Myung-Whun Chung


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
Mahler: Symphony No. 5 / Myung Whun Chung, Seoul Philharmonic
Release Date: 09/25/2015   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002376302   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 78 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 5 / Myung Whun Chung, Seoul Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002376302 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 9 / Myung-whun Chung, Seoul Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002278502 Release Date: 03/31/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 3.
    100 Classical Masterworks
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002188102 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Edvard Grieg,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theater Violin Ensemble,  Ansbach Bach Week Soloists Union,  Salzburg Mozarteum Camerata Academica  ... 
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  • 4.
    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
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  • 5.
    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
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  • 6.
    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
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  • 7.
    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  ... 
    CD: $236.99
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  • 8.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $95.98
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  • 9.
    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: $27.99
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  • 10.
    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: $45.99
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  • 11.
    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: $19.99
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  • 12.
    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
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  • 13.
    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  ... 
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  • 14.
    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  ... 
    CD: $35.99
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  • 15.
    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
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  • 16.
    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
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  • 17.
    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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  • 18.
    Best Puccini 50
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 48479 Release Date: 04/19/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Giorgio [Bass Vocal] Tadeo,  Carlo [Tenor Vocals] Bergonzi,  Maria Callas,  Renato Ercolani  ... 
    Conductor:  Georges Prêtre,  Gabriele Santini,  Bruno Bartoletti,  Antonio Pappano  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 19.
    Opera 2011
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 96666 Release Date: 04/19/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Antonio Caldara,  Giacomo Puccini,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Edgaras Montvidas,  Joyce DiDonato,  Philippe Jaroussky,  Anna Netrebko  ... 
    Conductor:  Kazushi Ono,  Emmanuelle Haïm,  Antonio Pappano,  Eugene Kohn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seminario Musicale,  L'arpeggiata
    CD: $16.99
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  • 20.
    Placido Domingo - The Opera Collection [26-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001515202 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 26
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Geoffrey Pogson,  Jean Lainé,  Alicia Nafé,  Richard Amner  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Ion Marin,  Georges Prêtre,  Giuseppe Sinopoli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $97.49
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  • 21.
    Sospiri / Cecilia Bartoli
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001515102 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Geminiano Giacomelli,  Antonio Caldara  ... 
    Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli,  Bryn Terfel,  Juan Diego Flórez,  Luigi Piovano  ... 
    Conductor:  Marc Minkowski,  Giovanni Antonini,  Claudio Abbado,  Myung-Whun Chung  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre,  Il Giardino Armonico,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 22.
    Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet Highlights / Chung, Concertgebouw
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439870 Release Date: 12/18/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Sospiri / Cecilia Bartoli
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001490802 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Geminiano Giacomelli,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Antonio Caldara  ... 
    Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli,  Bryn Terfel,  Juan Diego Flórez,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Giovanni Antonini,  Marc Minkowski,  Claudio Abbado,  Myung-Whun Chung  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Giardino Armonico,  Les Musiciens du Louvre,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 24.
    50 Best Opera
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 57531 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Gustave Charpentier  ... 
    Performer:  Cornelius Hauptmann,  Margareta Lilowa,  Carolyn Watkinson,  Ursula Kunz  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington,  Bernard Haitink,  Rafael Kubelik,  Peter Schneider  ... 
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  • 25.
    Essential Cello
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 88582 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Luigi Boccherini  ... 
    Performer:  Han-Na Chang,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Steven Isserlis,  Maggie Cole  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Warren-Green,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Juha Kangas,  Kurt Masur  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra members
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