- GWANGJU DESIGN BIENNALE
Sep 20–Nov 6 / Gwangju Biennale Hall, Gwangju / KRW 10,000 / www.gwangjubiennale.org/eng/ / Take the KTX to Gwangju from Yongsan Station (travel time: 3 hours)
- The 2013 Gwangju Design Biennale will explore cultural habits, shared characteristics, and the coded conventions by which we communicate with one another. Accordingly, the event has been themed “Gusigi, Masigi” (“Anything, Something”), a Jeolla-do colloquialism used when memory fails. The common ground of these themes implies that the matter of “anything” becoming “something” depends on people’s perspectives. Reflecting this, some of the projects will include redesigning basic necessities and will help develop the regional economy by pairing local rice farmers with design companies to rebrand their packaging.
- GLOBAL GATHERING KOREA
Oct 12 / Caribbean Bay, Everland / KRW 110,000 / www.globalgatheringkorea.co.kr / Bus No. 5002 departing from Gangnam Station 강남역 (Line 2, Sinbundang Line)
- Global Gathering is an annual dance music festival, serving the purpose of bringing dance music out of the clubs and into traditional outdoor music festivals. Since its inception in the UK in 2001, the event has grown to play host to over a hundred acts. The Korea gathering will be staged at the amusement park Everland, featuring such protagonist DJs as Madeon, Zombie Nation, Fatboy Slim, and Porter Robinson. Madeon is an electro house/pop producer from France who gained popularity with his YouTube video.
- LET’S ROCK FESTIVAL
Sep 14–15 / Nanji Hangang Park / KRW 59,000–88,000 / www.letsrock.co.kr / World Cup Stadium Station 월드컵경기장역 (Line 6), Exit 1
- Ready to check out the best of Korean rock? A total of 26 Korean bands and indie acts will explode onto the stage at the Let’s Rock Festival 2013, which will be held at Nanji Hangang Park Sep 14–15. The lineup at this festival includes Roxtamuzil & Live, YB, No Brain, Deli Spice, Nell, Solutions, Fantastic Drugstore, Broken Balentine, and more. Established in 2007, the festival aims to provide local fans and indie bands with an opportunity to expand their musical experience.
- SUWON HWASEONG CULTURAL FESTIVAL
Sep 27–Oct 1 / Yeonmudae Square @ Hwaseong Fortress, Suwon / Free / T. 031-290-3564
http://shfes-eng.suwon.ne.kr / Suwon Station 수원역 (Line 1), Exit 4
- The festival aims to promote the traditional culture and art of Suwon and preserve the spirit of Hwaseong Fortress, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. The filial affection and political innovations of King Jeongjo, who built the fortress in the late 18th century, will also be cherished. Visitors will be treated to a range of performances and reenactments: the king’s royal procession to his father’s grave and the ensuing memorial rite; a nighttime military drill; the 60th birthday party for the king’s mother, Lady Hong; a court service test; and more.
- EUROPEAN JAZZ FESTIVAL 2013
Sep 6–7 / Mapo Art Center / KRW 40,000–80,000 / T. 02-941-1150 / Daeheung Station 대흥역 (Line 6), Exit 2. Go straight and turn right at the intersection.
- European Jazz Festival 2013 is devoted to showcasing Europe’s latest jazz scene through recitals and collaborative sessions by eight stellar acts from six European countries. The list of the performers includes Espen Eriksen of Norway, Ulf Wakenius of Sweden, Martin Taylor of the UK, and the Pierrik Pedron trio of France. Although jazz originated from America, the genre was popular in Europe from its earliest days. There was also a number of prominent American jazz musicians who migrated and moved their careers to various European capitals.
Sep 13–21 / National Theater of Korea / KRW 20,000–70,000 / T. 02-2280-4114
www.ntok.go.kr / Dongguk Univ. Station 동대입구 (Line 3), Exit 2.
- The landmark masterpiece film Seopyeonje will once again hit the stage as a changgeuk (Korean traditional opera production), which embraces singing (chang) in a stage drama (geuk). Originally a 1976 novel by Lee Chung-joon, Seopyeonje became the first Korean movie to break the one million viewers mark in 1993. Its story tells of a family of pansori singers who aspire to achieve their vocal perfection. Seopyeonje refers to a soft, melancholic style of the pansori folk song genre, compared to dongpyeonje and jungdoje styles. English subtitles will be available.
- BLOCK 15
Sep 10, 8pm / IBK Chamber Hall, Seoul Arts Cente / KRW 33,000–77,000 / T. 02-720-3933 / www.sac.or.kr Nambu Bus Terminal Station 남부터미널역 (Line 3), Exit 5. Transfer to shuttle bus, or green bus No. 4429.
- French pianist Pascal Amoyel is widely known for his pioneering work in the development of theatrical concerts, as evidenced by the 2005 work he cowrote, Block 15, performed with cellist Emmanuelle Bertrand. The duo will come to Seoul to present Block 15. The concert production depicts the story of two musicians saved by music during the Second World War. Amoyel is famous for his performances of solo piano music by Liszt, Chopin, and Scriabin.
- JARASUM INT’L JAZZ FESTIVAL
Oct 3–6 / Jaraseom Island, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do / KRW 45,000–110,000 / T. 031-581-2813www.jarasumjazz.com / Namchuncheon-bound trains depart from Cheongnyangni Station, stopping at Gapyeong Station.
- The Jarasum International Jazz Festival, held on Jaraseom Island in Gapyeong, is a large-scale jazz festival that attracts over 100,000 visitors every year. With fresh autumn air and the island's colorful mosaic as a backdrop, the festival will invite some 50 acts from Korea and abroad. Headliners of the four-day annual event include Ibrahim Maalouf, Madeleine Peyroux, Erik Truffaz Quartet, Abdullah Ibrahim, and the Steve Gadd Band. The event will kick off with Jo Young Deok Trio, who won the Jarasum International Jazz Concours 2012.
- AMERICAN IDIOT
Sep 5–22 / Blue Square / KRW 60,000–150,000 / T. 1588-5212 / www.bluesquare.kr
- The Broadway musical American Idiot will be staged with its original cast and production staff, led by director Michael Mayer. The musical is a one-act, through-sung stage musical, an adaptation of punk rock band Green Day’s rock opera of the same name. The story centers on three disaffected young men, Johnny, Will, and Tunny. Johnny and Tunny flee a stifling suburban lifestyle and parental restrictions, while Will stays home to work out his relationship with his pregnant girlfriend. The screenplay was jointly written by Billie Joe Armstrong and Mayer.
- JINJU NAMGANG YUDEUNG FESTIVAL
Oct 1–13 / Namgang River, Jinju-si, Gyeongsangnam-do / Free (entrance to Jinju Fortress is KRW 2,000)
T. 055-761-9111 / www.yudeung.com / Bus to Jinju depart from Seoul Express Bus Terminal (travel time:
3 hrs, 50 min)
- At the spectacular Jinju Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival, colorful lanterns parade along the Namgang waterfront across from Jinjuseong Fortress and Chokseongnu Pavilion. Visitors will enjoy a parade of traditional lanterns while floating lanterns downriver and hanging lanterns to make wishes. The festival dates back to the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598), when lanterns were used as a military strategy to prevent Japanese troops from wading across the Namgang River. Also on offer are an exhibition of the world’s traditional lanterns, and many more participatory cultural programs.
- BOOMBAP TROHH KOREA 2013
Sep 6–8 / Songdo Geunlin Park 23-ho, Incheon / 1-day pass: 100,000, 2-day pass: 130,000 / T. 070-8828-2047
http://boombaptrohh.com / Int'l Business District Station 국제업무지구역 (Incheon Line 1)
- The Boombap Trohh Korea 2013 is cited as Korea’s first hip-hop/dubstep festival. Dubstep, an electronic music genre where the bass and drum is notably powerful, is sometimes referred to as “electronic heavy metal.” The festival will also feature acoustic rock, street dance, art exhibitions, and fashion trends. Along with American hip-hop artist A$AP ROCKY, Dubstep DJ, and other international acts, top-tier local artists such as Deepflow, Babynine, Dead’ P, JTONG, and MASKUZ will join the festival.
- ECM MUSIC FESTIVAL
Sep 3–7 / Concert Hall & IBK Chamber Hall, Seoul Arts Center / KRW 30,000–150,000 / T. 1577-5266 / www.sac.or.kr / Nambu Bus Terminal Station 남부터미널역 (Line 3), Exit 5. Transfer to shuttle bus, or green bus No. 4429.
- Celebrated artists affiliated with the ECM label will hold a series of concerts during the multiday ECM Music Festival. On Sep 3, American guitarist Ralph Towner will team up with vocalist Shin Yeah-won. Grammy Award-winning American violist Kim Kashkashian will hold a recital, and British jazz singer and lyricist Norma Winstone will sing a select rendition from her albums Distances and Stories Yet to Tell on Sep 5 and 6, respectively. Maestro Chung Myung-whun will lead the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra to collaborate with pianist Andras Schiff and oboist Heinz Holliger on Sep 7.
- SUMI JO PARK CONCERT
Sep 14 / 88 Lawn Field, Olympic Park / KRW 30,000–80,000 / T. 1577-5266 / www.clubbalcony.com / Olympic Park Station 올림픽공원역 (Line 5), Exit 3
- Coloratura soprano Sumi Jo will hold her annual Park Concert. Titled La Fantasia, the concert will fill the outdoor venue with magnificent music immersed in nature. Also performing in La Fantasia are violist Richard Yongjae O’Neill and vocal ensemble Rottini. The rising conductor Ariel Kim will take the baton to collaborate with the Ditto Orchestra in a program featuring a unique mix of classical, pop, musical, and movie soundtracks. The concert series was launched in 2010 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.