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2011 Ditto Festival to showcase French works

Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet to join ensemble Ditto in Seoul


Now in its fifth season, the 2011 Ditto Festival’s theme will be French classical music including Debussy, Ravel and Faure. The audience will be able to enjoy a special duo recital by ensemble Ditto and another ensemble Parker Quartet, the festival’s artistic director said on Wednesday.

All-male chamber ensemble Ditto, led by violist Richard Yongjae O’Neill, has been holding the annual summer event since 2007 to bring classical chamber music to the public.
Ensemble Ditto members ― (From left) violinist Stefan Pi Jackiw, violist Richard Yongjae O’Neill, pianist Jiyong and cellist Michael Nicolas ― speak at a press conference in Seoul on Wednesday. (Credia)
Ensemble Ditto members ― (From left) violinist Stefan Pi Jackiw, violist Richard Yongjae O’Neill, pianist Jiyong and cellist Michael Nicolas ― speak at a press conference in Seoul on Wednesday. (Credia)

The week-and-a-half week festival, starting with harpist Xavier de Maistre’s first solo recital in Korea on Thursday evening at the Hoam Art Hall, will run through July 3, bringing in young classical artists from overseas.

O’Neil, the artistic director, said the summer festival will continue to be fun and friendly, under the French theme.

“It was the motto with the beginning, offering fun and friendly classical music and specifically chamber music, which was not a popular genre at all. Ditto’s mission has been to present new faces and reach out to the public,” Yongjae O’Neil told reporters in Seoul.

“Every season with Ditto Festival, we’ve had a focal point. My first trip overseas was France and Debussy, Ravel and Faure have left wonderful pieces of chamber music.There was this common thread both for recitals and concerts highlighting French composers,” he said.

One of the major highlights will be the duo recital by Ditto and ensemble Parker Quartet on June 25 at the Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall at 2 p.m.

Parker Quartet is a rapidly-rising ensemble, winning the Grammy Award Best Chamber Music Performance in February for Ligeti’s String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2.

Parker Quartet, consisting of violinist Daniel Chong, violinist Karen Kim, violist Jessica Bodner and cellist Kim Kee-hyun, will begin the duo recital with Debussy String Quartet in G minor Op. 10. The program will intensify with Brahms String Sextet in G major which violinist Johnny Lee and violist Yongjae O’Neil, cellist Michael Nicolas will join. The two ensembles will last stage Mendelssohn String Octet in E flat.

Another highlight will be the duo recital of Pianist Lim Dong-hyek and violinist Shin Hyun-su, the only two Koreans to have won the prestigious Long-Thibaud International Competition.

Lim and Shin’s concert is scheduled on July 3 at 2 p.m. at the SAC, and the two artists said their duo will be “flamboyant.” The program includes Sarasate’s “Faust Fantasy,” a Brahms scherzo and a Ravel violin sonata.

On July 2, Pianist Kim Tae-hyung, violinist Hahn-bin, ensemble TIMF with conductor Adriel Kim will stage their Ravel compilation at the SAC, under the title “This is RAVEL!”

The 2011 Ditto Festival will take place at the Hoam Art Hall and the Seoul Arts Center from June 23 to July 3. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 100,000 won. For more information, visit www.dittofest.com or www.clubbalcony.com.

By Kim Yoon-mi (yoonmi@heraldcorp.com)
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