On Sunday afternoon at 2:30 pm, The Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale performed at the Seoul Arts Center — its first-ever concert in Asia. The concert, under the Philharmonia’s Korean Music Director, Shinik Hahm, and was a great success. The large and beautiful concert hall of 2,500 seats was sold out, and the audience reception was enthusiastic.
The program began with the Korean National Anthem (arranged by Prof. Thomas C. Duffy) and the American National Anthem. This was followed by Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, and the first half concluded with Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. The soloist was Sun-Mi Chang, a Seoul native and recipient of the Artist Diploma from the School of Music.
The program concluded with Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony. After several minutes of a standing ovation, the orchestra played an encore: an arrangement of “America the Beautiful” and a Korean folk song woven together by Thomas C. Duffy.
The members of the Philharmonia were enjoyed playing at such a beautiful venue. Every surface in the concert hall–except the padding of the seats — was beautiful wood, and the acoustics are warm yet clear. Backstage, there are ample dressing rooms with showers, lockers, and lots of space to relax.
After the concert, there was a lavish reception hosted by the Yale Club of Korea.