From left, Violinist Danny Koo, Seoul Spring Festival of Chamber Music (SSF) artistic director Kang Dong-suk and pianist Park Sang-wook participate in a press conference held at former President Yun Po-sun's residence in Anguk-dong, central Seoul, Monday.  Courtesy of SSF

The Seoul Spring Festival of Chamber Music (SSF), now in its 19th year, invites classical music enthusiasts into the captivating world of chamber music.This year’s festival, running from April 23 and May 5, will be held under the theme of “All in the Family” and 60 musicians from around the world will put on 14 concerts at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, Seoul Arts Center, Art Space 3 and the Yun Po-sun Residence, which is designated as Historic Site No. 438.”Family plays a crucial role in the musical journeys of many musicians. The theme was chosen to reflect the profound connections that exist between performers, composers and audiences,” SSF’s artistic director Kang Dong-suk said during a press conference at the former president’s residence in Anguk-dong, central Seoul, Monday.“Members of quartets, for instance, often forge deeper connections with their partners than they do with their own kin.”

Diverse programs aim to capture the essence of family in many forms — composers who left their homelands and settled in foreign countries, veteran ensembles with long-established camaraderie, female composers and musical couples.Since its inception in 2006, the SSF has been at the forefront of promoting chamber music, a genre often perceived as challenging for the average listener.Kang said while there are many exceptional soloists, not all of them seamlessly transition into the world of chamber music.“I often see great soloists struggle when performing chamber music. Unlike playing solo, which only requires individual artistry, chamber music requires musicians to be flexible and blend their voices into a cohesive ensemble. It’s a skill that not every musician possesses, but I believe that those who lack it cannot achieve greatness in music,” the director said.Violinist Danny Koo, a familiar face for audiences for his appearance in MBC’s reality show “Home Alone,” said chamber music is the heart and soul of classical music.“I cannot help but become a bit depressed, because everyday I spend hours practicing alone in a dimly lit room, staring only at the mirror. Self-criticism is what I do to excel more. But playing with an ensemble is about creating a new narrative with other musicians,” said Koo, showing excitement about participating in the festival. He has been participating in the festival since 2020. “The SSF provides rare opportunities for musicians to hear the musical opinions of others. Playing chamber music is a great way to 토토사이트 learn.”

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