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Series of music, theater festivals to fill the summer

By Park Ga-young

Published : July 21, 2023 - 15:13

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Actors perform at the Miryang Summer Performing Arts Festival in this undated photo. (Miryang Summer Performing Arts Festival) Actors perform at the Miryang Summer Performing Arts Festival in this undated photo. (Miryang Summer Performing Arts Festival)

This summer the stage is set for a series of thrilling arts festivals, starting with the Miryang Summer Performing Arts Festival on Friday. As the season unfolds, various other festivals will return every week through the end of August.

The 23rd edition of the Miryang Summer Performing Arts Festival will run until July 29 at Miryang Aria and other venues in the small city located in South Gyeongsang Province. The city has a population of about 100,000, but it will temporarily become the nation's center for performing arts, particularly theatrical plays, with 57 troupes from around Korea scheduled to perform.

From Wednesday to Aug. 5, Music in PyeongChang, an annual music festival held in the city in Gangwon Province, will bring classical music lovers to the city with an emphasis on nature.

For this year’s edition, marking its 20th anniversary, the festival will showcase 20 concerts and eight outreach concerts with pieces such as Schumann's "Forest Scenes," Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" and Schubert's "Trout Quintet," each of which is associated with nature or holds special significance. The festival will run under the directorship of cellist Yang Sung-won, who was appointed the festival's fourth artistic director in March.

“A Square World” (ACC) “A Square World” (ACC)

The ASSITEJ Korea International Summer Festival, an arts festival dedicated to children and youth, will present two plays at the Asia Culture Center in Gwangju. The plays will help young people understand and share each other’s differences and worlds, the organizers said.

On July 29 and 30, “A Square World” from the United Kingdom will be performed, while “Lady and Gentle Mime” from Thailand will be showcased on Aug. 5 and 6.

Posters for this year's Classic Revolution (left) and SAC Summer Music Festival (Lotte Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center) Posters for this year's Classic Revolution (left) and SAC Summer Music Festival (Lotte Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center)

From Aug. 11 to 20, Classical Revolution, a festival at Lotte Concert Hall that focuses on one composer each year, will shed light on American conductor, composer, pianist and music educator Leonard Bernstein, as well as composers who have had great impact on him such as Brahms, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Mahler and Dvorak.

This year's festival will be led by Andreas Ottensamer, the principal clarinetist of the Berlin Philharmonic. Other talented performers, including flutist Kim Yubin, soprano Hwang Soo-mi, cellist Han Jae-min, pianist Yoon Hong-chen and tenor Shin Chang-yong, will also take the stage.

National Chorus of Korea (NCK) National Chorus of Korea (NCK)

From Aug. 22 to 27, Seoul Arts Center's Summer Music Festival will take place to celebrate of the 30th anniversary of the complete opening of the center. This year's festival will feature renowned Korean pianist Baik Kun-woo, who will present a special chamber music performance with young musicians. For the opening and closing performances of the festival, the podium will be occupied by the esteemed Spanish conductor and winner of the Malko Conducting Competition, Antonio Mendez.

Wrapping up the summer festivities will be human voices. On Aug. 30 and 31, the National Chorus of Korea's Summer Choral Festival, also at the Seoul Arts Center, will bring together renowned singers to offer a wide range of genres, from traditional Western classical music to original choral works.