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Beauty through musicA moving finish to Olle festival
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승인 2010.11.27  13:09:14
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▲ Left, Ko Hyun Su, on violin, and Park Jong Hwa playing piano, together serenade the crowd with an array of classical music to conclude the 1st International Olle Festival. Right, the performers sign autographs. Photos by Darryl Coote

After a week-long event of conferences, walking, and entertainment, Biava Quartet member Ko Hyun Su and Seoul National University professor Park Jong Hwa ended the 2010 Olle Walking Festival on Saturday, Nov. 13 with a two-hour classical music concert held at the Haevichi Resort.

Festival participants, as well as numerous other sightseers, congregated in the enclosed courtyard-style lobby of the Haevichi Resort, absorbing the grandeur of their surroundings and relaxing in chic black chairs after a long day. Those who had been trekking the trails entered donned in athletic wear, which contrasted sharply to the elegance of the venue. Some guests matched the tempo of the evening, sporting tuxedos and dresses, while others propped walking sticks against their seats and wiped the remaining sweat from their faces with Olle handkerchiefs.

Projected on the upper frame of the contemporary stage were countless photographs presented in a slideshow that featured the myriad picturesque landscapes and wildlife along the Olle trails. Visions of serene valleys, breathtaking coastlines, lovely flowers, and signature Jeju topography faded into one after another as resonating sonatas and melodies enlivened the performance.

With Ko on the violin and Park at the grand piano they passionately played an array of late 18th to early 20th century European pieces, focusing on Beethoven to fit the theme of Olle. “Olle means the road that leads to home,” and Beethoven “was like a home. It was the main piece, the main meal, of the course,” Park explained. “And between we put in, we snuck in little... pieces from other times and places… so that when you come to Beethoven, it was like coming home.”

Both Korean born, Ko and Park met a few months ago in the US after Ko contacted Park to ask him to participate in the program. Park, winner of the Busoni International Competition in Bolzano, the Queen Elizabeth International Music Competition in Brussels, and Santader International Piano Competition in Spain, to name but a few, was inspired to play at the event by the happy coincidence of both he and Ko being in Boston at the time she emailed him about the performance.

Ko is presently working primarily in the US, but she is a Jeju native and gladly accepted to play as the closing event for the festival to support her hometown. “It is such a special place,” Ko smiled. “I travel all over, and I never find a place like this.”

The program handout made it apparent that Ko was asked to do the event because of her connection to Jeju. It was a celebration not only of Olle, but of Jeju as a home.

The rich ambiance created by the musical and visual production coincided with one of the festival’s main goals, as stated on the festival’s Web site which was to give trekkers tranquility away from their hectic, fast-paced daily lives.

ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (
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