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Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra cancels U.S. tour

Posted on March 21, 2015 at 2:25 AM

The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra has cancelled its seven-city US concert tour scheduled to start on April 14 due to fundraising issues.

On March 13, 2015, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra announced that it had made a final decision not to pursue its scheduled tour of the US in April due to difficulties in raising funds.

The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra had originally planned to hold invitational concerts in collaboration with Artistic Director Myung-hun Chung and pianist Seon-wook Kim in seven US cities including Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Seattle from April 14th to 24th. However, the plan eventually foundered as a result of the orchestra’s failure to secure corporate sponsorship, as well as additional funding from the Seoul Metropolitan City government.

For its previous overseas concert tour in 2012, which included performances in North America, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra was able to share the cost thanks to funds from corporate supporters, but the orchestra failed to secure a corporate sponsor for the planned tour in 2015.

The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra requested Seoul Metropolitan City to allocate funding for tour concerts to be held in North America while it was in the process of drawing up a budget for 2015 at the end of last year, but this initiative failed to secure approval from the City Council of Seoul. Since then, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra had continuously been attempting to secure funds, but eventually the orchestra administration had to acknowledge defeat and was forced to cancel the tour, just one month away from the first concert.

Of the admission tickets, 65% of them had been sold in the seven cities, including Santa Barbara where 90% of the tickets had been already sold, which has unavoidably tarnished the reputation enjoyed by Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.

At a New Year’s press conference that was held on March 1, Myung-hun Chung, Artistic Director, expressed his concerns, saying that ‘if he is going to renew his contract, it is essential that the orchestra have the continuous support of Seoul Metropolitan City’.. He also said, “If we don’t hold our concert tour of North America, the orchestra will be completely put to shame. Inevitably, people will say that unlike other world-renowned orchestras, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra doesn’t care enough to keep its word.”


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