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Two storied European orchestras to perform Brahms' Symphony No. 1 in October

By Park Ga-young

Published : Aug. 14, 2023 - 17:37

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For the fans of Brahms' Symphony No. 1 in C minor Op. 68, October will be a chance to compare two different renditions by two top European orchestras at the same venue, just six days apart.

On Oct. 7, the London Philharmonic Orchestra will perform the composer’s first symphony in the second part of their concert at Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall under the baton of Edward Gardner. Gardner has been the LPO’s principal conductor since September 2021.

On Oct. 13, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, a Swiss orchestra with a storied past, will have its chance to showcase the same symphony.

Brahms' Symphony No. 1 -- which has the moniker “Beethoven’s 10th” -- is known to have taken the German composer 21 years to complete, from 1855 to 1876.

Apart from selecting the identical symphony, the two orchestras will perform a violin concerto piece in the first part of their concerts.

The LPO’s concert will begin with Beethoven’s Overture to "Egmont," Op. 84, followed by Brahms’s Violin Concerto, Op. 77, in collaboration with German violinist Christian Tetzlaff. The violinist was the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra's artist-in-residence in 2019.

Meanwhile, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, led by Estonian American conductor Paavo Jarvi, will join forces with Korean violinist Kim Bomsori on Oct. 13, when they perform Carl Nielsen's Violin Concerto, Op. 33 in the first half of the concert.

Nielsen is a Danish composer, conductor and violinist who was born in 1865 and died in 1931.

Jarvi, the 11th artistic director of the Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, which was founded in 1868, has been leading the orchestra since 2019. The orchestra consists of 100 members from 20 nations and gives more than 100 performances each season. It is the orchestra's third visit to South Korea after two previous tours in 2014 and 2018.

The LPO, one of the five enduring symphony orchestras located in London, boasts a rich history that dates back to 1932. In 1969, the LPO performed for the first time in Korea and the latest tour marks the orchestra's 10th visit to the country.

Outside Seoul, the LPO will bring the same program to the Daegu Concert House in Daegu on Oct. 5 and the Bucheon Art Center in Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province on Oct. 6.

On Oct. 12, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich will perform at Daegu Concert House, where they will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, instead of Brahms' Symphony No. 1.