July 09, 2020 12:06
Kim Eun-sun, who became the first female music director of the San Francisco Opera in December last year, will conduct this year's Concert de Paris on France's national day next week.
The Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France announced Tuesday that Kim will conduct the French National Orchestra, the choir and choir school of Radio France at the Champs de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower on July 14.
Bastille Day is France's biggest holiday. All schools, offices, and most cafes and restaurants are closed, and huge fireworks are on display around the Eiffel Tower at night.
Kim, speaking by phone from her hotel in Paris, said, "I was staying in Houston and came to Paris two weeks before the first rehearsal for quarantine. I got special permission to enter the country from the French government."
Eight world-renowned soloists including pianist Khatia Buniatishvili, soprano Sonya Yoncheva, and baritone Ludovic Tézier will perform at the concert, though the program has yet to be announced. The tradition is to start with Berlioz's "Hungarian March" and end with the Marseillaise.
The concert will be broadcasted live throughout France on TV and radio and dozens of countries via satellite. Over 3 million people watched the concert last year, setting a new record. However, due to the coronavirus epidemic, the number of musicians was reduced to 65 and the choir to 48.
Kim's international career was launched when she won the López-Cobos International Opera Conductors Competition at the Teatro Real in Madrid in 2008, while she was studying in Stuttgart, Germany.
She made regular appearances in major European opera houses and is set to debut at New York's Metropolitan Opera with "La Bohème" next year.
"Whatever the stage is, the process of making music with an orchestra is the same. I will only think about doing my best to make music," she said.
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