A Celebration of Culture that Unites the Two Koreas

Court Music Orchestra of the National Gugak Center in Seoul, South Korea

Court Music Orchestra of the National Gugak Center in Seoul, South Korea (Photo: Courtesy of Pacific Rim Festival at UC Santa Cruz)

We’ve been hearing a lot lately about the possibility of war with North Korea. But the Pacific Rim Music Festival at U.C. Santa Cruz, and a pair of concerts at Cal Performances celebrate gugak, the national music of Korea. Gugak dates back to the 6th century, long before the two nations were divided, and the National Gugak Center in Seoul, South Korea preserves and celebrates the music.

Festival Director Hi Kyung Kim says she didn’t anticipate the current tensions between the world and North Korea when she programmed the festival, but the music still addresses that divide. “That is the spirit,” Kyung Kim says, “that through music and culture, we can speak peacefully and we can be united.”

The Pacific Rim Festival is pairing the National Gugak Center Orchestra with chamber groups, playing new and traditional music (including three pieces by U.C. Berkeley professors) Oct. 25-29. And the orchestra plays two shows at Cal Performances on Oct. 28. For the U.C. Santa Cruz festival details here. For the Cal Performances shows at U.C. Berkeley on Oct. 28 (two shows plus a parade),  details here.

A Celebration of Culture that Unites the Two Koreas 11 October,2017Cy Musiker

Author

Cy Musiker

Cy Musiker co-hosts The Do List and covers the arts for KQED News and The California Report.  He loves live performance, especially great theater, jazz, roots music, anything by Mahler. Cy has an MJ from UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism, and got his BA from Hampshire College. His work has been recognized by the Society for Professional Journalists with their Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service in Journalism. When he can, Cy likes to swim in Tomales Bay, run with his dog in the East Bay Hills, and hike the Sierra.

Become a KQED sponsor