Orchestra lauds Chung

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Orchestra lauds Chung

Members of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra held a press conference Tuesday to insist that maestro Chung Myung-whun’s presence is indispensable to the orchestra’s continued development. Chung, who is currently the city-run orchestra’s principal conductor and an artistic director, expressed he has no desire to renew his contract when the current one expires at the end of this year, after becoming embroiled in controversy over accusations that he used the orchestra’s budget inappropriately.

Although not every member could make it, about 30 members of the orchestra gathered on Tuesday in the practice room at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts to support their maestro.

“We believe that the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra was able to achieve great things over the past 10 years and raise its status in the global scene,” said Park Mu-ik, a cellist who spoke for the group. “All of those achievements were possible thanks to maestro Chung. We believe he is the best conductor and artistic director we could ever have and we trust him to lead us to take another leap toward being an internationally acclaimed orchestra.”

Park went on to say that it was difficult for the members, “who only know about music,” to face the public in this way.

However, he also explained that Chung has “put our rights in front of anything else for the past 10 years,” adding, “We believe it is our turn to protect his.”

The members urged the city to keep the promise it made to Chung to establish a concert hall for the orchestra. Establishment of a concert hall for the orchestra was one of Chung’s main contract conditions.

“When the orchestra was established in 2005, the Seoul Metropolitan Government promised maestro Chung a concert hall and maestro Chung promised he’ll raise the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra to a global level,” said Park.

“In order to carry on the achievements the orchestra has been making for the past 10 years, establishing a concert hall is necessary.”

BY YIM SEUNG-HYE [yim.seunghye@joongang.co.kr]

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