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Seoul Festival with the LA Phil: Night 1

Seoul Festival

Fri / June 6, 2025 - 8:00PM

Sunwook Kim performs his signature Brahms, plus, world premieres by Sunghyun Lee, Kay Kyurim Rhie, and Texu Kim.


    • Sunghyun LEE
    • New work for orchestra
    • world premiere
    • LA Phil commission
    • Kay Kyurim RHIE
    • New Song Cycle
    • world premiere
    • LA Phil commission
    • Texu KIM
    • Viola Concerto “Ko-Oh”
    • world premiere of revised work
    • LA Phil commission
    • Intermission

About this Performance

South Korea is home to an ever-expanding cohort of inventive composers with fresh ideas and talented performers who have made names for themselves at many of the world’s finest concert halls. In the first of two Seoul Festival programs with the LA Phil, composer Unsuk Chin curates a night showcasing Korean composers and artists who are shaping musical culture and building connections from Seoul to Los Angeles. Composer and UCLA assistant professor Kay Kyurim Rhie was born in South Korea, raised in LA, and she blends influences ranging from film and jazz to European avant-garde to Korean folk melded with the blues. Hankyeol Yoon leads the LA Phil in the world premiere of her new song cycle.

Texu Kim’s lullaby-inspired Viola Concerto takes its name “Ko-oh” from the Korean baby-talk word for “sleep,” and he musically explores the idea of sleep as both a nightly occurrence and a mortal and final destination. USC Thornton faculty Yura Lee performs the world premiere of Kim’s revised viola showpiece.

In 2006, Sunwook Kim became the first Asian and youngest winner in 40 years when he took top prize in the prestigious Leeds competition with a performance of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1. The work has remained close to his heart, recording it twice and earning praise by Gramophone for his “beauty of line and sound” and “melodies [that] are molded with great sensitivity,” particularly in the soulful adagio, and Kim joins the LA Phil to cap off the evening with one of his specialties.

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