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2005 Suwon International Conductors' Competition

Updated: 2005-11-28 PM 12:00:00 (KST)
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2005 Suwon International Conductors' Competition

Young musical leaders, gathered for the Suwon International Conductors' Competition.
The event, which was the first of its kind, gave the Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra a chance to play with conductors, from countries like Germany and Finland.
Son Hee-kyung reports.

This may look like a concert, but it's actually a contest.
Each conductor has his own way of interpreting a musical score.
In this contest, they lead the orchestra through one mandatory piece and one freestyle composition.
The Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra looks at the conductor before playing the first note on their instruments.

Crescendo, decrescendo, phrasing, slur and tie.
These are some of the musical expressions that the conductors must convey to the orchestra.

SON HEE-KYUNG, REPORTER: "Six candidates have been chosen, to compete in the final round of this international conductors' competition. This is the last time that the participants can impress the judges, by showing their ability to lead, and communicate with the orchestra."

That's not all. The judges look for how well the competitors have mastered the baton techniques, one of the fundamentals of conducting.
Plus, musical interpretation is an important factor.
After going through two preliminary rounds, the judges have to make some tough decisions.

PARK EUN-SEONG, CHAIRPERSON OF JUDGES: "Though this is the first competition, more than 130 contestants from 30 countries submitted applications. We have invited many world-renowned conductors to be on the panel of judges."

For some, winning is not the purpose of participating.

RYU SUNG-KYU, KOREAN CONTESTANT: "I'm very happy to be in the final. I'll try my best, but it's such a great experience to perform with the Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra. I hope to collaborate with them in the future."

SASHA MAKILA, FINLAND CONTESTANT: "I was never outside Europe so this is my first trip to Asia. I'm really honored to be here conducting with this orchestra in the finals. I like the orchestra, in every rehearsal, they play better to different conductors"

The competition was held for nine days in Suwon, a city located south of Seoul.

LIM YONG-SEO, SUWON CITY MAYOR: "We wanted to open a window of opportunity for young conductors, as well as to promote Suwon City internationally, and its Philharmonic Orchestra."

Four winners went home with cash prizes, totaling some 70,000 U.S. dollars.
Organizers say they hope to make the competition an annual event, bringing countries closer together, with the universal language of music.

Son Hee-kyung, Arirang News.


Reporter : heekyung@arirang.co.kr

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