The Korea Herald

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RCO to come to Seoul with maestro Fabio Luisi and pianist Yefim Bronfman

By Park Ga-young

Published : Nov. 4, 2023 - 16:01

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Conductor Fabio Luisi (Lotte Concert Hall) Conductor Fabio Luisi (Lotte Concert Hall)

During the second week of November, Seoul will be the stage for three of the world's top orchestras, offering classical music enthusiasts a splendid treat.

In addition to the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Vienna Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, returning after six years, will grace the stage at Lotte Concert Hall on Nov. 11 with a repertoire of Beethoven, Liszt and Tchaikovsky.

The orchestra will perform Beethoven's Overture "Leonore" and Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2, along with Tchaikovsky's "Symphony No. 5" For Liszt’s "Piano Concerto No. 2." Yefim Bronfman will join the orchestra as the soloist.

Fabio Luisi, who serves as the principal conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and chief conductor of the NHK Symphony Orchestra, will lead the storied orchestra often described as "strings of velvet" and "a crown of gold."

"The audience is very fortunate to have the possibility to hear these three exceptional orchestras. We are talking about the highest possible quality in the offer of symphonic music. The RCO is a very special orchestra though, conscious of its tradition and with a joyful and positive spirit in making music,” Luisi said.

The maestro, who first led the RCO in 2005, said the orchestra is among the world's top orchestras, with the beauty of its sound, the nobility of phrasing and its technical accuracy as its foremost qualities. “But the spirit and the joy with which this orchestra approaches music, this is something I rarely see in other orchestras,” he added.

Based at the Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw, the RCO was founded in 1888 and is regarded as one of the world’s top orchestras.

Luis, 64, studied the piano but expanded his musical horizon to conducting after meeting the world of opera and working with singers. On top of that, he said, “I wanted to explore the important symphonic repertoire. The piano was not enough for my thirst for music.”

Pianist Yefim Bronfman (Lotte Concert Hall) Pianist Yefim Bronfman (Lotte Concert Hall)

Brofman, 65, is expected to give a passionate performance. Bronfman, who left the piano covered with blood after performing with the London Symphony Orchestra in 2015, shared what happened that day. “I had a splinter in my finger the day of the concert and had to have it taken out and I guess the wound from that surgical procedure made it bleed (while) playing Bartok onstage, but it did not affect my performance,” he said.

Since his first performance in Korea in 1988, he has returned many times, the most recent performance here having been with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in November 2019.

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Lotte Concert Hall) The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Lotte Concert Hall)