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Great Mountains Music Festival & School combines classical music with nature

There is one musical festival going on throughout Gangwon-do (Gangwon Province) where one can indulge in the beautiful notes of classical music, surrounded by Mother Nature.

Underway with the title “Northern Lights,” the Great Mountains Music Festival & School (GMMFS) marks its 10th year, this time around shedding new light on the works of posthumously remembered musicians from five northern European nations -- Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden -- and world-renowned chamber music masterpieces.

The Finland-based chamber orchestra St. Michel Strings conducted by maestro Sasha Makila performs on July 25 (photo courtesy of Communiqué).

The Finland-based chamber orchestra St. Michel Strings conducted by maestro Sasha Makila performs on July 25 (photo courtesy of Communiqué).


The Finland-based chamber orchestra St. Michel Strings kicked off the festival on July 25 when it performed the Holberg Suite of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg and excellent works by Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara and Swedish composer Dag Wiren under the baton of Sasha Makila.

A July 30 special gala program titled “Bach Cello Suites Special” will invite three world-class cellists -- Gary Hoffman, David Geringas, and Jian Wang -- who will pay homage to one of history’s greatest composers, Johann Sebastian Bach, by performing selections from his Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello.

Korean violinist Chung Kyung-wha (left) who also co-directs the festival will perform together with talented American pianist Kevin Kenner on July 31 (photo courtesy of Anyang Foundation for Culture & Arts).

Korean violinist Chung Kyung-wha (left) who also co-directs the festival will perform together with talented American pianist Kevin Kenner on July 31 (photo courtesy of Anyang Foundation for Culture & Arts).


Korean violinist Chung Kyung-wha, who is also the co-director of this festival, and American pianist Kevin Kenner will appear on stage together later that day, to bring back the amazing sonatas composed by Wolfgang Mozart, Johannes Brahms, and Gabriel Faure.

On August 3, two globally renowned Korean pianists Son Yeol-eum and Kim Da-sol will remember the Russian-born composer Igor Stravinsky with one of his masterpieces, the Rite of Spring in celebration of the 100th anniversary of its premiere on stage.

Before they collaborate in playing Stravinsky’s the Rite of Spring on August 3, Korean pianists Son Yeol-eum and Kim Da-sol perform on July 26 (photo courtesy of Communique).

Before they collaborate in playing Stravinsky’s the Rite of Spring on August 3, Korean pianists Son Yeol-eum and Kim Da-sol perform on July 26 (photo courtesy of Communique).


Two not-yet-unveiled pieces of music are to make their debut during this festival. One is a creation by American composer Richard Danielpour with the theme “Journey to Wisdom,” while the other is Korean composer Lee Young-jo’s new piece of chamber music which boasts melodious tunes generated by cello, the flute-like daegeum, and percussion instruments.

Lee’s new work will be premiered by co-director and cellist Chung Myung-wha.

Chinese cellist Jian Wang (right) instructs a student during the Cello Master Class on July 26. The GMMFS also holds a music school targeting around 140 young promising musicians from twelve nations, with participation from domestic and international musicians to share their musical expertise and skills (photo courtesy of Communique).

Chinese cellist Jian Wang (right) instructs a student during the Cello Master Class on July 26. The GMMFS also holds a music school targeting around 140 young promising musicians from twelve nations, with participation from domestic and international musicians to share their musical expertise and skills (photo courtesy of Communique).


Korea’s biggest classical music festival, the Great Mountains Music Festival & School takes place on an annual basis, with this year’s being held at Alpensia and at Yongpyeong Resort in Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do until August 5.

For more information, please click here.

By Sohn Ji-ae
Korea.net Staff Writer
jiae5853@korea.kr  

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