Symphony Concert N° 4

Myung-Whun Chung Conductor
Kyung Wha Chung Violine

Johannes Brahms

  • Violinkonzert D-Dur op. 77

Pjotr I. Tchaikovsky

  • Symphony No. 4 in f minor, Opus 36

Family ties

Myung-Whun Chung, the principal guest conductor of the Staatskapelle, will ascend the rostrum at this rather special symphony concert to conduct his sister, the great violinist Kyung Wha Chung, in a performance of Brahms’ formidable Violin Concerto. Myung-Whun Chung has always emphasized the personal aspect of music-making, which is why we can expect something truly extraordinary when brother and sister appear on stage with the Staatskapelle.


Expected concert duration including an interval: 110 minutes

A concert introduction is given 45 minutes before the start of the performance in the opera cellar.


  • 16.12.2018
    11:00 Uhr
    Ticket price:
    55.00 – 67.00 €
  • 17.12.2018
    20:00 Uhr
    Ticket price:
    45.00 – 67.00 €
  • 18.12.2018
    20:00 Uhr
    Ticket price:
    23.00 – 82.00 €

Myung-Whun Chung

Principal Guest Conductor

Since the 2012/2013 season Myung-Whun Chung has been the first artist in the history of the Staatskapelle to hold the title of Principal Guest Conductor. This South Korean maestro has conducted many symphony concerts in the Semperoper since his debut here in November 2001. He has also directed a new production of Verdi’s »Don Carlo« (2003) from the orchestral pit and has accompanied the Kapelle on tours through Europe (2001, 2005, 2008 and 2013), to the USA (2005) and Asia (2006).

In addition to his work on the conductor’s rostrum, Myung-Whun Chung frequently performs as a chamber musician with Kapelle players, most recently at the Salzburg Easter Festival in 2013 when he wore two musical hats as conductor and chamber musician at Kapelle concerts. Chung launched his Dresden Mahler cycle in the 2012/2013 season with the composer’s First Symphony, continuing last season with the Second and Ninth Symphonies.

Born in Seoul, Myung-Whun Chung began his career as a pianist, in 1974 he won the 2nd price at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition. In 1979 he became an assistant to Carlo Maria Giulini at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and later directing the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Opéra Bastille in Paris and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. 

Since 2000 he has been Music Director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, while at the same time contributing to the musical life of his home country in various functions. For example he is Artistic Director of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the Asia Philharmonic Orchestra, an ensemble which brings together Asian musicians from the world’s leading orchestras for special concert projects.

During his career Myung-Whun Chung has collaborated with virtually all of the great orchestras. His catalogue of CDs with Deutsche Grammophon features many prize-winning recordings. In addition to his musical activities, he is highly committed to various humanitarian and ecological causes. He was an Ambassador of the UN Drug Control Programme and in 1995 was honoured as UNESCO’s »Man of the Year«. In 1996 he received the »Kumkuan «, the highest cultural award of Korea. He has been appointed the first Cultural Ambassador of his country, and in 2008 became a »Goodwill Ambassador« for UNICEF, the first conductor to hold this position.

Kyung Wha Chung

Kyung Wha Chung is recognised throughout the world as one of the finest violinists of her generation.  A prolific recording artist, her dazzling and probing artistry has made her a much-acclaimed performer throughout her forty-year career.  Lauded for her passion, her musicality, and the intense excitement that she brings to her performances, Chung’s uniquely expressive interpretations of the violin literature have established her as an artist of the very highest stature.  Born in South Korea, Chung first heard the violin at the age of six.  Instantly mesmerised by its tone, she was swiftly recognised as a child prodigy, making her concert debut aged nine with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, performing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.  At thirteen, Chung enrolled at The Juilliard School, New York, and began studying with renowned pedagogue Ivan Galamian, and later with Joseph Szigeti.

Upon winning the prestigious Edgar Leventritt Competition in 1967, Chung was immediately engaged by major American orchestras – including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic – and also performed at the exclusive White House Gala.  She made her sensational European debut in 1970, performing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Sir André Previn and the London Symphony Orchestra, at London’s Royal Festival Hall.  This concert was met with great critical acclaim and public attention, and – as a result – Chung received offers of concerts throughout the United Kingdom.  Subsequently obtaining an exclusive recording contract with Decca/London, Chung’s debut album – of the Tchaikovsky and Sibelius concertos with Sir André Previn and the London Symphony Orchestra – brought her to international attention, and she continued to perform with the world’s greatest orchestras (including the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, London Philharmonic and Boston Symphony Orchestra, among others).  Throughout her career, Kyung Wha Chung has enjoyed working alongside the world’s finest conductors, including Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Charles Dutoit, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, Sir André Previn, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Georg Solti and Klaus Tennstedt.  Her chamber music partnerships have included high calibre pianists such as Peter Frankl, Kevin Kenner, Stephen Kovacevich, Radu Lupu, and Krystian Zimerman.

Kyung Wha Chung has recorded numerous award-winning albums, and her extensive discography reflects the impressive

breadth of her repertoire.  Following her recording contract with Decca/London, in 1988 Chung subsequently signed for a period with EMI Classics, and also released recordings with RCA and Deutsche Grammophon.  Winner of two Gramophone Awards (the first, for her Deutsche Grammophon album of Strauss and Respighi sonatas with Krystian Zimerman; the second, for her EMI recording of Bartók’s Second Violin Concerto with Sir Simon Rattle), Chung has also received many prizes and top honours – including the Medal of Civil Merit from the South Korean government, and the Ho Am Prize for the Arts in 2011.

Following an injury to her hand, Chung stopped performing in 2005.  During this time away from the stage, she found a new calling as a teacher, joining the faculty of her alma mater, The Juilliard School.  In addition to this, Kyung Wha Chung is Chair Professor for Music at Ewha University in Seoul, and Charity Ambassador for Better World (an active patron for their Child Rescue Project in Africa).  She is also the Artistic Director of the PyeongChange Music Festival (formerly Great Mountains Music Festival & School), based in South Korea.

Five years after her retirement, 2010 marked Chung’s triumphant return to the Asian stage.  Greeted by enthusiastic audiences and the highest critical acclaim, in 2013 she embarked on an extensive Asian tour of fifteen cities, including Seoul, Tokyo and Beijing.  Kyung Wha Chung made her much anticipated return to the European concert platform in December 2014, with a national UK tour culminating in a sensational sell-out recital at the Royal Festival Hall, London.  In July 2016 she opened the prestigious Verbier Festival, performing the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Verbier Festival Orchestra and Charles Dutoit.

Kyung Wha Chung has signed an exclusive international record contract with Warner Classics, the first release of which – Solo Bach Sonatas & Partitas – was released during the 2016/2017 concert season, with performances at Suntory Hall (January 2017), The Barbican Centre (May 2017) and Carnegie Hall (May 2017).  Highlights of the 2017/2018 concert season include the recording the Brahms Concerto with Sir Antonio Pappano and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, with three concerts in Rome (February 2018) and a performance at the Abu Dhabi Festival (March 2018).