jeonju. The festival aims to give international taekwondo practitioners a chance to learn more about the culture of North Jeolla Province and Korea. Korean cultural experience programs include Korean dish making, Jeonju bibimbap tasting, traditional village visits, Korean folk games, rice cake making, wish paper flying and trying samulnori, or traditional percussion quartet. For more information, visit www.wtcexpo.net. 
Poster of World Taekwondo Culture Expo (WTCEXPO)
Poster of World Taekwondo Culture Expo (WTCEXPO)

“Daegu International Musical Festival”: The Daegu International Musical Festival, or DIMF, is the only exclusive international musical festival held in the central city of Daegu. The event will kick off on June 18 and run through July 11, featuring seven invitational works and the premieres of 11 original Korean musicals. For the opening, the Daegu Opera House will showcase a musical version of Puccini’s “Turandot” on June 19. The festival will be held at the Opera House and other venues in the city. For more information, call (053) 622-1945 or visit dimf.or.kr.

“Boryeong Mud Festival”: The Boryeong Mud Festival is one of the largest festivals in Korea, attracting a large number of international visitors. This year, it will take place from July 16 to July 24 at Daecheon Beach area in Boryeong, South Chungcheong Province. Immersed in both the mud and the festival’s great atmosphere, visitors can try mud wrestling, mud sliding and even swimming in the mud mega tub. In the evening, music and fireworks will spice up the party atmosphere the beach. Other programs include local specialties exhibition and sale and a yacht parade. For more information, visit www.mudfestival.or.kr or call (041) 930-3820.

“K-pop Cover Dance Festival”: The Visit Korea Year Committee has kicked off the 2011 K-pop cover dance festival at www.coverdance.org. The committee will conduct an online preliminary competition until July 24. Applicants around the world can submit their K-pop cover dance video to the webpage. In countries where the registered videos get the most hits and “recommended” button clicks, the committee will run a second round competition by September. The finalists will be invited by the committee to visit Korea and compete on Oct. 3 in Gyeongju where the Korean Wave Dream Concert will be held on the same day. The final winners can join K-pop stars on stage at the Korean Wave Dream Concert. For more information, visit www.coverdance.org.


Theater

“Fellas of Wind”: Through music and conversations in an eatery in Osaka, the play depicts the eventful lives of Korean-Japanese living in Japan, who are regarded as outsiders in both countries. It is directed by Kim Su-jin, a member of the performance troupe Shinjuku Ryozanpaku, who is known for her works that portray the lives of Korean Japanese. The play runs through July 2 at Doosan Art Center’s Space 111 in Yeonji-dong, central Seoul. Admission is 30,000 won. For more information, call (02) 708-5001 or visit www.doosanartcenter.com. 
The cast of “Fellas of Wind” (Doosan Art Center)
The cast of “Fellas of Wind” (Doosan Art Center)

“Spring Awakening”: “Spring Awakening,” which premiered on Broadway in 2006 and recorded a hit in 2009 in Korea, has started its second run. Based in 1891 Germany, the musical tells a story about teenagers who struggle to live a life in a world ruled by adults. It runs through Sept. 4 at Doosan Art Center in Yeonji-dong, central Seoul. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 60,000 won. For more information, call (02) 744-4334 or visit www.springawakening.co.kr or www.doosanartcenter.com.

“Please Look After Mom”: The hit novel “Please Look After Mom” by Shin Kyung-sook has been turned into a musical. Starring well-known actress Kim Seong-nyeo as the mother, the musical tells a heartbreaking story about a family searching for their lost mother. The musical runs through June 19 at Chungmu Art Hall in Sindang-dong, central Seoul. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 90,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2230-6601.

“Jekyll & Hyde”: Based on the novel “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson, the musical “Jekyll & Hyde” runs through August at Charlotte Theater in Jamsil-dong, southern Seoul. It is one of the most popular musicals in Seoul, and has produced many musical stars like Cho Seung-woo. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information call 1644-0078.

“Audition”: The musical portrays the friendship, love and hope of an unknown rock band. The whole show is like a live concert with the band playing all the music. The musical is steadily becoming more popular since its premiere in 2007 and a decision was made earlier this year to turn it into a movie. Moon Hee-jun, former leader of the popular 90’s K-pop group H.O.T., plays Jun-cheol, the band’s leader. The musical runs through July 24 at Art One Theater in Daehangno, central Seoul. Tickets range from 40,000 won to 50,000 won. For more information, call (02) 762-0010 or visit www.e-eda.com.


Exhibitions

“Dream and Reality: Masterpieces from Muse d’Orsay”: Including Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpiece “La Nuit Etoile, Arles,” the show introduces 134 artworks by great 19th century French artists such as Gustave Courbet, Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Paul Cezanne and Paul Gauguin, from Muse d’Orsay in France. The exhibition runs through Sept. 25 at Seoul Arts Center’s Hangaram Art Museum in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 5,000 won to 12,000 won. For more information, call (02) 325-1077~8 or visit www.orsay2011.co.kr
“Les Joueurs de Cartes” by Paul Cezanne at the exhibition “Dream and Reality: Masterpieces from Musée d’Orsay” (GNC media)
“Les Joueurs de Cartes” by Paul Cezanne at the exhibition “Dream and Reality: Masterpieces from Musée d’Orsay” (GNC media)

“Isabelle Huppert: Woman of Many Faces”: The photo exhibition shows the lesser known sides of Isabelle Huppert, France’s star actress. It features more than 110 portrait photos of the actress taken by around 70 photographers including Henri Cartier Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Chun Kyung-woo and filmmaker Ronald Chammah, Huppert’s husband. The touring show was held in seven cities including Paris, Madrid and Tokyo. The exhibition begins on Sunday and runs through Aug. 13 at The Museum of Photography, Seoul, in Bangi-dong, eastern Seoul. Tickets range from 2,000 won to 8,000 won. For more information, call (02) 418-1315 or visit www.photomuseum.or.kr.

“Aggregation 2007-2011”: Chun Kwang-young, one of South Korea’s best-selling artists, is holding a solo exhibition at Gallery Hyundai Gangnam Space in Sinsa-dong, southern Seoul. He will be showcasing his signature series, “Aggregation,” which he began in the 1990s. He used pages from old books and numerous triangular Styrofoam blocks to create three dimensional artworks, even on canvas. The exhibition runs through June 30. For more information, call (02) 519-0800 or visit www.galleryhyundai.com.

“Korean Rhapsody: A Montage of History and Memory”: Korea’s restless modern history unfolds at Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in Hannam-dong, southern Seoul, in the form of paintings, photographs, installations and media works. The exhibition displays 80 historical documents and artworks that reflect crucial moments in Korea’s painful but dynamic past. While staying within the theme, the exhibits are of very high quality, created by renowned local and foreign artists. The exhibition runs through Aug. 21. Tickets range from 4,000 won to 7,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2014-6900 or visit www.leeum.org.

“Dreams Come True: The Art of Disney’s Classic Fairy Tales”: Organized by the Walt Disney Animation Research Library, the exhibition offers more than 600 drawings, original animations, concept artworks, figures, props and music notes from Walt Disney. The exhibition is divided into nine parts ― “Three Little Pigs,” “The Ugly Duckling,” “Mickey and the Beanstalk,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Princess and the Frog” and “Tangled.” It runs through Sept. 25 at Seoul Arts Center’s Hangaram Design Museum in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul. For details, visit www.DCTexhibition.com.


Dance

“2011 HanPAC Soloist”: 2011 HanPAC Soloist presents eight performances by 12 of Korea’s top soloists and nine international and local choreographers. The list of dancers include ballerino Kim Yong-geol and modern dancer Lee Kyung-eun. The performance runs on June 11, 17 and 18 at Hankuk Performing Arts Center in Daehangno, central Seoul. Tickets range from 20,000 won to 36,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3688-0008 or visit www.hanpac.or.kr. 
Ballerino Kim Yong-geol’s dance at “2011 HanPAC Soloist” (HanPAC)
Ballerino Kim Yong-geol’s dance at “2011 HanPAC Soloist” (HanPAC)

“The 1st Ballet Festival Korea”: Korea’s leading ballet troupes gathered together to better promote the dance in the country. Korea National Ballet will open the festival with “Swan Lake” on June 12 at Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater and 11 more performances by ballet troupes such as Seoul Ballet Theater, Universal Ballet Theater and Gwangju City Ballet will follow. The festival runs from June 12 to 28 at venues nationwide. For more information, call (02) 587-6181 or visit www.kballet.org.

“This is Modern 2”: Universal Ballet will present a wide range of modern ballet including legendary choreographer Jiri Kylian’s “Petite Mort” and “Sechs Tanze” and Korean choreographer Hue Young-soon’s “This is Your Life.” The show runs until June 12 at Universal Art Center in Neung-dong, eastern Seoul. Tickets range from 10,000 won to 70,000 won. For more information, call 070-7124-1737 or visit www.uac.co.kr.

“Miso”: Rranslated as “beautiful smile,” the musical “Miso” offers a compact presentation of everything Korean culture first-timers could wish for. It blends ten different kinds of traditional dances, five traditional games and a wedding ritual into the main story line based on a well-known folktale, “The Tale of Chunhyang.” There are very few spoken lines throughout the whole performance, making it ideal for audiences of diverse nationalities. “Miso” is showing as an open run at Chongdong Theater in Jeong-dong, central Seoul. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 50,000 won. For more information, call (02) 751-1500 or visit www.koreamiso.com.
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