Myung-Whun Chung

Biography

Born: January 22, 1953; South Korea  
Myung-Whun Chung is one of the leading conductors of his generation. Also a prize-winning pianist, he is particularly noted for his interpretations of the music of French composer Olivier Messiaen.

There has rarely been as talented a group of siblings as Myung-Whun and his two older sisters, cellist Myung-Wha Chung (born 1944) and violinist Kyung-Wha Chung (born 1948). Myung-Whun made his performing debut as a pianist in Seoul at the age
Read more of 7. At 8, he flew to Seattle, WA, to begin his American musical studies. He attended the Mannes School, and later the Juilliard School in New York. His teachers there were Nadia Reisenberg (piano) and Carl Bramburger (conducting).

Chung won The New York Times piano competition in 1970. He made a conducting debut back in Seoul in 1971, conducting the Korean Symphony Orchestra. In 1974, he entered the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow as a pianist, winning second prize. He continued conducting studies at Juilliard, conducting both the New York Youth Orchestra and the Pre-College Orchestra of the Juilliard School. Carlo Maria Giulini, music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, engaged Chung as his assistant in 1978. Two years later on Giulini's recommendation, the Orchestra named Chung its associate conductor. In 1984, Chung became music director and principal conductor of the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra in Germany. He made his triumphant New York debut in 1986 conducting the Metropolitan Opera's production of Verdi's Simon Boccanegra. Later in 1986, he also delivered a brilliant performance in Paris of Prokofiev's rarely heard opera The Fiery Angel. In 1987, he was appointed principal guest conductor of the Teatro Communale of Florence, Italy (1987-1992). He received two major Italian awards during this period, the Premio Abbiata and the 1989 Arturo Toscanini Prize. In 1989 Chung became music director of the Opéra-Paris-Bastille. His performances included Messiaen's Saint-François d'Assise and Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District. He became noted for his renditions of the complex music of Messiaen. The composer rewarded Chung by dedicating to him his last work, the Concert à Quatre and entrusting him with its world premiere (1994). In 1992, the French government awarded him the Legion of Honor for his contributions to the Paris Opera. This did not prevent an angry parting resulting from a change of administration at the French Ministry of Culture in 1994. He has frequently guest conducted in such venues as La Scala Milan, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and the leading international orchestras. After leaving the Bastille Opera post he has been principal conductor of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and the Asia Philharmonic Orchestra.

In the early '80s he began work to present "environmental concerts" to allow the audience to accept environmental problems "with their hearts." He seeks a closer relationship between the two parts of his divided country, and has premiered the music of Isang Yun, a South Korean-born composer with similar views. Chung held concerts to raise money for rice to be shipped to famine-stricken North Korea. When he won the Ho-Am Prize from the Samsung Group (worth $111,000), he donated it all to the Korean Red Cross to alleviate the starvation in North Korea.

He also promotes an anti-drug message in his concerts, leading him in 1992 to be named Ambassador of the Drug Control Program at the United Nations. He was 1995's UNESCO "Man of the Year" and in 1996 won the highest cultural award of the Korean government. He returned to Korea to become music director of the Korean Broadcasting Symphony, and is the first Honorary Cultural Ambassador for Korea. Read less
Verdi: Otello / Chung, Domingo, Studer, Leiferkus, Et Al
Release Date: 10/11/1994   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 439805   Number of Discs: 2
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Rossini: Stabat Mater / Chung, Orgonasova, Bartoli, Gimenez
Release Date: 01/28/1997   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 449178   Number of Discs: 1
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Saint-Saëns: Samson & Dalila / Chung, Domingo, Meier, Et Al
Release Date: 02/26/2008   Label: Emi Classics  
Catalog: 09185   Number of Discs: 2
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Bizet: Carmen / Chung, Terfel, Bocelli, Domashenko
Release Date: 03/30/2010   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001400202   Number of Discs: 2
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Saint-saens: Samson And Dalila / Chung, Domingo, Meier, Ramey
Release Date: 11/15/2011   Label: Emi Classics  
Catalog: 0881982   Number of Discs: 2
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Browse 1-25 of 138 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    James Galway - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 302633 Release Date: 09/16/2014   Number of Discs: 73
    Composer:  Arthur Smith,  Various,  Traditional,  Stan Lebowsky  ... 
    Performer:  James Galway,  Sylvia,  Marisa Robles,  Phillip Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jörg Faerber,  Eduardo Mata  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Galway Pops Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $199.98
    CD: $153.99
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  • 2.
    Unsuk Chin: 3 Concertos / Kim, Gerhardt, Wei, Chung, Seoul Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002115102 Release Date: 08/19/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Unsuk Chin
    Performer:  Sun-Wook Kim,  Alban Gerhardt,  Wei Wu
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 3.
    Verdi: Otello / Chung, Kunde, Remigio, Gallo
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 716508 Release Date: 06/24/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Antonio Casagrande,  Francesco Marsiglia,  Lucio Gallo,  Carmela Remigio  ... 
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Venice Teatro la Fenice Chorus,  Venice Teatro la Fenice Orchestra
    On sale! $29.99
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  • 4.
    100 Great Symphonies
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002054602 Release Date: 06/03/2014   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Giovanni Battista Sammartini,  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf,  Johann Christian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Hanna Schwarz,  René Kollo,  Kurt Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Kevin Mallon,  Christopher Hogwood,  Thomas Füri,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aradia Ensemble,  Academy of Ancient Music,  Camerata Bern  ... 
    On sale! $259.98
    CD: $174.99
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  • 5.
    Shostakovich: Complete Symphonies [12-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002020902 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Anatoli Kotscherga,  Sergei Leiferkus,  Ljuba Kazarnovskaya
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Neeme Järvi,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra,  Gothenburg Symphony Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $155.98
    CD: $149.99
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  • 6.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 1222832 Release Date: 03/04/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
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  • 7.
    Kiri Te Kanawa - Opera Arias
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564635295 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Gustave Charpentier,  Claude Debussy,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Roger Vignoles,  Andrew Schulman
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano,  Jeffrey Tate,  Julius Rudel,  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon Opera Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $22.49
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  • 8.
    Greatest Cello Concertos / Truls Mork [9-CD Set]
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 158102 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Truls Otterbech Mork
    Conductor:  Iona Brown,  Mariss Jansons,  Paavo Järvi,  Eiji Oue  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norwegian Chamber Orchestra,  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 9.
    Voices of French Opera [5-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 280462 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean-Baptiste Lully,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Christoph W. Gluck,  André Modeste Grétry  ... 
    Performer:  Véronique Gens,  Miguel Villabella,  Solange Petit-Renaux,  Patricia Petibon  ... 
    Conductor:  Christophe Rousset,  Maurice Cauchie,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Henri Tomasi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Talens Lyriques,  Les Folies Françoises,  Monteverdi Choir  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 10.
    Le Violon Roi / Renaud Capucon [3-CD Set]
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 584402 Release Date: 05/21/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Renaud Capuçon,  Gautier Capuçon,  Martha Argerich,  Mischa Maisky  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexandre Rabinovitch,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Daniel Harding,  Yannick Nézet-Séguin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra,  Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 11.
    French Opera Arias
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001818602 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Jules Massenet,  Charles Gounod,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Kathleen Battle
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
    CD: $10.99
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  • 12.
    The Art Of Verdi / Placido Domingo
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001809102 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Piero Cappuccilli,  Placido Domingo,  Eduardo Valdés  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Claudio Abbado,  Valery Gergiev,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Kirov Theater Orchestra  ... 
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  • 13.
    Beethoven Masterworks Collection  [51-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001813172 Release Date: 03/19/2013   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Janet Perry,  Agnes Baltsa,  Vinson Cole,  José Van Dam  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Carlos Kleiber,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $163.49
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  • 14.
    Verdi: The Complete Works
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001806202 Release Date: 03/05/2013   Number of Discs: 75
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Maria Guleghina,  Samuel Ramey,  Violeta Urmana,  Sara Fulgoni  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Lamberto Gardelli,  James Levine,  Richard Bonynge  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  London Voices,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $236.99
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  • 15.
    Wiener Philharmoniker Symphony Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001797302 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Hanna Schwarz,  René Kollo,  Kurt Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Karl Böhm,  Leonard Bernstein,  John Eliot Gardiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Monteverdi Choir  ... 
    CD: $163.49
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  • 16.
    Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps - 100th Anniversary Collectors Edition [20-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001780902 Release Date: 12/11/2012   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Andrei Gavrilov,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Güher Pekinel,  Süher Pekinel  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Riccardo Chailly,  Pierre Boulez,  Valery Gergiev  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra,  Kirov Theater Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 17.
    Andrea Bocelli - The Complete Opera Edition [18 CD-Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001769302 Release Date: 11/19/2012   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Umberto Giordano,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Paolo Gavanelli,  Barbara Frittoli,  Andrea Bocelli,  Mario Luperi  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Marco Armiliato,  Steven Mercurio  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra,  Florence Maggio Musicale Chorus  ... 
    CD: $212.99
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  • 18.
    Dutilleux: Orchestral, Piano & Chamber Masterworks
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 19364 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Henri Dutilleux
    Performer:  Aude Guirai,  Timothee Collardot,  Sarah Lecolle,  Truls Otterbech Mork  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Jean-Claude Casadesus,  Georges Prêtre  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  French Radio New Philharmonic Orchestra,  Champs-Élysées Theater Orchestra  ... 
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  • 19.
    Voices Of Italian Opera
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 40509 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Edita Gruberova,  Margherita Carosio,  Francesco Meli  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Kurt Eichhorn,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Evelino Pidò  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Munich Radio Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 20.
    Rimsky-korsakov: Scheherazade; Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001701902 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Frédéric Laroque
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
    CD: $8.99
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  • 21.
    Classical 2012
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001675702 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Georges Bizet,  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi,  Francesco Cilèa  ... 
    Performer:  Lang Lang,  Andrea Bocelli,  Anna Netrebko,  Jonas Kaufmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung,  Antonio Pappano,  Marco Armiliato,  Daniele Callegari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Fagiolini
    CD: $18.99
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  • 22.
    Messiaen: Orchestral Works / Pierre Boulez, Myung-Whun Chung [10-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001676602 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Olivier Messiaen
    Performer:  Françoise Pollet,  Pierre-Laurent Aimard,  Joela Jones,  Catherine Cournot  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Riccardo Chailly  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra members,  BBC Symphony Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $54.98
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  • 23.
    Debussy: La Mer; Ravel: La Valse, Ma Mere L'oye /   Chung, Seoul Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4764498 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Magnificat - 500 Years Of Choral Masterworks [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001664502 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Gregorio Allegri,  Antonio Lotti,  Orlando de Lassus,  Josquin Des Préz  ... 
    Performer:  Patrick Russill,  Marinella Pennicchi,  Michael Chance,  Mark Tucker  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Christophers,  Paul McCreesh,  Stephen Cleobury,  Edward Wickham  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen,  Gabrieli Consort,  Gabrieli Players  ... 
    CD: $179.99
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  • 25.
    The Very Best Of Kiri Te Kanawa
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog:  6790072 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Francesco Cilèa,  Umberto Giordano,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Don Lusher,  Jim Hughes,  Laurie Holloway  ... 
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung,  Jeffrey Tate,  Julius Rudel,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Abbey Road Ensemble,  Members of the National Philharmonic Orchestra Lon
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