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Home>KBS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA>About KBSSO

About KBSSO

About KBSSO

About KBSSOHistory

Introduction

The KBS Symphony Orchestra has been a leading player in Korean musical life, performing high standard classical music since its first-ever concert on December 20, 1956.

In collaboration with internationally renowned conductors and guest artists such as Paik Kun-woo, Sumi Jo, Sarah Chang and Chang Han-na, the KBS Symphony Orchestra performs over 100 concerts a year, including more than 20 subscription concerts.

Lim Won-sik was the first chief conductor, serving until 1970. Since then, six renowned conductors, Hong Yeon-taek, Won Kyung-su, Othmar Maga, Chung Myung-whun, Dmitry Kitaenko, Shinik Hahm have been in charge of the Orchestra.

In 2014, Maestro Yoel Levi, one of the leading podium personalities in the world, began his tenure as Music Director. Under Maestro Yoel Levis commanding musicianship, the Orchestras musical accomplishments will heighten even further. The KBS Symphony Orchestra stays committed to reaching and inspiring audiences through musical excellence.

The KBS Symphony Orchestra has toured the major cities of the United States in 1979 and five Southeast Asian countries(Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur) in 1984. The Orchestra also gave a concert in Japan including the Kitakyushu International Music Festival and took part in a joint concert with the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra and NHK's invitation concerts. The orchestra received a special invitation in 1995 to perform a concert in the United Nations General Assembly Hall as part of the world organization's 50th anniversary celebration. In 2002, the exchange concerts with the China Philharmonic Orchestra in Beijing and Shanghai were held. It helped raise the public image of Korean classical music on the international stage.

In August 2000, the KBS Symphony Orchestra held a joint concert with the State Symphony Orchestra of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in Seoul. The orchestra also successfully gave a historic joint performance in Pyongyang, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea two years later. The KBS Symphony Orchestra was internationally acclaimed with tour concerts in Tokyo and Osaka during Asia Orchestra Week 2007.

In December 2006, the KBS Symphony Orchestra published The 50 years of history of the KBS Symphony Orchestra, and gave the 50th anniversary concert, which marked an epoch in Korea's Classical Music Industry by inviting the world-renowned composer K. Penderecki and pianist Paik Kun-woo. The KBS Symphony Orchestra took a step forward to being a world-class orchestra through the concert at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and the UN Day concert celebrating the 65th anniversary of the UN in October 2010.

In September 2012, the KBS Symphony Orchestra took a step toward a new future by being an incorporated foundation. The KBS Symphony Orchestra continues to be as one of the worlds outstanding orchestras as well as carries out the mission that takes a role of a cultural messenger at home and abroad.

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