Throughout May and June, Seoul’s royal palaces are offering outdoor performances of Korean traditional music in their courtyards during weekends.

Various mini-concerts, each customized to the unique historical background and ambiance of the venues, will take place at four cultural heritage sites in Seoul, including Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Deoksugung palaces and Jongmyo Shrine. The performances are free-of-charge to palace and shrine visitors and were designed to reinvigorate Korea’s traditional music.

(Photos courtesy of the Ministry of Culture Sports and Tourism)

Gyeongbokgung’s musical program runs during the month of June on every Sunday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., in front of Sujeongjeon Hall. Visitors to Changdeokgung can enjoy open-air performances every Sunday at Nakseonjae, starting at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The program in Deoksugung fuses Korean traditional and world music. The concert starts at 4 p.m. in May, and 7 p.m. in June, in front of the National Museum of Contemporary Art’s Deoksugung Palace Annex.

The UNESCO-designated World Cultural Heritage site, Jongmyo Shrine, was built in the 15th century as a place of worship for the Joseon Dynasty kings. Visitors are invited to enjoy the “Jongmyojeryeak,” a special kind of music written especially for these Confucian rites. The performances are held at 10 a.m. each Saturday through June, and pay tribute to the deceased kings of Joseon Dynasty through music and dances.
The National Palace Museum of Korea, located inside the palace grounds, will also remain open until 10 p.m. Last admission is 9 p.m. for both the museum and the palace.

By Hwang Dana Staff Writer