SEOUL – Music label and talent agency SM Entertainment has announced a blockbuster takeover of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.
“Korea has emerged as a leading cultural force in today’s popular music,” said SM founder and director Lee Soo Man. “With the acquisition of the Seoul Philharmonic, SM is ready to take the next step in expanding Korea’s musical reach.”
Founded in 1948, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) is one of Korea’s longest-lasting music acts, predating Girls’ Generation, DBSK, BoA, and even Shinhwa by several decades. The acquisition brings over 100 musicians into the SME family.
“Classical music is a big part of Korea’s modern music heritage,” said Seoul Philharmonic music director Chung Myung-Whun. “I mean, you know how there’s always that one Korean girl in your class who plays the piano or violin or something. For us to hitch a ride on the current K-pop wave simply makes sense.”
Chung also added that the career path of a classical musician was very similar to that of the average pop artist, including starting at a young age, taking several years of training at a performing arts academy, and buying into the illusion of expressing one’s self even while being ordered to follow a very regimented performance routine.
“If you want improvisation and individualism, go join a jazz band. This is all about technical brilliance, polish, and following the notes on the page. In that respect, our personnel will fit right into the SME mold,” said Chung.
A comeback single is already in the works for the SPO, with a teaser slated to drop sometime in April.
“We were going to go for the ‘dark’ concept, with the tuxedos and evening gowns, but everyone else already did that,” said Lee, who is personally working on the concept for the upcoming single. “So we’re going to try, like … space-age Viennese aristocrats. Lots of silver and white spandex with powdered wigs.”
“We’re also going to teach them some dance moves because quite frankly it’s boring just watching them sit there and play their instruments. Although some of the cello girls are pretty hot.”
According to inside sources at the agency, the SPO’s comeback single is rumored to be Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, the “Resurrection.” This would make it the longest MV in Korean music history at about one and a half hours.
“Some of our repertoire might need a few cuts to get them to performance length for the music shows,” admitted Chung.