Blind Korean orchestra performs at ANU

The Korean Traditional Music Orchestra of the Blind performed at Llewellyn Hall at ANU in July, as part of an Australian tour to commemorate the 2014 signing of the South Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

The nine-member group, which was formed in 2011, has also performed in Canada and Japan, and last year received rapturous applause at Carnegie Hall in New York.

The first blind Korean orchestra performed in the 15th century, when King Sejong, of the Joseon Dynasty, saw the value in supporting visually impaired musicians. He was of the view that, although they couldn't see, they could handle sound very well.

After receiving instruction from the National Department of Music, the group performed at palace ceremonies, but over time, with the passing of the dynasty, faded from public life.

The newly formed orchestra of the blind has the backing of The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea. Its repertoire includes traditional Korean folk music, drumming, solo performances and the Christian hymn, Amazing Grace.

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Updated:  24 April, 2017/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team