Born: September 17, 1917; Tongyong, South Korea
Died: November 3, 1995; Berlin, Germany
The soaring, impassioned Symphonies nos. 1 & 3 of Isang Yun come from the heart of a man persecuted by the paranoia of the state "authorities" -- works written after he was twice imprisoned by South Korean police on suspicion of espionage, even once being kidnapped by them from Europe and forced back to South Korea and imprisoned. (He was, of course, innocent of these "crimes.") A worldwide petition was presented to the South Korean government,Read more signed by approximately 200 artists including Igor Stravinsky, Herbert von Karajan, Luigi Dallapiccola, Hans Werner Henze, Heinz Holliger, Mauricio Kagel, Joseph Keilberth, Otto Klemperer, György Ligeti, Arne Mellnäs, Per Nřrgĺrd, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Bernd Alois Zimmermann. Isang Yun was released on February 23, 1969 and returned to West Berlin. In 1971 he obtained German citizenship and never visited South Korea again though he called for the reunification of the divided country. Yun is one of the world's fine contemporary symphonists. His recognizably original and creative music, combining the aesthetics of both Eastern and Western cultures, is primarily known to musicians and composers as well as collectors of modern music. His haunting chamber music is also worthy of exploration. Read less
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