검색
Contact us | KOREAN

NEWSLETTER

00707012
2012.04
background left image
background right image
background handphone image
background pen image
KOREAN

‘Bach to the Beatles’ on Viola’s Versatile Tone  KF Gallery Open Stage Presents Viola Ensemble

The viola as a solo instrument rather than part of an orchestra or chamber ensemble ― this is the motto of the Ola Viola Sound. The second Open Stage program for 2012 of the Korea Foundation Cultural Center Galley presented this home-grown chamber group successfully demonstrating the versatility of the viola in a diverse repertoire ranging from Bach to the Beatles.

2012 KF Gallery Open Stage 2

The KF Cultural Center Gallery was packed with music lovers in spite of the winter’s lingering cold on March 8. The audience was there to enjoy the 2012 KF Gallery Open Stage 2, featuring the Ola Viola Sound, a Korean viola chamber ensemble. Known for its delicate yet vibrant sound, the viola is typically considered a component of orchestral and chamber music rather than a solo instrument due to its relatively limited tone at the middle range between violin and cello. Recently, however, the viola
is increasingly recognized as a lead instrument, thanks to the emergence of talented violists.

Against this backdrop, the Foundation organized the “B to B” (Bach to the Beatles) concert by the Ola Viola Sound to provide music fans with an opportunity to appreciate the viola’s rich melodic sound. The program consisted of works by Bach, Shostakovich and Albeniz, as well as adaptations of a Beethoven symphony and famous songs of the Beatles, with the viola taking central parts.






Viola’s Rich Melodic Sound

The Ola Viola Sound (“Ola” in Spanish means “hello.”) was founded in 1999 for the purpose of introducing the viola’s versatile musical quality as well as easy listening music to a broader audience who are less familiar with classical music. The group consists of Oh Sun-hwa (leader); Hong Ji-hye and Kim Seong-eun (co-leaders); Kim Jun-seong, Kim Eun-ju, Yeo Su-eun, Kim Hyeong-seok, Lee Sang-hoe, and Lee Hyeon-ju (members); and Kim Jae-jun (cello) and Lee Jeong-u (contrabass). The group regularly tours abroad, in addition to performing on domestic stages, trying to promote the viola’s charming appeal among global audiences.

Professor Oh Sun-hwa has served as the ensemble’s leader and music director since 2007, arranging performances and promoting an innovative role for the viola in a chamber ensemble. In 2011, with support from the Korea Foundation, the group participated in the Nuits de Bicetre and the Mois Moliere festivals in France.

Diverse Repertoire for Easy Listening

The concert opened with Bach’s “Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord No. 3.” Unlike church sonatas, it takes the form of a concerto accentuating a sense of tension and contrast. The alternate harmony of excitement and tranquility drew an enthusiastic response from the audience. The second number was Spanish composer Isaac Albeniz’s “Suite Espanola.” The fantastic Spanish dance tunes were beautifully rendered with the viola’s warm and empathetic sound with occasional tempestuous variations.

The third piece was “Winter Story,” composed by Lee Yeong-jo for the viola. It vividly conveyed the 18th century romanticism through the viola’s melancholic tone, suggesting naked trees and swishing winds in a winter park. Then followed Shostakovich’s “Waltz,” which was so familiar with the audience that many could be heard humming along. Next was “You Raise Me Up,” a popular tune in Korea, which resonated with a more profound message owing to the viola’s sensitive sound.

The ensemble further enthralled the audience with “A Swing Is My Destiny,” a jazz-style arrangement for the viola of the first movement of Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” (Destiny Symphony). For the finale, the group presented a medley of Beatles songs, including “Yesterday,” “Let It Be,” “The Long and Winding Road,” and “Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da,” which brought the audience and the musicians together in joyful rapport. The musicians responded to the long and loud applause with an encore performance of a dynamic march. The “B to B” concert provided everyone with a wonderful experience to remember.

KF Gallery Open Stage
The KF Gallery Open Stage was launched in 2011 as part of the Korea Foundation’s activities to celebrate its 20th anniversary. The Open Stage has featured Korean performing arts groups as well as foreign artists who have participated in the Foundation’s international cultural exchange programs. The performances offer local audiences with opportunities to experience less familiar performing arts genres while enabling the Foundation to maintain contacts with its supporters and artists at home and abroad.

The program for February this year introduced the Hwa Dong Royal Court Performance Association and Jeong Ga Ak Hoe, performing traditional Korean royal court dance and music. In March, the Ola Viola Sound presented the “Bach to the Beatles” concert, and in May, German pianist Caroline Fischer is scheduled to give a recital. Among other performing groups scheduled to appear at the Open Stage this year are the Harvard Krokodiloes (a cappella group) in July; and a group of Chilean musicians in October, marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and Chile. In November, “Arts Concert” is expected to spotlight an encounter of art and music.





copyright 2011 한국국제교류재단 ALL Rights Reserved | 137-072 서울특별시 서초구 남부순환로 2558 외교센터빌딩 10층 | 02-2046-8500 | newsletter@kf.or.kr