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Business moguls attend concert by Helene Mercier, wife of LVMH CEO

By Park Ga-young

Published : May 10, 2024 - 20:44

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Pianist Helene Mercier is seen at a duo recital on May 8 at the Lotte Concert Hall. (Provided by a reader of The Korea Herald) Pianist Helene Mercier is seen at a duo recital on May 8 at the Lotte Concert Hall. (Provided by a reader of The Korea Herald)

A concert that took place Wednesday at the Lotte Concert Hall remained relatively quiet in terms of media coverage, despite its high-profile chaebol attendees and a protest opposing one of its musicians.

The concert, part of the Classical Bridge International Music Festival, featured Russian violinist Vladimir Spivakov and pianist Helene Mercier, wife of Bernard Arnault, founder, chairman and CEO of LVMH. The pianist is also the mother of Frederic Arnault, CEO of LVMH Watches, who is rumored to be dating Lisa from Blackpink.

Among the concertgoers were South Korea’s first and second richest women -- Hong Ra-hee, the former director of the Leeum Museum of Art, and Lee Boo-jin, CEO of Hotel Shilla and South Korea’s richest female executive -- and Chung Eui-sun, the executive chairman and CEO of Hyundai Motor Group, according to a concert attendee.

Violinist Vladimir Spivakov (left) and pianist Helene Mercier greet the audience after a duo recital on May 8 at the Lotte Concert Hall. (Provided by a reader of The Korea Herald) Violinist Vladimir Spivakov (left) and pianist Helene Mercier greet the audience after a duo recital on May 8 at the Lotte Concert Hall. (Provided by a reader of The Korea Herald)

Outside the concert hall, at Jamsil Station, a protest took place against Vladimir Spivako by Arts Against Aggression, who have staged a series of online and offline protests over the past few months. They accused Spivako of being a propaganda musician for Putin. Arts Against Aggression originated from a protest against Vladimir Spivako’s performance at Harvard University in 2014 and has since grown into an international movement against Russian cultural propaganda.

The Classical Bridge International Music Festival took place in South Korea from May 7 to May 9 at the Lotte Concert Hall and the Seoul Arts Center. The lineup included Augustin Dumay, Alissa Margulis, Eric Silberger, Lyda Chen-Argerich, Mate Szucs, Aurelien Pascal, Julien Quentin, the Maisky Trio (Mischa Maisky, Lily Maisky, Sascha Maisky), the Mostly Cello Ensemble, David Fray, Reed Tetzloff, and Klara Min.