At 8 PM on Saturday, August 15, the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) will be holding the “Concert in Celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Liberation of Korea” at the amphitheater in Seodaemun Prison History Hall. About 100 citizens will be invited as the number of on-site spectators will be minimized to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and the concert will be livestreamed so that anyone can enjoy the concert online safely at home.
The concert will comply with guidelines for distancing in daily life, such as keeping a distance of 1 meter between spectators to prevent the spread of COVID-19, checking body temperatures, and operating a digital attendance logging system. About 100 citizens will be invited through pre-reservation. Anyone who wants to watch the concert can make a reservation starting at 11 AM on Tuesday, August 11 on the SPO website (www.seoulphil.or.kr) on a first-come, first-served basis.
“The Concert in Celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Liberation of Korea” livestream can be watched via NAVER TV as well as the SPO’s and SMG’s YouTube channels.
○ SPO YouTube: www.youtube.com/seoulphil1
○ SMG YouTube: www.youtube.com/seoullive
– Osmo Vänskä
– Ahn Eak-Tai, Korean National Anthem
– Copland, Fanfare for the Common Man
– Beethoven, Symphony No. 5, Op.67, C minor, I. Allegro con brio
– Grieg, Peer Gynt Suite No. 1. Op. 46
– Korean traditional folk song Arirang (arr. Texu Kim) * Violin solo: Wayne Lin
– Sibelius, Finlandia Op. 26
– Beethoven, Symphony No. 5, Op.67, C minor, IV. Allegro
Osmo Vänskä has been the music director of the Minnesota Orchestra since 2003. Since January 2020, he has been working as the music director of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. Having a reputation for persuasive interpretation and an impressive presence on the podium, he has built long-term networks with a number of orchestras with a democratic and open-minded attitude.
With Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä gave a tour concert at five major cities in Europe. In 2015, he led a historical concert in Cuba, which was the first visit of the American orchestra after the normalization of diplomatic relations between two countries, following the invitation of the Ministry of Culture of Cuba. After a performance at BBC Proms, he headed for a tour concert in five cities in the Republic of South Africa, to celebrate Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela on his centenary with the global community. It was the first visit to South Africa by an American orchestra, where the musicians of South African and the U.S. could express peace, freedom, and reconciliation through the performance together.
While working as a music director of the Minnesota Orchestra, he released 19 albums and led a seminar for young composers. He also planned for and directed Future Classics Concert and worked for educational programs in Minneapolis and other cities, as well as projects for the local community.
This season, he will stage the first concert with Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and work as a guest conductor for Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, and Iceland Symphony Orchestra. Contributing to educational programs, he will also revisit New World Symphony and hold a tour concert in the eastern part of the U.S. with Curtis Symphony Orchestra.
Well-known for magnificent albums, he is currently recording the complete symphonies of Mahler with the Minnesota Orchestra. Four albums have been released up to the present and he was nominated for a Grammy with the Mahler’s Symphony no. 5. He will start the season as he conducts Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra to perform Mahler’s Symphony no. 2 and close the season as he conducts Minnesota Orchestra to perform Mahler’s Symphony no. 9. The complete symphonies of Beethoven and Sibelius that he recorded with Minnesota Orchestra and released through BIS Records were praised globally and won the Grammy Award for the Best Classical Orchestral Performance.
Among the orchestras for which he recently worked as a guest conductor are Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR, Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Shanghai, China, Hangzhou, and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestras.
Osmo Vänskä has been the principal guest conductor of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra since 2014 (1993-1996, permanent conductor) as well as conductor laureate of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra since 2008 (1988-2007, music director). He also worked as the principal conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (1996-2002).
Osmo Vänskä studied conducting at the Sibelius Academy of Finland, and he won the Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors in 1982. He started his musical career as a clarinetist and occupied the co-principal chair of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra.
Established as Goryeo Symphony Orchestra in 1945, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra became independent as a juridical foundation in 2005. Under the leadership of Chung Myung-Whun, its first music director, it has played a wide-ranged repertoire and grown into a world-renowned body. In January 2020, Finnish maestro Osmo Vänskä became its second music director.
The regular concerts of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra with Thierry Fischer and Markus Stenz, its principal guest conductors, together with the world’s top guest conductors and performing artists are leading the Korean classical music scene with outstanding musical performances and programs.
Aside from concerts at concert halls, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra holds various forms of concerts for Seoul citizens, such as “Neighborhood Orchestra,” “National Independence Day Concert” and “Riverside Concert”; it provides systematic life-cycle educational programs, such as “First Concert for My Baby” and “Visualization of Textbook Music,” to satisfy the artistic and public requirements at the same time.
The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra received a favorable review from the critics and audience after a tour of nine cities of four countries in Europe, including Italy, Germany, Russia and the Czech Republic in 2010, a tour of Europe festivals, including the Edinburgh International Festival in 2011, and a tour of North America, including Los Angeles in 2012. In 2014, it performed on the stages in four cities in Europe, including BBC Proms in the UK, and received favorable reviews from local media and the audience. In 2015, it gave successful concerts at the National Centre for the Performing Arts of China and Suntory Hall of Japan, establishing a solid foothold as a major orchestra in Asia. In 2018, it gave a performance in Paris and Luzerne for the first time as it had a tour concert in Europe and in October 2019, it established a firm status as one of the top Asian orchestras through the tour concert in three cities in Russia, celebrating the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Russia as well as the centenary of the March 1st Movement and the establishment of Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea.
In 2011, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra signed a contract with Deutsche Grammophon (DG), the world’s top classical music record label, to release two albums every year for five years and released albums containing representative works of Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and more.