KBS Symphony Orchestra

The KBS Symphony Orchestra (KBS 교향악단) is a symphony orchestra based in South Korea. The orchestra principally performs in the KBS Hall and the concert hall of the Seoul Arts Center.

KBS Symphony Orchestra
KBS 교향악단
KBS 交響樂團
Revised RomanizationKBS Gyohyang Akdan
McCune–ReischauerKBS Kyohyang Akdan
KBS Symphony Orchestra with chief conductor Yoel Levi performing in the Dvořák's Hall of Rudolfinum, Prague during the Rudolf Firkušný's International Piano Festival


The orchestra was founded in 1956 as the radio orchestra of the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS). Between 1969 and 1981, it became a state-run organization, changing its name to the National Symphony Orchestra of Korea. In this period, they performed chiefly in the National Theater of Korea. In 1979, they made their first tour overseas, in the USA.

From 1981, the orchestra's designation was restored to its former name, and new positions, such as general manager, principal guest conductor and full-time conductor, were established in the organization. Their subsequent overseas tours were in Southeast Asia (1984) and Japan (1985 and 1991). In October 1995, they performed in the UN General Assembly in New York City.

In 2000 and 2002, the orchestra performed with the State Symphony Orchestra of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in Seoul and Pyongyang. The orchestra also held "goodwill exchange concerts" with the NHK Symphony Orchestra and the China National Symphony Orchestra in 2002.

The most recent music director of the orchestra was Yoel Levi, from 2014 to 2019. In May 2021, the orchestra announced the appointment of Pietari Inkinen as its next chief conductor and music director, effective January 2022, with an initial contract through the end of 2024.[1]

Titled conductorsEdit

Chief conductors

Principal guest conductors

  • Walter Gilesen (1982–1984)
  • Moshe Atzmon (1990–1992)
  • Vakhtang Jordania (1990–1996)
  • Eun-Seong Park (2000–2002)
  • Seung Gwak (2004–2006, 2013–)

Full-time conductor

  • Nan-Sae Geum (1981–1992)

Conductor Emeritus

  • Im Won-sik (1998–2002)


In 1995, the KBS Symphony Orchestra recorded Alan Hovhaness' Symphonies Nos. 39 and 46 with guitarist Michael Long and conductor Vakhtang Jordania with KOCH International Classics. The orchestra has also made numerous recordings with Seoul Records, KBS and other recording companies.


  1. ^ Im Eun-byel (2021-05-12). "Finnish conductor takes helm of KBS Symphony Orchestra". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2021-05-13.

External linksEdit