Vienna Philharmonic to Tour South Korea Next Month

The group is set to become the first foreign orchestra of more than 100 players to perform in South Korea

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The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra's (VPO) tour of Asia will include three Korean concert engagements, setting a benchmark for visiting orchestras in South Korea.

The first concert is set to take place at Seoul's Sejong Center for the Arts as part of its Great Orchestra Series. Each year, the series hosts a prominent international orchestra on Korean soil. Most recently, these orchestras have included the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Munich Philharmonic. The VPO was scheduled to perform in Seoul in 2020, but the engagement was postponed because of the pandemic.

Scheduled for November 14, the first concert will feature Mozart's Symphony No. 35 and Schubert's Symphony No. 9. Maestro Riccardo Muti will lead the orchestra. The second program of Schubert, Stravinsky, and Mendelssohn will follow in Daejeon on November 15 and once again in Seoul on November 16.

In order to secure the tour dates, the VPO had to submit an application to South Korean authorities, to be considered for an exemption to the two-week quarantine that is usually required of visitors.

At present, visitors to the country must provide a compelling reason for their trip; exemptions are generally only granted to those whose visit offers significant business, academic, or humanitarian interest.

As a result, the VPO will need to arrive on a chartered flight, bring their own doctor on the tour, and test each player for COVID-19 daily.

Tickets for the performances are available directly from the Sejong Center's website.