In the field of chamber music, which is considered a very hardcore even within classical music, DITTO continues to result in selling out their concerts at Seoul Art Center’s Concert Hall every year, since 2007. Not only their debut but the aggressive PR and marketing that deliver story and their attempts at innovative productions have caused a sensation. They received much attention through unprecedented activities for a classical group such as street guerrilla concerts, photo shoots, music videos, and much more.
Since 2009, Ensemble DITTO has hosted the 'DITTO Festival' every June in Seoul, Korea. The festival has diversified the program by including a family concert which combines classical music and visual performance (Carnival, Universe, Sports and so on) and a contemporary music concert. It also operates a residence orchestra.
DITTO is considered an exceptional case, having successfully spread classical music to the public and resulting in outcomes of scale by bringing in teenagers, people in their 20s, and furthermore, the general public to the concerts halls of classical music.
DITTO is a brand name with the mission ‘classical music that empathizes’. It is the abbreviation of the word ‘divertimento’ meaning bright classical music, and also holds the meaning ‘I agree’ used in everyday life. In the center of this brand is the chamber music Ensemble DITTO that started in 2007. It was launched by violist Richard Yongjae O’Neill with hopes of introducing chamber music to a much broader audience. And now the ensemble aims to reach out to more people to empathize with classical music. Therefore, Ensemble DITTO is a program-centered chamber ensemble operating with variable members. This format is more surprising because it has allowed most of DITTO’s chamber music concerts in the past 9 years to be a sell out by young and passionate audiences, they created a so-called fandom, and they developed and maintained an active classical audience base that has an industrial scale.
“I think the effort to make classical music not limited to being 'music for themselves' or 'music for the minority' should be continued. In that sense, Ensemble DITTO's attempts at breaking away from rigorism and interacting with the audience should be meaningfully accepted.”
– Richard Yongjae O’Neill, violist and leader of Ensemble DITTO