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(LEAD) Tongyeong music fest canceled over coronavirus spread

All News 17:27 March 04, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with new cases in last para)

SEOUL, March 4 (Yonhap) -- The upcoming Tongyeong International Music Festival (TIMF), an annual classical music gala, has been canceled amid the wide spread of the new coronavirus in South Korea, organizers said Wednesday.

"As South Korea continues to be affected by outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, TIMF Concert Hall, along with many other venues across the country, has been closed," the TIMF Foundation said in an English-language statement posted on its website. "Concerns for the safety of our participating artists and audiences have led the TIMF Foundation to make the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 TIMF."

The 2020 TIMF was to kick off on March 27 and run through April 5 at TIMF Concert Hall in the southern coastal city of Tongyeong, with 363 artists from 23 countries set to perform.

It was founded in 2002 to commemorate South Korea's renowned composer Yun I-sang, who was born in Sancheong, near Tongyeong, in 1917.

South Korea had reported 5,621 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Wednesday, 44 days after the first case was reported on Jan. 20. The government raised the virus alert to the highest level late last month and has since asked people to refrain from outdoor activities.

The Concert Hall of the Tonyeong International Music Festival (TIMF) in Tongyeong, South Korea, in a photo provided by the TIMF Foundation (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

brk@yna.co.kr
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