There’s a lot more to Korean music than K-pop

k-music korean festival 2018

The K-Music Festival celebrates music from Korea, including genres as diverse as glam rock and funk, to traditional folk and contemporary jazz.  Some of the notable performers at this year’s event are Youn Sun Nah and the Near East Quartet.

One of the highlights of the festival will be a rare opportunity to see Korea’s legendary pansori singer Anh Sook-Sun.


Pansori is a form of musical storytelling performed by a singer and a drummer, with its origins based in late 17th century folk entertainment.

Of an original repertoire of twelve song cycles, only five are currently performed.  These are Chunhyangga, Simcheongga, Heungbuga, Sugungga and Jeokbyeokga.

As part of K-Music, Anh Sook-Sun will be performing Heungbuba, which is widely regarded as being the funniest and most accessible of the pansori stories, recounting the trials and tribulations of ordinary people living and working in Korea.

Hyelim Kim

Dr Hyelim Kim is a postdoctoral research associate at the Centre of Korean Studies at SOAS University of London, where she obtained a PhD in ethnomusicology in 2014.

hyelim kim korean music festival

Hyelim is a composer and a daegum (bamboo flute) soloist, and will be performing at both K-Music and as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival at Kings Place.

At both events Hyelim will be joined by jazz singer and violinist Alice Zawadzki, with the Kings Place concert being broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.  They promise to be fun evenings.

Find out more


Share this post