The renowned KBS Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1956, and throughout its long history has become the representative orchestra in Korea.
Initially, it was classed as an orchestra attached to a Korean public broadcasting company, KBS (Korean Broadcasting System), before later being transferred to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the National Symphony Orchestra, before returning once more to KBS. However, the KBS Symphony Orchestra was reestablished in 2012 as a foundational corporation in the form of professional arts management that was meant to soar beyond the limits of the broadcasting symphony orchestra and expand its boundaries in classical music and was revitalized to incorporate the current outlook with an independent and autonomous management system.
- World-Class Orchestra
- National's Beloved Orchestra
- Creative Music Contents Provider
Former music directors of the orchestra include the first chief conductor Lim Wonsik who was succeeded by some of the world’s top conductors, such as Hong Yeontaek, Won Kyung-soo, Othmar Maga, Chung Myung-Whun, and Dmitry Kitaenko. Since 2014, the orchestra has had the pleasure of Yoel Levi serving as the music director. In October 2017, for the first time since the establishment of the KBS Symphony Orchestra, an associate conductor was appointed and from that moment on Yun Hyun-jin has worked in harmony and led the orchestra alongside the music director Yoel Levi.
The KBS Symphony Orchestra has been incredibly received by a wide range of audiences due to the diversity of its thrilling repertoires from symphony to chamber music. Audience levels have reached more than a hundred thousand and have been able to enjoy over a hundred performances every year, including regular concerts, which have presented inspiring high-quality performances by the best conductors and soloists in Korea and the world, such as Paik Kun-woo, Chung Myung-whun, and Cho Sung-jin. During each season, a number of themes are presented through invitational and project concerts, and in addition to those, outreach concerts are performed for people who are neglected culturally and are unable to form any relationship with classical music.
- Overseas Performance
- The orchestra has been writing a new chapter for culture and art exchange by performing in many countries around the world.
After finishing its first ever overseas performance, which was the Southeast Concert Tour in February 1958, the orchestra has been writing a new chapter for culture and art exchange by performing in many countries around the world, including the United States of America, Japan, Europe, China, etc. Also the orchestra performed special exchange concert with North Korean orchestra in 2000 and 2002. This collaboration concert opened the cultural exchange opportunity between North and South Korea
Beyond that, the KBS Symphony Orchestra took up the role as a cultural diplomatic body that first represented Korea through the UN’s 65th Anniversary Commemoration Concert in 2010, and continued its role in a special performance for the banquet for national guests to commemorate the USA President Trump’s visit to Korea, a memorable performance in China to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Diplomatic Ties between Korea and China in 2017, before proudly being part of the Opening Ceremony Performance for PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
In particular, the orchestra is well known as it received the grand prize in the string and woodwind division of the Seoul Arts Center Award in 2017. Furthermore, the KBS Symphony Orchestra, which has positioned itself on the center stage of the classical world in Korea through performing in a variety of events, such as the Yeosu Music Festival, the Cherry Blossom Festival Concert, and the Concert for Office Workers, is planning to perform a number of projects to the delight of audiences and confirm itself as Korea’s representative classical culture brand.