2018 18th

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Judge Interview

The world-class violinist, Dong-Suk Kang participated for the first time as the judge for the 18th Tokyo International Music Competition for Conducting. We asked Mr Kang, who performed with the world's leading Maestro since the 1970s and been recording on major labels, about the impression of the competition and his views on the music scenes in Asia.

  • ─ Q: Do you think that there are changes among the younger generation?

    DSK: Nowadays, Western/classical music are also part of our culture, too. When I was young, there were not many Asian musicians. Japan was ahead of other countries in Asia in terms of classical music so in comparison to other Asian countries, there were lot more Japanese students studying in the States or Europe. Often, the criticism was that Asian or Japanese musicians are very good technically but they don’t really understand Western music and they don’t have the emotion for that etc. It might have been true in some cases but. So whether it is Japan, Korea or China, young people are brought up with that exposure. So there is no reason why they are less privileged than the Western people.

  • ─ Q: How is classical music received nowadays in Korea?

    DSK: In comparison to 20-30 years ago, the trend is that the number of applicants to music schools are diminishing. I think classical music has peaked, and now, a lot of young people turn to sports like golf or something else. Politically, they are promoting a lot of K-POP stuff. They know that they are very popular so they are using it to promote Korean culture.