Saturday, August 27, 2016
The conductor has been cleared of all wrongdoing by a police investigation in his home country, South Korea, having been wildly accused of expenses fraud and defamation by a sacked orchestra manager. He leaves the country completely innocent, despite a campaign by motivated print and broadcast media. This morning he issued the following statement: ‘I am happy that after a thorough investigation all the accusations against myself and the SPO have proven to be groundless. ‘It is a pity that so much damage has been done to myself and the SPO over the last year and a half. ‘What I have learned from this experience is how easy, specially in our country, it is to tear down and destroy something that has been built with such hard work. ‘I hope that in the future I can be of help to other people who have suffered through such hardship caused by completely fabricated accusations. ‘I have worked tirelessly and honestly on behalf of SPO over 10 years. I am just sad for all the damage that has been done to the SPO and I hope you will all join me in supporting them in the future. Myung Whun Chung
Pictured left to right this morning at Seoul’s new Lotte Concert Hall: Michael Fine, independent record producer, former head of Deutsche Grammophon Myung Whun Chung, former music director of the Seoul Philharmonic Yasuhisa Toyota, international concerthall acoustician. photo: Tammy Saylor Fine
The charges, which many observers considered fabricated, arose from the stormy end of Chung’s tenure as music director and his conflicts with the orchestra’s notoriously combative former president, who was forced to resign at the end of 2014.
On this interesting DVD, we have an opportunity to listen to music by Saint-Saens as well as joyous sounds of two piano music by Poulenc. The recorded concert features the following: Berlioz: Le carnaval romain Overture, Op. 9 Bizet: Carmen: Prelude to Act I Poulenc: Concerto in D minor for Two Pianos & Orchestra Rachmaninov: Romance in A major (6 hands) Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78 ‘Organ Symphony’, with Christophe Henry (organ) The other performers are Martha Argerich (piano), Nicholas Angelich (piano) and Myung-Whun Chung (piano & conductor) of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France Martha Argerich and Nicholas Angelich join Myung-Whun Chung for a concert homage by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France to its conductor in the magical setting of the Théâtre Antique. The concert begins with Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture, composed in 1844 and ends with Saint-Saëns’s Third Symphony in C minor. Between these two works, Martha Argerich and Nicholas Angelich join to interpret Francis Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, a joyous score in the musical spirit of the 1930s. Here is Ms. Argerich in Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos:
First press reports of Myung Whun Chung’s voluntary appearance at the Prosecutors Office in Seoul are hostile and prejudiced beyond the norms acceptable in western media. Sample: The 63-year-old maestro is suspected of defaming the former CEO Park Hyun-Jung of the city-run orchestra by using his own wife. Chung’s wife, known only as her last name Koo, allegedly made 10 orchestra employees file a lawsuit with the police against Park in December of 2015, saying “Park sexually and verbally harassed them.” But in March this year their allegations were found to be false by the police who investigated the case. Chung’s wife, the 68-year-old Koo, and 10 employees are now under investigation by the prosecution for their false allegations. So, Maestro Chung is now suspected of trying to drive out CEO Park from the orchestra by using his wife and employees close to him. More, and worse, here. It’s hard to believe anyone can receive a fair hearing in Seoul when the Park family control the media.
“Former Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra CEO Park Hyun-jung, who was ousted as the orchestra head in December 2014 over allegations of sexual and verbal harassment by members of the SPO, has filed a suit against Chung and his wife, surnamed Koo, who are currently staying in France, on charges of defamation.”