Myung-Wun Chung was born in Seoul on January 22, 1953. Incredibly, already at the age of seven (!) the pianistic debut in the homeland of the future famous musician took place with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra! Myung-Wun Chung received his musical education in America, graduating from the New York Mannis School of Music in piano and conducting, after which, giving concerts in ensembles and less often as a soloist, he began to think more and more seriously about the career of a conductor. In this capacity, he made his debut in 1971 in Seoul. In 1974 he won the 1978nd Prize in Piano at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. It was after this victory that world fame came to the musician. Later, in 1979, he completed his postgraduate studies at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, after which he began an internship with Carlo Maria Giulini at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra: in 1981, the young musician took the position of assistant, and in XNUMX he received the post of second conductor. Since then, he began to appear on stage almost exclusively as a conductor, only at first performing a little more as a pianist in chamber concerts, and gradually left this field of activity altogether.
Since 1984, Myung-Wun Chung has been constantly working in Europe. From 1984-1990 he was Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra. In 1986, Verdi made his debut at the New York Metropolitan Opera with a production of Simon Boccanegra. From 1989-1994 he was musical director of the Paris National Opera. Approximately in the same period (1987 – 1992) – guest conductor Municipal Theatre in Florence. His debut as a conductor at the Paris Opera, a concert performance of Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel, took place three years before he assumed the post of musical director of that theatre. It was Myung-Wun Chung who, on March 17, 1990, was honored to stage the first full-time repertoire performance, Les Troyens by Berlioz, in the new building of the Opera Bastille. And it was from that moment that the theater began to function on a permanent basis (for this reason, it should be noted that the “symbolic” opening of the new theater, which was classified as a “special event”, nevertheless took place earlier – on the day of the 200th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on July 13, 1989 ). Again, none other than Myung-Wun Chung performs the Paris premiere of Shostakovich’s opera “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District”, presents a number of symphonic programs with the theater orchestra and performs Messiaen’s latest compositions – “Concerto for Four” (world premiere of the Concerto for flute, oboe , cello and piano and orchestra) and Illumination of the Otherworld. From 1997 to 2005, the maestro served as chief conductor of the Rome Symphony Orchestra of the National Academy of Santa Cecilia.
The conductor’s repertoire includes operas by Mozart, Donizetti, Rossini, Wagner, Verdi, Bizet, Puccini, Massenet, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Messiaen (Saint Francis of Assisi), symphonic scores by Berlioz, Dvorak, Mahler, Bruckner, Debussy, Ravel, Shostakovich. His interest in modern composers is well known (in particular, the French names Henri Dutilleux and Pascal Dusapin, announced in the poster of one of the current December concerts in Moscow, testify to this). He also pays great attention to the promotion of Korean music of the XX-XXI centuries. In 2008, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France, under the direction of its chief, held several memorial concerts dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of Messiaen. To date, Myung-Wun Chung is the winner of the Italian Music Critics’ Prize. Abbiati (1988), Awards Arturo Toscanini (1989), Awards Grammy (1996), as well as – for the creative contribution to the activities of the Paris Opera – Chevalier of the Order of the Legion of Honor (1992). In 1991, the Association of French Theater and Music Critics named him “Best Artist of the Year”, and in 1995 and 2002 he won the award Victory of Music (“Musical Victory”). In 1995, through UNESCO, Myung-Wun Chung was awarded the title of “Person of the Year”, in 2001 he was awarded the highest award of the Japanese Recording Academy (followed by his numerous performances in Japan), and in 2002 he was elected Honorary Academician of the Roman National Academy ” Santa Cecilia.
The geography of the maestro’s performances includes prestigious opera houses and concert halls almost all over the world. Myung-Wun Chung is a regular guest conductor of such branded symphony orchestras as the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, the Dresden State Capella, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the orchestras of New York, Chicago, Boston, Cleveland and Philadelphia, which traditionally make up the American Big Five, as well as almost all the leading orchestras in Paris and London. Since 2001, he has been Artistic Consultant of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1990, Myung-Wun Chung enters into an exclusive contract with the company Deutsche Grammophone. Many of his recordings are Verdi’s Otello, Berlioz’s Fantastic Symphony, Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, Messiaen’s Turangalila and Illumination of the Otherworld with the Paris Opera Orchestra, Dvorak’s Symphony and Serenade Cycle with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Masterpiece Cycle sacred music with the Orchestra of the National Academy “Santa Cecilia” – were awarded prestigious international prizes. It should also be noted that the maestro recorded all of Messiaen’s orchestral music. Among the latest audio recordings of the maestro, one can name a complete recording of the opera Carmen by Bizet, made by him at the firm Decca Classics (2010) with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France.