K-pop continues to conquer new areas of the music world, and now the scene has reached a truly unexpected destination: New York City’s famous Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
Billboard can share exclusive first details on K-Factor: An Orchestral Exploration of K-Pop, the upcoming one-night event at the renowned center known for hosting the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera and the New York City Ballet, among others. K-Factor will feature a 50-piece orchestra exploring decades of Korean music by performing songs by today’s biggest artists (like EXO, BTS, BLACKPINK and Red Velvet) as well other influential musicians (including Seo Taiji and Brown Eyed Girls‘ Gain) to showcase selections ranging nearly 100 years of Korean-music history.
Pianist JungJae Moon — who collaborated with Red Velvet member Wendy on a Christmas cover in 2016 — is the concert’s featured special guest. Attendees will be treated to a souvenir program with accompanying interviews and an afterparty with the performers and creative team.
One day prior to the event, a free Q&A will be held with SM Entertainment A&R executive and board of directors member Chris Lee, who recently gave a keynote speech at SXSW 2019. The True Value of K-Pop presentation is free and promises to bring “insight into the growth of the international cultural phenomenon.”
K-Factor was created by a cast of in-the-know advisors and consultants including arranger Johan (who’s worked closely with the likes of No I.D. and Travis Barker), Seoul-based writer and consultant Jakob Dorof (whose work has appeared in Pitchfork and VICE), singer-songwriter Kim Eana (who’s crafted several chart-topping singles in Korea including Brown Eyed Girls’ “Abracadabra,” IU‘s “Good Day” and “Dream” by Suzy and Baekhyun), among others.
“So much goes into any one K-pop song, but the music has always been the core,” Kim Eana said in a statement. “This program at Lincoln Center focuses on an adventurous side of Korean pop I’ve always felt deserves deeper consideration.”
K-Factor: An Orchestral Exploration of K-pop hits Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall on Thursday, June 20, 2019 while The True Value of K-Pop Q&A takes place on Wednesday, June 19, at the David Rubenstein Atrium. Tickets go on sale on May 3 at KFactor.org.
Check out an exclusive preview of K-Factor featuring snippets of orchestral takes of BTS’ “Idol,” Red Velvet’s “Ice Cream Cake” and more.