KBS Symphony Orchestra

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KBS Symphony Orchestra
KBS 교향악단
KBS 交響樂團
Revised RomanizationKBS Gyohyang Akdan
McCune–ReischauerKBS Kyohyang Akdan
KBS Symphony Orchestra with chief conductor Yoel Levi performing in the Dvořák's Hall of Rudolfinum, Prague during the Rudolf Firkušný's International Piano Festival

The KBS Symphony Orchestra (KBS 교향악단) is one of the most famous symphony orchestras in South Korea. It was founded in 1956 as the radio orchestra of the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS).

Between 1969 and 1981 it became a state-run organization, changing its name to the National Symphony Orchestra of Korea. In this period, they performed chiefly in the National Theater of Korea. In 1979, they made their first tour overseas, in USA.

From 1981, the orchestra's designation was restored to its former name, and new positions, such as general manager, principal guest conductor and full-time conductor, were established in the organization. Their subsequent overseas tours were in Southeast Asia (1984) and Japan (1985 and 1991). In October 1995, they performed in the UN General Assembly in New York City.

In 2000 and 2002, they performed with the State Symphony Orchestra of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in Seoul and Pyongyang. They also held "goodwill exchange concerts" with the NHK Symphony Orchestra and the China National Symphony Orchestra in 2002.

They now play chiefly in KBS Hall and the concert hall of the Seoul Arts Center.


Principal conductors

Principal guest conductors

  • Walter Gilesen (1982–1984)
  • Moshe Atzmon (1990–1992)
  • Vakhtang Jordania (1990–1996)
  • Eun-Seong Park (2000–2002)
  • Seung Gwak (2004–2006, 2013–)

Full-time conductor

  • Nan-Sae Geum (1981–1992)

Conductor Emeritus

  • Won-Sik Im (1998–2002)


In 1995, the KBS Symphony Orchestra recorded Alan Hovhaness' Symphonies Nos. 39 and 46 with guitarist Michael Long and conductor Vakhtang Jordania with KOCH International Classics. The recording was nominated for the Grammy Awards and, since then, has become quite famous. The Orchestra has also made numerous recordings with Seoul Records, KBS and other recording companies.


External links[edit]