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Chung Myung-whun appointed KBS orchestra’s first honorary conductor


Conductor Chung Myung-whun (center) waves to the audience after a concert with the KBS Symphony Orchestra on Dec. 24, 2021. (KBS Symphony Orchestra)
Conductor Chung Myung-whun (center) waves to the audience after a concert with the KBS Symphony Orchestra on Dec. 24, 2021. (KBS Symphony Orchestra)
The KBS Symphony Orchestra appointed renowned South Korean conductor Chung Myung-whun as its first-ever conductor laureate, according to the orchestra on Thursdsay.

Chung’s tenure began this month.

Conductor laureate is an honorary position given to a conductor who has international repuation or contributed to the development of the orchestra. This is the first the KBS Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1956, has awarded the title.

The news came days after Chung saved the orchestra’s Christmas Eve concert, stepping in in place of Pietari Inkinen, the orchestra’s music director, who was unable to enter the country because of toughened self-quarantine rules. Chung also led the orchestra at concerts in December 2020 and August 2021.

Chung is scheduled to lead the orchestra in September and might consider more performances depending on his schedule, an official at the orchestra said. In addition, Chung and the orchestra will work together to promote the peace on the Korean Peninsula and fostering young musicians, he added.

Chung holds several honorary positions at orchestras that he had previously worked with, including the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra and the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.

The conductor led the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra from 2006 to 2015, stepping down as the music director after troubles with former SPO CEO Park Hyun-jung.

By Park Ga-young (gypark@heraldcorp.com)
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