The Korean Musical Mystery

Feature Docs

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Les films de la Passerelle & RTBF & Unité Divertissement & Scène


For the past decade, South Korea has been increasingly present in the field of Western classical music. This progress is particularly noticeable in international music competitions. For example, in the Queen Elisabeth Competition, over the past three years, Koreans represented a quarter of the participants in the first round. In 2010, there were five Koreans among the twelve finalists, and in 2011, for the first time in the history of this competition, a Korean, Hong Haeran, finished in first place. But over the past four years, Koreans have also won the Maria Callas Grand Prix, the Long Thibaud Crespin Competition, the Tchaikovsky Competition, and many other prestigious competitions.

Why are young Koreans attracted to classical music, and where do they learn it? Why have they become so accomplished in such a short time?

The film explores, in four stages, the rise of Korean musicians: training in Seoul from early musical awakening to the perfect mastery of the instrument, learning expressiveness through contact with great Western masters at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich, the spirit of competition revealed behind the scenes of the Queen Elisabeth Competition, and finally, recognition in the international music profession on the stage of the Royal Theatre de la Monnaie.



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