Saturday, December 06, 2008

Beethoven Virus

Beethoven Virus is a popular drama series on MBC that aired its final episode on Wednesday, November 12. The show recorded an impressive average viewer rating of 20 percent. It drew significant attention from viewers and critics because it revealed the lives of classical musicians in an orchestra—a relatively fresh topic for a TV drama series.
The series garnered a lot of attention right from the start with its cast. Maestro conductor, Kang Ma-eh, was played by one of Korea’s leading male actors, Kim Myung-min, who rose to fame with his critically acclaimed role as Admiral Yi Sun-shin in the 2004 history drama series entitled ‘Immortal Yi Sun-shin’ on KBS. In ‘Beethoven Virus’, Kang Mah-eh is portrayed as an elite forty-year-old orchestra conductor with a notorious reputation for his rough personality and sharp tongue—hence his nickname ‘orchestra killer’. He believes classical music was created strictly for the nobility.

Younger-generation TV viewers raved over hunky young actor Jang Geun-suk, who played the role of Kang Gun-woo, a traffic police who was born with a gift for music. He doesn’t even know how to read a music score, yet he possesses a natural talent for playing the trumpet simply by ear. He eventually joins a project orchestra through a friend’s recommendation, which gives him an opportunity to open his eyes and ears to music and conducting.

Even the press conference held prior to the regular televising of the drama series surprised fans with a classical concert complete with a full-scale orchestra. Kim Myung-min conducted the orchestra himself when it performed Ennio Morricone's Gabriel's Oboe and Brahms' Hungarian Dances in front of reporters and fans who flocked to the venue. Renowned musicians made cameo appearances in the drama, including piano prodigy Lim Dong-hyeok as himself and another by popular Korean-American violinist Richard Yongjae O`Neil.

source: KBS World


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