Independent orchestra CHAM to play 'The Queen Symphony' - Korea Times
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Independent orchestra CHAM to play 'The Queen Symphony'

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By Park Ji-won

The poster for the show,
The poster for the show, "REQUIEM from The Queen Symphony" / Courtesy of the CHAM Philharmonic Orchestra
The CHAM Philharmonic Orchestra will play "The Queen Symphony," composed by Tolga Kashif in tribute to the British rock band, Queen, in a charity concert to be held Oct. 15 at Lotte Concert Hall.

The independent orchestra, which was founded in 2018 by members who had performed on the occasion of the anniversary of the April 3 Jeju Massacre, will play the piece based on some well-known melodies from Queen such as "Bohemian Rhapsody," "We Will Rock You" "Who Wants to Live Forever," "Radio Gaga" and "We are the Champions."

The work, consisting of six movements, lasts more than one hour. The composer is known to have introduced requiem lyrics to deliver a message of reconciliation, the orchestra said.

The piece has been performed regularly throughout the world since it premiered in 2002, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

The composer has been seeking to come up with classical pieces inspired by rock music. He has previously worked with David Bowie, Elton John and U2.

In 2008, he came to Korea to perform with Seo Tai-ji, a legendary Korean rock and pop musician, as part of the collaboration, the "Great 2008 Seotaiji Symphony with Tolga Kashif and the Royal Philharmonic." The two musicians worked together for about six months to turn Seo's music into classical pieces.

In addition to the symphony, the orchestra will play a classical piece that hasn't been played often in Korea: Symphony No. 3, known as the "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs," written by Polish composer Henryk Gorecki in 1976.

The symphony is centered on three texts concerning sorrow, suffering and motherhood in the family, and was written during World War II. Its 1992 recording sold more than a million copies, an extraordinary performance for a contemporary classical album.

Mezzo Soprano Kim Sun-Jung, who will sing Symphony No. 3, translated the Polish lyrics into Korean to perform this time.

Conductor Lim Hyung-sup will lead the CHAM Philharmonic Orchestra and CHAM Project Chorus, while Kim will sing the work.

The musicians formed CHAM with the mission of sharing empathy with the suffering of society throughout history. The members are not paid for their performances, and profits raised through the concert will be donated to children in Phong Nhi and Phong Nhat, Vietnam.

Park Ji-won

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