Philharmonia performs at the Seoul Arts Center

    The Philharmonia and Shinik Hahm take a bow in the Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall

The Philharmonia and Shinik Hahm take a bow in the Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall

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.

Dress rehearsal of Beethovens Violin Concerto, with soloist Sun-Mi Chang

Dress rehearsal of Beethoven's Violin Concerto, with soloist Sun-Mi Chang

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.

This view of the stage gives you an idea of how much fine wood was used in finishing the concert hall

This view of the stage gives you an idea of how much fine wood was used in finishing the concert hall. Even the chorus seats behind the orchestra were full on Sunday.

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.

The lobby of the Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall

The lobby of the Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall

After the concert, there was a lavish reception hosted by the Yale Club of Korea.

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