Pansori Live Online: Lim Hyeun-bin Performs in New York City

I don’t post many performance announcements, but this opportunity to see live pansori without actually being on location is just to good to be missed.

Pansori Singer Lim Hyeun-bin (임현빈), via Asia Society

Pansori Singer Lim Hyeun-bin (임현빈), via Asia Society

The Asia Society organises a series of Korean music events in New York City this April: The 2014 New York Korean Music Festival features two concerts (sanjo and pansori) and a symposium with experts flown in from Korea. The concerts will be streamed online, providing for two nice matinees here in Korea—Friday (April 11) and Saturday (April 12) night, 8 pm local (Eastern) time would be Saturday and Sunday at 10 in the morning. The stream can be watched here. Of course, anyone currently in New York City can attend the performances in person. The symposium is free of charge.

Although I am restricting my dissertation on pansori in Korea, I’ve been interested in the ways Korean music is presented abroad for quite a while (might make a nice post-doc project, travelling the world…). Apart from two very short performances in Germany years ago that sparked my interest in pansori in the first place, I haven’t had the chance to see anything outside of Korea, at least not live. Although thousands of miles away and on a small screen, this time it will at least be in real-time.

Performance theorists might argue that virtually shared time is not a sufficient condition for co-presence, still I’m looking forward to hear Lim Hyeun-bin (임현빈) performing “an epic tale of sacrifice and love”! This sounds like Chunhyang-ga or possibly Simcheong-ga. It could also be Sugung-ga, which Lim performed at the Jeonju Int. Sori Featival last year and the year before (unfortunately I couldn’t see neither one of the performances).

This video from the 38th Chunhyang Korea Classsical Music Competition (제38회 춘향국악대전) in 2011 shows that he is also well-versed in Simcheong-ga. Back then, Lim won the President’s Prize (대통령상), the highest award possible for a pansori singer. His performance sounds promising to say the least:

Thanks to Hilary Finchum-Sung (who will also speak give a lecture in the symposium and introduce the sanjo performance) for sharing this event on Facebook.

— 12 April 2014 (土)


About Jan Creutzenberg

Jan Creutzenberg, friend of theatre, music, and cinema, comments on his performative experiences in Seoul and elsewhere.
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