Korea's Sejong Soloists Launch First Online Music Town for Virtual Concerts

The virtual space is envisioned as a new means of hosting classical music performances following the pandemic

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The South Korean ensemble Sejong Soloists has partnered with Common Computer, a Korean blockchain and artificial intelligence company, to create a virtual music town on the platform Gather.

The group envisions the music town as being part of the "metaverse" — a convergence of physical, augmented, and virtual reality which is realized in a shared online space. Some pop artists have performed in the virtual environment, but this is thought to be a first for classical music.

Many of these concerts will be part of the fourth edition of the orchestra's Hic et Nunc (Here and Now) festival, which will take place between August 22 and September 12, 2021. The festival includes excerpts from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Vivaldi's Concerto for Two Violins, and Bottesini's Grand Duo Concertante for violin and double bass.

Additionally, two live violin masterclasses have already been broadcast. They were hosted by David Chan, concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and Frank Huang, the concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic.

“Being a global leader in information and communication technology, South Korea has provided the fertile ground for our metaverse idea to materialize,” said Kyung Kang, the Executive Director of the Sejong Soloists. “We have been seeking ways to reach the MZ generation, and the metaverse is an opportune platform now.”