POHANG, North Gyeongsang Province -- When the Music Festival Pohang was launched in 2020, the timing could not have been worse. The world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the majority of music festivals -- both old and new -- were canceled.
The music festival, which aims to promote classical music, continues to stand strong as it returns for its third year, taking place in the port city known for its steel industry.
The festival's opening concert took place Friday evening at the Pohang Culture and Art Hall.
An orchestra filled the stage with the piano at the very center. However, two things were missing from the stage -- a conductor and chairs for the musicians.
In that setting, pianist Sohn Min-soo began performing Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58. As the music unfolded, it created the almost visible sensation of a wave.
Freed from the confines of a chair, each performer showed more emotion and expression, yet their movements and gestures did not detract from the music. Rather, the setting created inspiration for the audience as well as the performers.
Performing with a standing orchestra was a new experience for seasoned pianist and teacher, Sohn.
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