Obituary: Ling Tung, conductor and Grand Teton Music Festival champion, 78

Posted on: May 26, 2011

In Wednesday’s (5/25) Jackson Hole Weekly (Wyoming), Matthew Irwin writes, “With a simple phrase as his guiding light, Maestro Ling Tung brought Grand Teton Music Festival from its humble beginnings in the late 1960s to the expansive seven-week summer classical music event it is today: ‘The music comes first,’ he once told the festival’s executive director Tracy Jacobson. GTMF staff announced last week that Tung died of complications related to brain cancer on May 14. He was 78 years old. With Tung scheduled to conduct Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture at the festival’s 50th Anniversary Gala on July 2, music director Donald Runnicles will lead the Festival Orchestra in Ling’s honor. … Grand Teton Music Festival will also present a memorial concert dedicated to Tung on August 14. And Tung’s family will hold a private ceremony in Philadelphia. … After a 1967 visit to guest conduct, Tung took the stand on a permanent basis from 1968 to 1996. At that time, the orchestra didn’t have a permanent venue, let alone a concert hall. With his wife, singer Margot Walk, Tung raised the money to build a concert hall in Teton Village on land donated by the Jackson Hole Ski Area. Walk Festival Hall opened in 1974.”

Posted May 26, 2011