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Seung-Won Oh & New European Ensemble

the composer

Seung-Won Oh

the symphony

Bruckner No. 4

het ensemble

New European Ensemble

Sat. September 14, 16:30

Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam

the composer

Seung-Won Oh

the Volkskrant as “a name to remember” following her first professional commissioned work for a percussion sextet, DaDeRimGill. Her music has been performed across Europe, North America, and Asia, transcending traditional boundaries. Seung-Won connects East and West, vibrant movement and stillness, pure sound and ritual theatre, layered structures and transparency. The conflict between the will of the individual and the demands of the collective is a recurring theme in her work. Her growing interest in theatre, space, movement, and audience interaction has led to projects requiring close collaboration with performers. Recently, she won the Kees van Baaren Prize.

Many of these characteristics of Seung-Won’s work are also typical “Bruckner Essentials.” Bruckner often provoked or enchanted his audience by excessively stretching his music and letting his themes alternate between plunging into the abyss and suddenly emerging. This is especially true in the 1874 version of the Fourth Symphony, which makes it so logical for Seung-Won to choose this extreme and very different version as her inspiration. What makes Seung-Won so intriguing for Bruckner Casco is her openness to the archetypal Central European Bruckner and her desire to make his sound world collide with her enchanting one.

the new composition

Seung-Won on her composition

‘In my 45-minute new work, I want to create a personal reflection and reaction to this monumental symphonic work by reworking my own musical language in the tint of Bruckner’s musical spirit. The intricate relationship of musical themes used throughout the Fourth Symphony is one of the main components for achieving the coherence of this gigantic work. I intend to approach these close thematic relationships – based on the first version (1874) – as the driving force of my compositional creation.’

the ensemble

Emlyn Stam on Seung-Won

‘Since 2020, we have worked intensively with Seung-Won, beginning with the premiere of YeonDo at November Music, a large-scale work for ensemble and choir that brings together music from historical Korean traditions with Western idiom and sound. Other highlights include Modular 1 for 8 musicians, full of surprising sound colours with aleatoric structures, and Spiccato for solo violin, recorded by Rada Ovcharova in 2023. The ensemble is fascinated by the unique combination of Korean sounds and Western architecture in Seung-Won Oh’s music. Both the composer and the ensemble aim for long-term collaboration; Seung-Won Oh’s vision on Bruckner 4 is an important next step for the New European Ensemble during Bruckner Casco and beyond.’

the ensemble

New European Ensemble

New European Ensemble Founded in 2009 by passionate international musicians, the New European Ensemble has been praised by the press for its “fantastic” (NRC) and “exemplary performances” (Volkskrant). Leading composers including Saariaho, Lindberg, Turnage, and Thorvaldsdóttir have worked with the group. The ensemble’s mission is to present contemporary and 20th-century repertoire in an engaging and accessible way to a broad audience. They often seek combinations with film, literature, dance, theatre, and visual arts.


Symphony No. 4

Sir Roger Norrington is unparalleled in highlighting the pastoral elements in this symphony. From minute 14:00 to the end, you can hear potentially the most thrilling coda of a Bruckner symphony.

Symfonie No. 4, ‘Romantische’ (1874 versie) : Finale, Roger Norrington SWR Orchester Stuttgart