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Tongyeong Int'l Music Festival with range of genres kicks off for first time in two years Updated: 2021-03-26 14:01:12 KST

Today is Friday,. and that means it's time for our weekly 'Life With Culture' segment.
Today, our arts and culture correspondent Kim Bo-kyoung is down in Gyeongsangnam-do Province to cover one of the largest international music festivals in Korea. Bo-kyoung, where are you and what do you have for us?

Hi Conn-young, right behind me is the Tongyeong Concert Hall where the opening concert of this year's Tongyeong International Music Festival has just started.
A range of performances are going to be shown from today until April 4th. and anticipation is high as this year's festival is the first in two years because last year's festival was canceled due to the pandemic.
Tongyeong is the hometown of composer Yun Isang, who fused traditional Korean music with Western avantgarde musical techniques, and the annual festival has been held to commemorate him since 2002.
This year's theme is 'Changing Reality' reflecting the tiring times caused by the COVID-19.
The director of artistic planning says they have focused very much on health measures this year, and the artists, including the conductor of the opening concert Venezuelan conductor Christian Vasquez who is the star musician from 'El Sistema' say they are very thankful to the festival for enabling them to deliver hope to the audience.

"We have put a lot of effort into preventive measures. All the artists and staff including those who go in and out through the backstage have taken COVID-19 tests. The concert hall will only open one and a half an hours before the show begins, and only half of the seats will be used."

"I want to say thank you to the festival because they believe in culture. It is very important because we suffered because all concerts are canceled and here is the proof that if we take care of each other, we can make music. For that reason, I am so happy to be here."

It must be very nice to hear such wonderful classical music in Tongyeong where you can also enjoy the sea. I heard there are lots of interesting shows in the lineup?

That's right, there's around 20 performances from a range of genres.
The first one worth taking a look at is 'Dear Luna' a ballet performance with media art delivering the story of the flow and change of the moon.
Ballerina Kim Joo-won and other ballet dancers will perform with piano melodies played by William Youn.
And actress Han Yeri who featured in the Oscar-nominated film 'Minari' is also taking part in the show as a performer and narrator.
Unfortunately, globally recognized violinist Chung Kyung-wha canceled her performance which was scheduled for March 28th and 30th due to a finger injury. but there are plenty of other great shows including pansori-based alternative pop band Leenalchi.
The shows are going to be live-streamed through the official YouTube channel 'Tongyeong International Music Foundation' so even if our viewers don't have a chance to come here, they can still enjoy the music and performances. That's all from me here in Tongyeong.
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