Top virtuosos unite for unprecedented Seoul concerts in May

SEOUL, Renowned musicians from the world's top-tier orchestras will come together to perform in Seoul in May as part of a new orchestra, in an unprecedented musical convergence, the orchestra's organizer said Wednesday. The World Union Orchestra will comprise around 60 musicians from the Vienna Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, according to Dumir. The idea of inviting them to Seoul as a temporary team originated when Dumir CEO Ko Pill-kyu and like-minded partners sought, for years, to "provide the public exceptional music performed by some of the world's finest musicians," he said during a press conference in Seoul on Wednesday. The orchestra will perform iconic film scores composed by John Williams, including pieces from "Harry Potter," "E.T.," "Superman," "Jurassic Park," "Jaws" and "Schindler's List. The project to showcase the celebrated works of Williams aims to bridge the perceived divide between classical music and mainstream au diences, Ko said. "It's been really hard to assemble the top-class artists. But we will continue to do our best to prepare for the concerts, now only two months away." CEO Yoo So-bang of the European classic agency SBU and Partners, elaborated further on the efforts for the recruitment, saying it was "incredibly challenging" to ask the exceptionally busy virtuosos to take nearly 10 days away from their packed schedules to participate in the Seoul concerts. Austrian conductor Lorenz C. Aichner has assumed the role of conductor for the orchestra, while Michelle Kim, currently serving as assistant concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, has been appointed as concertmaster. The conductor expressed confidence in successfully leading the team to deliver exceptional concerts. He said musicians, including himself, always aspire to explore new horizons and are continuously intrigued by opportunities to blend diverse cultures. "It is just natural for us to sit together and make music because there's only good or not so good music," he said, emphasizing that there's no clear boundary between classical and non-classical music. "I am very positive that this will work great because great musicians are great listeners. And if they listen to each other, they make great music together," he said. The concerts are scheduled from May 19 to 25. On May 19 and 20, the orchestra will perform the works of the film music maestro. From May 23-25, they will collaborate with South Korean popera singer Kim Ho-joong, dubbed "Tbarothi," a combination of trot music and Pavarotti, alongside the esteemed soprano Aida Garifullina. They will sing arias from operas like "Norma" and "La Traviata," as well as movie scores and themes. Source: Yonhap News Agency