SPO to launch N. American tour
By Do Je-hae
The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) and its music director Chung Myung-whun will embark on its first North American tour in April.
The nation’s oldest symphony orchestra will perform in Vancouver, Seattle, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles from April 15 to 19.
The program will feature Tchaikovsky’s 6th and final symphony “Pathetique” and other pieces by Stravinsky and Chin Un-suk, a Berlin-based Korean composer and composer-in-residence of the SPO.
This marks the orchestra’s first official tour of North America.
“We have previously staged benefit concerts at the U.N. headquarters and Carnegie Hall. But this is the first time that we are staging paid concerts in North America,” said Kim Jin-young, a PR official with the orchestra.
While Chung has built his career as a conductor and opera director in France and Italy, it is in the United States that he spent his youth and launched himself.
It was with the Los Angeles Philharmonic that he first started to gain recognition, having been appointed as an assistant to Italian maestro Carlo Maria Giulini (1914-2005) in 1979.
Chung is currently inPyongyang, NorthKorea, to finetune the details to a concert with the North Korean orchestra that will be held inParis in March.
During the tour, Chung will bring the SPO to the renowned Walt Disney Concert Hall, the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
The orchestra will also promote its second recording for Deustche Grammophon (DG) of Mahler’s first symphony “The Titian.”
The upcoming North American tour coincides with the beginning of the 58-year-old conductor’s third term with the SPO, which will run through 2015.
His most important achievements so far have been to facilitate more overseas engagements and the DG recording contract, in addition to taxing projects like the Mahler Series in 2011.