Famed cellist looks back on 50 years of art

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Famed cellist looks back on 50 years of art

Chung Myung-wha is a prominent figure among Korean classical musicians, not only as a member of the famed Chung Trio but also for her illustrious career as a cellist both here and abroad.
“This year is special because I’m planning on holding numerous recitals in Seoul alone,” Ms. Chung said in a telephone interview. “It’s been 50 years since I first began playing the cello and I want to celebrate that by performing a variety of pieces from the 18th to 20th centuries.”
The 61-year-old musician, a full-time professor at Korea National University of Arts, is holding her first recital in the “Great Korea Stars” series at the HoAm Art Hall on April 29 to look back on her professional life.
The program includes pieces from Haydn’s “Divertimento” (transcribed for cello by Gregor Piatigorsky), Mendelssohn’s “Cello Sonata in D Major” and Chopin’s “Brillante,” among others. To add variety, Ms. Chung will also play a Korean piece, “Dodori,” by Lee Young-jo. Her friend and fellow professor at Korea National University of Arts, Kang Choong-mo, will accompany her on the piano.
The third among seven children from one of the most musically gifted families in Korea, Ms. Chung’s siblings include violinist Chung Kyung-wha and conductor and pianist Chung Myung-hoon, all of whom are alumni of the Julliard School in New York.
The trio was formed in 1978, and has performed as a group on and off over the decades. Ms Chung first took up the cello when her mother gave her one as a graduation present in sixth grade.
After trying the piano and vocal music in her early years, Ms. Chung said she instantly felt comfortable with the cello. “The cello has a deep husky sound, which is similar to my voice,” Ms. Chung said. “I felt it represented my voice.”
Ms. Chung is married to Sam Koo, the president of Arirang TV. She lived abroad most of her adult life, in the United States and Europe.

by Choi Jie-ho

The recital will be held at the HoAm Art Hall in central Seoul on April 29 at 8 p.m. Tickets are 30,000 won ($30) to 50,000 won. For more information, call (02) 751-9607/10.
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