Myung-Whun Chung hopes to create One Korea Orchestra

Posted on: July 9, 2014

In Friday’s (7/4) Telegraph (London), Adam Sweeting writes about efforts by 61-year-old conductor Myung-Whun Chung, a native of South Korea, to create an orchestra with musicians from both North and South Korea. “Chung has been winding down his guest-conducting activities with La Scala, Milan and the Dresden Staatskapelle…. Since 2006 he has been music director of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, and his ambition now is to see the day when he can conduct the One Korea Orchestra, made up of musicians from both sides of the 38th parallel.… In 2011 … he visited the North Korean capital Pyongyang.… The upshot was that Chung went to Pyongyang to rehearse with two ensembles, the [North Korea-based] Pyongyang National Symphony Orchestra and the Unhasu Orchestra.… Chung … persuaded the authorities to let the Unhasu Orchestra come and work with [Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France] in Paris,” where Chung is music director. “The visit culminated in a concert at the Salle Pleyel, where the combined musical forces performed Brahms’s First Symphony and a couple of traditional Korean compositions. Chung found the North Korean players to have a high degree of technical proficiency, but ‘they need exposure to more open musical views.’ ”

Posted July 9, 2014

Myung-Whun Chung photo by Gerard Julien / AFP