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Music festival to promote peace beyond borders

Son Yeol-eum, artistic director of the classical music festival
Son Yeol-eum, artistic director of the classical music festival "Music in PyeongChang Winter Festival," speaks during a press conference at Four Seasons Hotel, central Seoul, Monday. Yonhap

By Park Ji-won

The winter series of the biannual classic event "Music in PyeongChang" aims to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula ― and success for the 2024 Winter Youth Olympics ― with its largest-ever lineup in February which includes a collaborative work between artists from war-torn Koreas and Israel and Palestine, its artistic director said Monday.

"We would like to deliver a peaceful melody to audiences through our festival. As many remember the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics as one promoting the value of peace, Peaceful NEWS, a concert of Music in the PyeongChang Winter Festival reminisces about the peaceful Olympics… We decided to call the event NEWS as it is an abbreviation of the North, East, West and South hoping the four should peacefully work together," Son, a renowned pianist and the artistic director of the festival, said during a press conference held at the Four Seasons Hotel in central Seoul, Monday.

Specifically, in the Peaceful NEWS concert, four pianists ― Son herself, North Korean defector Kim Chul-woong and duo pianists Palestinian Bishara Haroni and Israeli Yaron Kohlberg ― will play legendary piano pieces including works of Elgar, Smetana, Liszt and Brahms.

"We hope that the concert can also play a part in promoting the 2024 Winter Youth Olympics," Son said. Last week, South Korea was named as the first Asian country to host the event.

This is Son's third year as director of the biannual music festival, which is set in the mountainous region of PyeongChang, Gangwon Province on the nation's east coast, a region that became globally known with the hosting of the Winter Olympics in 2018.

The annual festival has been held in the summer since 2004, and added a winter program in 2016.

Most of the main concerts will be held at the Alpensia Concert Hall within the Alpensia Resort in PyeongChang, while special and outreach concerts will take place at diverse venues around Gangwon Province, and also in Seoul.

This year's winter event is slated to take place from Feb. 9 to 25 with eight shows and 18 performances.

Son also unveiled the festival's four themes: the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven; "Somewhere in Between" to promote cross-genre artists; the delivery of the message of peace; and a performance for Schubert's "Winterreise" which consists of contemporary dance and visual arts.

"Contemporary dancer and choreographer Cha Jin-yeob will come up with a performance designed to present a new Winterreise. The reason the festival continues to come with new challenges with the artwork is that it has the essence of classic music which values timelessness and overcomes time and space," Son added.

Ticket prices for each concert range between 10,000 won ($8.65) and 30,000 won. The festival also includes some free outreach concerts, hosted at places where the Winter Games were played, including Wonju, Chuncheon and Jeongseon, all in Gangwon Province.

For more information, visit the festival's website at www.mpyc.kr.


Son Yeol-eum, artistic director of the classical music festival
Son Yeol-eum, artistic director of the classical music festival "Music in PyeongChang Winter Festival," speaks during a press conference at Four Seasons Hotel, central Seoul, Monday. Yonhap

By Park Ji-won

The winter series of the biannual classic event "Music in PyeongChang" aims to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula ― and success for the 2024 Winter Youth Olympics ― with its largest-ever lineup in February which includes a collaborative work between artists from war-torn Koreas and Israel and Palestine, its artistic director said Monday.

"We would like to deliver a peaceful melody to audiences through our festival. As many remember the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics as one promoting the value of peace, Peaceful NEWS, a concert of Music in the PyeongChang Winter Festival reminisces about the peaceful Olympics… We decided to call the event NEWS as it is an abbreviation of the North, East, West and South hoping the four should peacefully work together," Son, a renowned pianist and the artistic director of the festival, said during a press conference held at the Four Seasons Hotel in central Seoul, Monday.

Specifically, in the Peaceful NEWS concert, four pianists ― Son herself, North Korean defector Kim Chul-woong and duo pianists Palestinian Bishara Haroni and Israeli Yaron Kohlberg ― will play legendary piano pieces including works of Elgar, Smetana, Liszt and Brahms.

"We hope that the concert can also play a part in promoting the 2024 Winter Youth Olympics," Son said. Last week, South Korea was named as the first Asian country to host the event.

This is Son's third year as director of the biannual music festival, which is set in the mountainous region of PyeongChang, Gangwon Province on the nation's east coast, a region that became globally known with the hosting of the Winter Olympics in 2018.

The annual festival has been held in the summer since 2004, and added a winter program in 2016.

Most of the main concerts will be held at the Alpensia Concert Hall within the Alpensia Resort in PyeongChang, while special and outreach concerts will take place at diverse venues around Gangwon Province, and also in Seoul.

This year's winter event is slated to take place from Feb. 9 to 25 with eight shows and 18 performances.

Son also unveiled the festival's four themes: the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven; "Somewhere in Between" to promote cross-genre artists; the delivery of the message of peace; and a performance for Schubert's "Winterreise" which consists of contemporary dance and visual arts.

"Contemporary dancer and choreographer Cha Jin-yeob will come up with a performance designed to present a new Winterreise. The reason the festival continues to come with new challenges with the artwork is that it has the essence of classic music which values timelessness and overcomes time and space," Son added.

Ticket prices for each concert range between 10,000 won ($8.65) and 30,000 won. The festival also includes some free outreach concerts, hosted at places where the Winter Games were played, including Wonju, Chuncheon and Jeongseon, all in Gangwon Province.

For more information, visit the festival's website at www.mpyc.kr.


Park Ji-won jwpark@koreatimes.co.kr


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