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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Korean musicians collaborate with Apple Music Classical for app launch

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Star pianist Yunchan Lim speaks during a press conference celebrating the Korean launch of Apple Music Classical at the Apple Myeongdong flagship store in central Seoul on Monday. [APPLE]
Star pianist Yunchan Lim speaks during a press conference celebrating the Korean launch of Apple Music Classical at the Apple Myeongdong flagship store in central Seoul on Monday. [APPLE]

 

Classical music aficionados can now listen to playlists specially curated by their favorite star Korean musicians on Apple Music Classical.

Dubbed “the world’s largest classical music catalog,” the app launched on Wednesday in Korea and has more than 5 million tracks, available for anyone with an Apple Music subscription.

Pianists Cho Seong-jin, Yunchan Lim and Son Yeol-eum and composer Jung Jae-il were appointed as ambassadors for Apple Music Classical and revealed exclusive playlists on launch day.

“I’ve been using Apple Music since I was in ninth grade, and I’ve been able to discover new songs and masterpieces,” Lim told reporters during a press conference at the Apple Myeongdong flagship store in Jung District, central Seoul, on Monday. “It’s an honor to be able to collaborate with Apple Music after receiving so much help from it over the years.”

The 19-year-old pianist, who shot to global stardom after becoming the youngest gold medalist at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2022, gave a short performance celebrating the app’s launch.

Lim’s playlist, titled “The Golden Age of Piano,” is comprised of 10 tracks that Lim chose. Pieces include Ignaz Friedman’s “Etude, Op. 10,5,” Art Tatum’s “Humoresque” and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “13 Preludes, Op. 32: No. 5 in G Major.”

“It’s a playlist I can’t simply put into one phrase,” Lim said. “These are all songs that helped open my eyes to what a real piano performance is, and what real music is. They all shocked me or gave me hope, so I hope other people will be able to feel the same emotions while listening to these songs.”

In addition to playlists from the aforementioned artists, the Seoul Arts Center, Lotte Concert Hall and Tongyeong International Music Festival have also partnered with Apple Music Classical and will showcase exclusive curated playlists.

Apple Music created the app in hopes that users would be able to search by anything when it came to classical music: composer, song, conductor, time period or even catalog number, based on accurate metadata. Thousands of biographies of composers are also available on the app.

According to Jonathan Gruber, the global head of classical music for Apple Music, there are more than 50 million data points, growing every day, with thousands of new tracks added each week. The app makes it easy to look up specific recordings, something that is difficult with other platforms, using Apple’s own “tailor-made search function.”

Thousands of albums are available in Dolby Atmos, which will make it “as though you were seated in the best seat in the concert hall where music comes from every direction,” Gruber said.

Although it’s an app for classical music lovers, Gruber says beginners will also have no problem browsing through the catalogs and Editor’s Choice selections, as the user interface is simple and designed to “help you to find exactly your favorite recording instantly and perhaps discover new favorites as well.”

“This is an exciting time as the app gives artists a greater platform to reach music lovers, wherever they are in the world,” pianist Cho was also quoted as saying by Apple.

BY SHIN MIN-HEE [shin.minhee@joongang.co.kr]