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Mozart's violin meets Korean prodigy

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Mozart's violin meets Korean prodigy
Ko So-hyun, 8-year-old prodigy. Photo: Korean Times
08:32 CET+01:00
A violin that belonged to musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has been preserved inside a glass case at a museum in Mozart's hometown of Salzburg, Austria up until recently, when it was removed from its nest for the first time and brought to Korea.

At the Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul, Oct. 20, Austria's tourism board revealed Mozart's violin, manufactured in 1735 by Andreas Ferdinand Mayer, a lute and violinmaker from Salzburg. 

Ko So-hyun, an 8-year-old violinist and child prodigy, astounded the audience with her ease and sophisticated playing on Mozart's violin. With piano accompaniment, Ko played "The Magic Flute" and some of Mozart's violin sonatas that he composed when he was just Ko's age. 

She commented, "I was worried whether an instrument from more than a hundred years ago would make any sound, but I was amazed to hear upon playing at the sound's vibration and cleanliness." 

Mozart's violin has been presented as part of an effort to introduce the beautiful city of Salzburg, Austria's fourth-largest city. 

In the 1965 film "The Sound of Music," Julie Andrews sings "Doe, a deer, a female deer. Ray, a drop of golden sun. Me, a name I call myself…" while dancing, biking and running through lush green grass and baroque-style gardens and fountains, with the Alps in the backdrop, glazed with ice. 

Many scenes of the film were shot in Salzburg, which was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Perhaps the movie best captures what the city is like, even today. The city has managed to preserve its agriculture, while also adapting to the changing economy and industrialization. The board mentioned that there are around 10,000 farmers in Salzburg, but these farmers have second jobs in big corporations, mainly in the tourism industry. 

Salzburg welcomes 6,500,000 tourists every year, as the city boasts of ski slopes, winter sports, cheese and milk factories and cultural venues. 

The Salzburg Festival, the world's biggest opera and music festival, is held every summer for 6 weeks. Hundreds of thousands of people, including renowned musicians, visit. Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the movie "The Sound of Music" and the 200th anniversary since the Christmas carol "Silent Night, Holy Night" was composed in Salzburg. Playwright Hugo von Hofmannsthal's play "Jedermann" will also be performed. 

The display of Mozart's violin is just a preview of what to expect from a city that gave birth to the great composer.

by Lee Yeon-Joo / Courtesy Korean Times

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