There & Now: Gugak FM The21st Century Korean Music Series

Venue: Concert Room, St George’s Hall, Liverpool
Time: Thursday 11 November, 8:00pm
Ticket prices: Tickets £10 (Concession £7)
Booking Info:, 0844 888 9991

Gugak FM is the Korean national radio channel for traditional Korean music. Since 2009, in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Sports, Gugak FM has presented the 21st century Korean music series to nurture the future creators of traditional Korean music by offering them the opportunity to perform with Korean music masters across the globe. This year, the tour concerts are held in St George’s Hall (Liverpool), RASA(Utrecht), Zuiderpershuis (Antwerp) and Maison des cultures du monde (Paris). ( & Now is an exquisite evening of concerts providing a journey through the past and present of Korean music with four extraordinary Korean musicians: CHOI Jin and KIM Woong-sik with a traditional repertoire for string and percussion; and a young female duo, Su:m’s PARK Ji-ha and SEO Jung-min with new compositions for string and wind. CHOI, a master soloist on the ancient string instrument the gayageum, provides a timeless quality of Korean sound, tender and soulful, accompanied by KIM’s dynamic percussion on the Janggu. PARK and SEO of Su:m won Gugak FM’s 21st Korean Music Award in 2009 for their experimental new compositions that bring traditional and contemporary expression and aesthetics together.

Choi Jin completed her training with the master artists of Korean traditional music, who are also known as ‘Human Treasures’, specializing in sanjo (a solo instrumental genre) and gayageum byeongchang (voice with zither accompaniment). She received a PhD degree in Korean Musicology from Ewha Womans University in Seoul. As a soloist she won numerous awards in various Korean music competitions and has performed widely both nationally and internationally. She teaches in several universities in Korea and is also the founder and leader of the gayageum ensemble Panollim.

“Choi Jin’s peformances draw excited crowds, fusing tradition with modernity, capturing the essence of an ancient music while at the same time capturing contemporary life. Her technique is exemplary, matching rapid flurries to slow Confucianesque serenity, simultaneously evoking the sounds and sights of Seoul and a rapidly disappearing rural countryside. At performances in London and Cambridge in 2007, her audiences sat entranced, taking in every ornament, focussing on every note as each faded into eternity. They were reluctant to leave at the end of each concert, enjoying the moment, and hoping for an encore.” – Keith Howard, professor SOAS, University of London

Kim Woong-sik graduated from the Korean Traditional Music High School and the Department of Korean Music at Dongguk University in Seoul. He is considered to be the most versatile drummer and accompanist in Korea. He was a percussionist in the KBS Tradition Music Orchestra and is also a founding member and leader of the Korean contemporary percussion ensemble Puri formed in 1993.

He has performed widely in the USA, Japan, Europe and Israel and collaborated with numerous international artists. He also teaches in several universities in Korea.

Su:m (Piri, Bamboo Oboe; Saenghwang, Mouth Organ; Yanggeum, Dulcimer; 25-Stringed Gayageum Zither; Metal-Stringed Gayageum Zither) This young female duo, Park Ji-ha and Seo Jung-min, was formed in 2007. Their name Su:m literally means ‘breath’ in Korean to indicate that their music-making comes as natural as breathing the air. They won the ‘Experimental Award’ at the 21st Century Korean Music Project Competition in 2009. In addition to their own compositional collaboration, this duo has been writing music for various dance projects and theatre troupes.

“The name of the group, Su:m (breathe in Korean), stands for a spontaneous music much like breathing. The members formed this group in 2007. All are ‘performer-music writers’ playing gayageum, piri or sanghwang. Su:m shows a humble attitude and wants to convey their sincerity through music. Their musical stories are warmhearted, various, and comprehensive in a wide spectrum. The group, Su:m, has been working not only in the authentic Korean classical music field but also actively in other musical genres.” – Hwang Woo-chang, Korean music critic

The female duo, Su:m returns to the UKSu:m, the much loved Korean duo brings back their exotic new compostions that presented at British Museum and Nottingham Royal Concert Hall last year. This November, they presents an exclusive concert and a series of workshops in Liverpool along with a senior musicians, Choi Jin and Kim Woong-sik.


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