Top performing arts school seals ties with Russia, China
By Do Je-hae
The nation’s top performing arts school will launch new exchange programs with Russia’s Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, one of the most respected performing arts institutions in the world.
Korea National University of Arts (KNUA) has concluded an exchange and cooperation agreement with the school named after the legendary composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, KNUA said Friday.
Korean artists, such as pianist Lim Dong-hyek, are graduates of the prestigious Russian school, where Tchaikovsky himself once taught.
At its opening in 1866, Tchaikovsky was appointed professor of theory and harmony, a post he held until approximately 1878. Since 1940, the conservatory has borne the composer’s name. Along with the St. Petersburg Conservatory, it is one of the leading music universities in Russia.
Under the agreement, the Korean school will send the KNUA Orchestra to the Russian conservatory this year. Russia's state cinema college VGIK will invite KNUA students to an international workshop on cinema production in Moscow this summer.
The KNUA will also form new ties with renowned schools in China.
The Shanghai Theater Academy has invited KNUA students to a theater festival to be held in the Chinese city later this year. KNUA and the Shanghai Academy also agreed to exchange students majoring in dance.
KNUA also agreed to promote joint programs with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, such as concerts and workshops.
KNUA President Park Chong-won signed the agreements during his visit to Russia and China from March 18 to 24.
KNUA was established as the only institute of higher education for nurturing artists 20 years ago by the culture ministry.
The school celebrated the 20th anniversary of its founding this year with a special concert on Jan. 11 at the arts theater of its campus in Seokgwan-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul. It has an additional campus in Seocho-dong.
It has 26 departments in six schools: music, drama, film TV and multimedia, dance, visual arts, and traditional Korean arts.
The school is known in particular for its excellence in training classical musicians.
In recent years, some of its graduates have won or medaled at prestigious international music competitions, contributing to altering the general perception Koreans have that one must study abroad to gain international recognition.
In light of the rise of young Korean classical musicians, the Belgian TV channel RTBF recently visited KNUA fora documentary on its classical musicians. The program will be aired in May during the Queen Elisabeth Competition.