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I was happy to learn that an appreciation of classical music is on the rise in Korea, on a recent visit to the classical-music store Pung Wol Dang. This is the largest classical-only music store in Korea, and a haven for aficionados and novice listeners alike. It was founded by Park Jong-ho—a well-known psychiatrist, opera critic, and columnist—with the heartfelt ambition of spreading the love of classical music. And his store certainly goes a long way in achieving this; in fact, it has become something of a classical-music mecca, due in part to its enormous stock of tens of thousands of CDs, which include some rare finds.

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As well as this, the relaxed atmosphere invites visitors to listen to music, read books on the subject, and connect with fellow listeners. The staff members are friendly and very knowledgeable; if you are a complete beginner, there is even a music curator on hand to guide you in choosing the right album to start you on your classical journey. Park Jon-ho also runs a series of lectures that offer a more in-depth look at classical music, and these are always fully booked. I ended my visit at their café, Lozen Cavalier, with a relaxing combination of tea and chamber music.

Pung Wol Dang, Sinsadong 657-37, Seoul.

For more information, visit www.pungwoldang.kr.

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Wooyoungmi

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Wooyoungmi was born in an intensely creative Seoul household and showed a passion for design from an early age. Upon graduating in 1983, she won the Osaka International Fashion Award. ...