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Harmonica to lead orchestra onstage

Harmonica player Park Jong-seong plays the instrument during a press event held Wednesday at the culture complex Ode Port in southern Seoul. (Yonhap)
Harmonica player Park Jong-seong plays the instrument during a press event held Wednesday at the culture complex Ode Port in southern Seoul. (Yonhap)

Harmonicist Park Jong-seong, 36, will go on the stage with the Prime Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of conductor Baek Yoon-hak at the Gangdong Arts Center in eastern Seoul on June 13.

Park has won awards with his harmonica at international competitions in Japan, China and Germany. The musician has also released three solo albums so far.

“There have been occasions where I was invited to orchestral performances to play one or two works. But it is the first time to invite an orchestra to my performance,” Park said at a press event held Wednesday in southern Seoul.

“I have played the harmonica with the piano, guitar or a band and more. But it is the greatest pleasure to play with an orchestra,” he said.

The program for June 13 consists of harmonica concerto “Harmonica Memorial,” written by Kim Hyeong-jun, and “Adios, Piazolla,” a rearrangement of the Argentine musician’s best works.

“The concerto looks back on the history and footsteps of the harmonica,” composer Kim said. “I wanted to show that the harmonica is an instrument with great potential.”

The harmonica concerto with four movements premiered in February at the Seoul Arts Center.

“I consider the premiere to have been a stage for the composer. This time, the stage is for me,” Park said.

“Harmonica performers are thirsty for new repertoires as there aren‘t many works for the instrument,” Park said. “It was the first time for a Korean composer to write an orchestral work for the harmonica. It will be good news to harmonicists around the world.”

Other works on the program for the upcoming concert are George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and James Moody’s “Toledo: Spanish Fantasy,” along with Korean folk song “Bird, Bird, Blue Bird.”

Tickets cost 40,000 won. Patron tickets are 100,000 won.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)
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