Classical Ticket Prices in South Korea Skyrocket

Classic Arts News   Classical Ticket Prices in South Korea Skyrocket
The high price of tickets to classical music concerts is an oft-discussed problem in the industry. But music lovers in the West have it easy compared to their Korean counterparts: the price of a single orchestra seat at the New York Philharmonic's November 15-16 concerts in Seoul was 250,000 won (currently US$260), according to the newspaperHankyoreh.

That didn't affect tickets sales, however; both concerts sold out a month beforehand, according to the paper. And that's small peanuts compared to the 400,000 won (currently US$427) charged for a concert by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra earlier this year. Tickets sold out two weeks ahead of time.

Hankyoreh writes that, according to industry estimates, the number of devout classical music fans in South Korea is 30,000; that reportedly includes 3,000 die-hard fans who will go to hear a concert regardless of price. The paper doesn't specify how the estimates were reached.

Ticket prices are still increasing, however. Promoters reportedly cite the fees and expenses paid to orchestra members as a reason for the high cost. However, the paper says that, according to industry officials, the sharp increase in prices is because performances are becoming a popular form of corporate entertainment for workers and clients alike. An orchestra seat, however expensive, is still cheaper than buying a client a lavish dinner and expensive drinks.

The paper quotes Yu Gyeong-suk of Ticket Link, an online ticket sales company, as saying, "When young people enjoy classical music, the layer of fans thickens, but now, in most cases, only rich people in their 40s and 50s are purchasing tickets, as gifts."

Recommended Reading: