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date: 28 January 2020

Pak Tongjin locked

  • Robert C. Provine


(b South Ch'ungch'ŏng Province, Korea, 1916). Korean performer of the dramatic narrative genre p'ansori . He began his vocal studies at the age of 16, studying each of the five stories in the active modern repertory with a different teacher. He was appointed to the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts (Kungnip kugagwŏn) in 1962. He built up an enormous repertory; in addition to the standard set of five stories, he composed new musical settings for seven more stories, which had fallen out of the active repertory, as well as a lengthy new story about Yi Sunsin, a famous Korean admiral of the late 16th century. After his conversion to Christianity he composed Yesujŏn, narrating the life of Jesus.

In the 1960s and 1970s Pak became particularly famous for his ability to perform complete p'ansori stories non-stop; this included The Story of Hŭngbo over five hours, The Story of Ch'unhyang...

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