Hello. This is Gyu-Seo Lee, artistic director and chief conductor of the Orchestral Ensemble Seoul.
Warmly welcome you!
I’d like to ask you one thing seriously. “Why do you come to concerts of OES ?”
There are only few good chamber orchestras in the world. That's because standing on stage with a few chamber repertoires is like an adventure. The purpose of the people who visit classical music concerts is mostly listening to great symphonies. The big orchestras and their heart pounding sounds used to attract us.
However, the playing of a large orchestra tends to be 'one-sided.' The audience are easy to be overwhelmed by loud volume rather than listen to each player. They can be easily attracted to the various voices, rather than the music that the entire orchestra conveys as one instrument.
That’s why I think a chamber orchestra is the most 'audience-oriented' ensemble. Instead of splendor, the audience can experience following individual string and woodwind players building up layers of distinctive voices. Of course, I do like Mahler & Brahms’ symphonies. However sometimes I'd like to take off my suit and shoes which are nice but uncomfortable, and to take a walk around my neighborhood in a very relaxed way. That’s exactly what I am doing with OES.
I set up the goal of "Our resolve is to make healthy music and present it to the public" as the music director of OES from its founding, and all the members and I are working to keep it. I would like to offer a simple, but sincere yet delicate food, rather than a stimulant and showy cuisine. And most of all, I want to make the food that its cooks are happy. So I and the orchestra have been alert to popularity and profitability. At the same time, we are collaborating with the best artists in the best concert halls to bring the most honest and sincere shapes of us.
Now OES is still going through early childhood when it is compared to a human. I wish they could be raised as the youngest by experienced parent, but unfortunately they are in the hands of a young conductor who needs to grow up together with them. When I think of the growth of OES that wants to achieve higher ideals even though it is hard to make every concerts, I feel sorry for them, but at the same time, I comfort myself with pride about them. Walking through this inspiring process with them, I am really happy.
OES and I can not be a representation of young musicians forever. As time goes by, we will become an establishment and a touchstone of Korean music society. At that time, we would like to be adults who play music that musicians of younger generation like us today can look up to. We want to be a proud orchestra of Korea that can sympathize with all generations and boast of to the worldwide.
As long as the conscience of the young musician is alive, we will not go easily albeit slowly. Whenever you need music, the Orchestral Ensemble Seoul will always be with you in deep impression.
Artistic Director & Chief Conductor