sun 27/09/2020

Unsuk Chin Day, Barbican | reviews, news & interviews

Unsuk Chin Day, Barbican

Unsuk Chin Day, Barbican

Colourful and cogent music from the impressive Korean composer

Unsuk Chin: Melodious Modernist
Some of the most exciting Western classical music being composed today comes from the Far East. Composers from Japan and South Korea - possibly because they find themselves in a different intellectual cycle to us in the West - seem to be able to do things we can't. The BBC Symphony Orchestra dedicated one of their Total Immersion series to Korean Unsuk Chin, an unconventional Modernist whose relationship to melody and storytelling is refreshingly unashamed, but who, on the evidence of the rows of empty seats at the Barbican Hall (there were quite literally more people on stage than in the audience), isn't very well known here.
 

Some of the most exciting Western classical music being composed today comes from the Far East. Composers from Japan and South Korea - possibly because they find themselves in a different intellectual cycle to us in the West - seem to be able to do things we can't. The BBC Symphony Orchestra dedicated one of their Total Immersion series to Korean Unsuk Chin, an unconventional Modernist whose relationship to melody and storytelling is refreshingly unashamed, but who, on the evidence of the rows of empty seats at the Barbican Hall (there were quite literally more people on stage than in the audience), isn't very well known here.
 

Percussionist Oliver Gunnell dances around his enormous instrumental spread conjuring up an extraordinary jungly dance with the double basses

Share this article

Add comment

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters