13th principal conductor
Conductor Seokwon Hong, the 13th Artistic Director of Gwangju Symphony Orchestra as of April 2021, was the first Korean to be appointed as the principal conductor (Erste Kappelmesiter) of an Opera Theater in Austria. Hong is actively conducting operas, ballets, symphonies, and modern classical music throughout Europe and Asia.
Seokwon Hong has earned his Bachelor degree as a conducting major at the Seoul University, and his Diplom and Konzertexamen at Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin.
Hong was selected as the 'Future Maestro' from the German Music Association and has won 3rd prize at the 100th anniversary Karajan conducting competition. He has had great success conducting world-renowned orchestras such as: Berlin Deutsch Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Beethoven Orchestra Bonn.
Seokwon Hong has also shown his versatility in Operas. He has received the audience prize from the Leipzig Operetta Competition and has received high praises in his debut performance at the Swiss Bern Opera Theatre and Meinz staatstheater. He was also appointed as the principal conductor of the Innsbruck Tyrolean State Theatre in Austria. There, he conducted Austrian's most beloved work "The Bat" (Die Fledermaus) by Strauss, and had great success, selling out in all 20 performances. Hong received the highest praise from the provincial daily newspaper (Tiroler Tageszeitung) saying, "Fanstastic Music! Conductor Hong made the entire audience dance" and the European Opera magazine 'Merker' quoted, "Conductor Hong Seokwon led the orchestra in making the most ideal sound of Strauss."
Hong is also active in the Opera scene in Korea. He has recently conducted extensive Opera productions such as Pyeongchang Olympic Commemoration Opera 'La Traviata' and Massenet's 'Magnon', and received favorable comments. Hong has also been appointed as the musical director of 'Opera's Garden' produced by Seongnam Cultural Foundation from 2020.
Hong has conducted many of Korea's best orchestras such as: Seoul Philharmnoic Orchestra, Korean Symphony Orchestra, Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra, Gyeonggi Philharmnoic Orchestra, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Busan Philharmnoic Orchestra, Incheon Philharmonic Orchestra, Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra, Seongnam Philharmonic Orchestra, Gangnam Philharmonic Orchestra, Prime Philharmonic Orchestra, Wonju Philharmonic Orchestra, Jeju Philharmonic Orchestra, Hangyung Philharmonic Orchestra, and many more. Working with many symphony orchestras, Hong has received great remarks conducting symphonic works as well. He has especially been highly praised by musicians and music enthusiasts for his successful debut with the Gwangju Symphony Orchestra at the 2021 Korean Orchestra Festival, leading the audience to expect more great things to come in the near future.