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Symphonic music festival in Gwangju to bring together 2,000 musicians in July

By Lee Jaeeun

Published : May 23, 2024 - 12:14

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The 2024 World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) Conference (Gwangju City) The 2024 World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) Conference (Gwangju City)

The 2024 20th World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) Conference Gwangju-Gyeonggi will open in Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province, in July, hosting more than 2,000 musicians from over 30 countries, according to the municipal government.

This year's edition of the biennial symphonic wind music festival will run from July 16-20.

The music festival in the suburbs southeast of Seoul will include main concerts, lectures, fringe festivals and exhibitions, among which the main concerts will be held at the Namhansanseong Art Hall, with 13 teams from eight countries selected by the WASBE Committee.

The selected 13 prestigious teams include the US Navy Band, the Adelaide Wind Orchestra from Australia, the Baden-Wurttemberg Band from Germany and the OHJS Strasbourg Youth Harmony Orchestra from France.

The festival will culminate with a performance by the WASBE Youth Wind Orchestra, a group of young musicians from around the world.

The program has been an important part of the WASBE Conferences, according to the city government. The government added that WYWO has brought together talented young musicians from all over the world to perform wind band repertoires at the highest level. Students will have the opportunity to work with internationally renowned conductors, composers and soloists during a week of intensive music-making in Gwangju in July.

Before the main events, the opening ceremony will be held over three days from July 13 to 15.

The programs of the 2024 World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) Conference (Gwangju City) The programs of the 2024 World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) Conference (Gwangju City)

On July 13 and 14, a parade featuring military bands and honor guards from the Korean Army, Navy and Air Force will be held on Gwangju-daero in Gwangju with a celebratory flight by the Korean Air Force's aerobatic team, the Black Eagles.

WASBE has so far drawn more than 200,000 musicians and visitors from more than 50 countries to enjoy performances, seminars and exhibitions, since 1983.

For international visitors and local residents interested in Korean culture and music, hanbok fashion performances designed with the flags of participating countries will be staged, and a concert featuring Korean music stars including K-pop idol groups will be held on July 14 in front of Gwangju City Hall.

“As this is the first international event to be held in the host city of Gwangju, we are fully prepared to make the event a success and expect many visitors,” a Gwangju city official said.

Gwangju has long been a cultural hot spot. Having been famous for its ceramic production since the Joseon era, it has now set a new course in aiming to become a global center of classical music.

Performances at historic sites including Namhansanseong will give the audience the chance to enjoy music in beautiful natural surroundings, according to the city.

Tickets for the main performances can be purchased through the Ticketlink platform, and more information on the lecture series and performances is on WASBE's website, the official added.

Gwangju city mayor Bang Se-hwan (Gwangju City) Gwangju city mayor Bang Se-hwan (Gwangju City)