The season of 2012-2013 represented a mini-revolution in the long history of the Dresden Staatskapelle, the oldest orchestra in the world founded in 1548 by Maurice, Elector of Saxony. In fact, it was the first time that the venerable institution had named a “principal guest conductor” (also a world-first in orchestra) in the Korean, Myung-Whun Chung. The nomination coincided with that of its new director, the German conductor Christian Thielemann. Loved by them after his first appearance behind the music stand in 2001, Chung developed a close relationship with the German orchestra during symphonic concerts and in the orchestral pit of the Semper Opera where he directed a largely impactful series dedicated to Verdi’s Don Carlos. He also led the orchestra on a tour around Europe, the United States and Asia.
In addition to his artistic activities, Myung-Whun Chung is dedicated to humanitarian and environmental causes. He was ambassador for a United Nations program for the control of drugs (PNUCID) and was named “man of the year” by UNESCO in 1995. In 1996, he won the Kumkuan, the highest artistic award in South Korea. He was also named the first honorary cultural ambassador for his country. In 2008, he became the first conductor named an Itinerant Ambassador. A message of brotherhood is what Myung-Whun Chung evokes in his interpretation of the Symphony “Eroica”, recorded during the two season concerts in 2004. Beyond his Classicism, his measured tempos and attention to detail, there is a vision rife with greatness and captivating enthusiasm. © François Hudry/Qobuz