I am not typically the type of person to listen to classical music; I far prefer listening to music in the style of pop or musical theater. However, ever since attending the KIMEA National Honor Festival earlier this year in February, I discovered a new passion – for classical music as performed by orchestras. As an an advance celebration ofmy upcoming birthday, my mom took me to a performance on October 25th by world-renowned cellist Mischa Maisky and Swiss symphony orchestra Musikkollegium Winterthur at the Seoul Arts Center.
[Postter advertising the Maisky and Winterthur performance
During the performance, the orchestra and Maisky performed a total of four selections:
Beethoven’s Egmont, Op.84,
Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129,
Bruch’s Kol Nidrei, Op. 47,
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.
The second and third pieces were concerto, played by both the orchestra and the orchestra alone performed Egmont and Symphony No. 5. Before this night, the closest thing to a formal classicalperformance I’d attended would have been a musical theater performance. As a result, I was surprised that only four pieces were to be performed during the concert.I later learned that the running time for each piece went on for ten to thirtyminutes each. Because the K-pop idol concerts I usually go to have almost twenty shortsongs in the setlist, it was a fresh experience for me to focus on a few longer, more complex pieces instead of speeding through myriad 3-minute tracks.
|[Photo of the author posing in front of a banner promoting the Maisky and Winterthur performance at the Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall (Photo courtesy of Rachel Lee)]|
Furthermore, I was also surprised by the classical performance etiquette that I had never experienced before. For instance, I wasn’t aware that after a performance, the musician exits and reenters the stage multiple times in order to acknowledge the audience’s applause. Because I was a newbie to classical performances, I was really confused as to why the applause wasn’tending, and why Maisky was leaving and coming back on stage again and again for almost five minutes. But,my confusion quickly turned intoreverence; there was something deeply stirring about theculture of classical concertgoingbecame a newexperience for me to learn from.
|[The symphony orchestra bows to the audience’s applause after performing their final piece of the evening (Photo courtesy of Rachel Lee)]|
All in all, attending the Maisky and Musikkollegium Winterthur performance at the Seoul Arts Center exposed me to numerous aspects to classical music culture that I hadn’t been aware of in the past. Though I will likely still prefer to go to idol performances over an orchestra concert, my appreciation for classical musicians and their work increased through my experience at the Seoul Arts Center this fall.
Seoul International School
Rachel Lee firstname.lastname@example.org
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