Artistic director

Chiyong Chung

Artistic Director · Chief Conductor

In 2018, Chi-Yong Chung was inaugurated as the 6th Music Director and Chief Conductor of Korean Symphony Orchestra.

One of the most sought-after conductors of his generation in Korea, Chi-Yong Chung is highly regarded for his vivid interpretations, deep musical insights, strong ensemble leadership, and virtuoso baton technique. In particular, he is well-known as a specialist in modern music and Korean composers’ new works including Isang Yun’s music.

Chung began his piano studies at age five and later entered the prestigious Seoul National University School of Music as a composition major. He then graduated from the conducting class of Michael Gielen at the Salzburg Mozarteum in Austria. Chung served as Assistant Conductor of the Salzburg International Summer Festival and was awarded the Austrian Culture Ministry Award upon graduation.

Following appearance as guest conductor of the Radio Symphony of Leipzig, Prague Radio Symphony, Munich Symphony, Michigan State Symphony, and Russian Philharmonic, he made his debut in Korea with the Seoul Philharmonic in 1992. Chung has conducted numerous Korean orchestras such as the KBS Symphony, Bucheon Philharmonic, Daegu Philharmonic, Daejon Philharmonic, Changwong Philharmonic, Incheon Philharmonic where he served as music director.

He is also renowned for his work as an opera conductor. In addition to leading many operas of the Italian, French, and German repertoires, Chung has premiered new Korean works for the stage including , by Keung-Soo Lim, by Hyeon-Ok Kim, and by Dong-Hoon Lee.

Chi-Yong Chung is the foremost champion of the music of Isang Yun, having led the Korean premieres of numerous works, including , , as well as operas such as and .

He works for the School of Music at the Korean National University of the Arts, where he is leading the education of the next generation of Korean musicians. His past positions include the chairmanship of Korean Conductors Association. Among his many distinctions, Chung received the Soo-Keun Kim Culture Award, Young Artist Prize of Korean Culture Ministry, Music Association of Korea Award, and the Korean Music Journalists Association Award.

Hunjoung Lim

Artistic Director · Chief Conductor

Conductor Lim Hun-Joung has distinguished himself among award-winning musicians as a composer possessed of extraordinary vision and unusual imagination, having won a Grand Prize for Composition at the 14th Dong-A Music Competition in 1974 while still a student at Seoul National University (SNU). After graduating from the SNU College of Music, he studied composition and conducting at the Mannes School of Music and at the Juilliard School. Returning home to Korea in 1985, he was appointed as a full-time professor of conducting and composition at the Seoul National University College of Music, where he has taught for the past 31 years.

As Chief Conductor of the Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra over a 25-year period that began in 1989, he led the Bucheon Philharmonic on its way to becoming the first music organization to be awarded the Ho-Am Prize, also known as “the Nobel Prize of Korea.” Since his appointment as the fifth Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Korean Symphony Orchestra (KSO) in January 2014, he has been working to write a new chapter in Korean symphonic orchestra history.

In a contemporary music world hampered by limited imagination and an undue importance attached to formulaic technical skill, Lim Hun-Joung has strived to present new directions as a musician and educator on the basis of his persistence and concern for music. In particular, this led him to conduct The Complete Mahler Symphonies concert series from 1999 to 2003, which opened the eyes of a slumbering Korea to the work of Gustav Mahler, thus lighting a spark for the so-called “Mahler Syndrome.” It was these efforts that paved the way for a new classical music trend marked by rising interest in and affection for Mahler. Since his appointment as Chief Conductor of the Korean Symphony Orchestra, he has led the orchestra in its ongoing concert series based on The Complete Bruckner Symphonies. He has also taken on another formidable challenge. He has elevated Korean symphonic orchestras to the next level, taking them on a grand journey by playing the complete symphonies of the prominent composers Mahler and Bruckner. Fueled by his thirst for challenge, these shining examples for the music world show how he has taken the lead in shaping the currents in Korean symphonic music.

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Korean Symphony Orchestra’s establishment, Chief Conductor Lim Hun-Joung led a successful European concert tour to Croatia, Zagreb, Slovakia, and to the International Brucknerfest Linz in Linz, Austria. The enthusiastic response received by the KSO in Europe has raised both the level of recognition of Korean orchestras and their overall standing.

The product of constant devotion, the music of Lim Hun-Joung is based on expressive ability balanced by thorough analysis, interpretation and the creative power of the imagination, all of which he has used to help the Korean classical musical world establish itself as a model for others.

임헌정

Heechuhn Choi

Artistic Director · Chief Conductor

Choi Hee-Chuhn graduated from the Konzertexamen program in conducting at the Musikhochschule Hanns Eisler Berlin, receiving a performer’s diploma with highest distinction. He was also the first student ever in the history of the Hochschule fur Musik Dresden to complete and receive a diploma for the conducting Meisterklasse. In 2003, he received by a unanimous decision the first place Karajan Award in the Deutsche Hochschulwettbewerb Competition for conducting. In 2005, he won First Prize in the Bad Homburg Conducting Competition.

Mr.Choi has conducted several orchestras including the Berliner Sinfonietta Orchester (current Berlin Konzerthausorchester), the Jena Philharmonie, the Staatsorchester Kassel, the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester and the Staatsorchester Rheinland-Pfalz. He also successfully conducted Verdi's La Traviata and other operas at the Nationaltheater Munchen, the Heidelberg Opera House, and the Annaberg Opera House. At the Rheinsberg Castle Chamber Opera, Mr. Choi held a premiere of Joern Arnecke's Drei Helden, and his own contribution was reviewed favorably by Berliner Morgenpost as "conducting that inspires the performers."

Mr.Choi was also a general director and conductor of Mozart's Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail at the Oper-Oder-Spree International Opera Festival. He also conducted multiple operas and concerts as principal conductor at the Saxony State Theater. His opera repertoire includes Verdi's Othello, Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, and Puccini's Tosca.

Choi Hee-Chuhn’s career in Korea includes guest conducting at the Seoul Philharmonic, the Bucheon Philharmonic, the Daejeon Philharmonic, and the Gwangju Symphony. He also received the 41st Nanpa Music Award. In 2011, he was inaugurated as the 4th Artistic Director and permanent Conductor of Korean Symphony Orchestra.

Eunseong Park

Music Director · Chief Conductor

Conductor Park Eunseong graduated from Music department of Seoul National University and majored in instrumental music. He was the first Korean who majored in conducting and got a diplomat from National University of Vienna, Austria.
Domestically, he had learned with Lim Wonsik. For the period when he studied abroad in Vienna, he studied under maestro Otmar Suitner, who was the music director of Berlin opera house.
When he was 25, in 1970, he had his stage debut while conducting the National Symphony Orchestra. After his return to South Korea, he has served as a permanent conductor of the Seoul Symphony Orchestra. After that, as he has conducted regular concerts of main orchestras in Korea, he had performed on international stages, such as in Austria, the United States, Czech, Hungary, and Japan.

Especially, he was favorably reviewed from New York Times for guest concerts for the 100th anniversary of New York Carnegie Hall in 1991. Along with his performance in 1996, conducting a Korean opera for Olympic culture festival in Atlanta, the United States, he had conducted more than 30 pieces of opera and ballets. In 1990, he received a presidential citation. The following year, he won the “Musician for this year” in the section of conductor by Music Association of Korea. In 2005, he won the “Musician for this year” by the Korean Association of Music Critics.

In 2002, also, he became the first one conducting in Pyeongyang. In Oct. 9th, 2004, he was invited by the Japanese association of symphony orchestra to conduct the Soowon city orchestra for “2003 Asia Orchestra week” and “2004 Germany international environmental music festival”. In 2005, he held Soowon international conducting competition go support the development of national classical music. At the same time, he contributed to introduce Korea with classical music.

As a conductor, he pours his efforts on training the upcoming generation. From 1993, he had worked as the professor of Hanyang University. From 2000, he established Association of Conductor in Korea and held the position of the first president of the association. Also, he had worked as the music director and permanent conductor of Soowon City Orchestra and Korean Symphony Orchestra.

Min Kim

Music Director

Kim Min was considered as the violinist with the most colorful careers among all other Korean musicians. He is the remarkable soloist with great artistic sense and a leader of an ensemble with excellent leadership, and music educator with warm regards for his students. His scope of musical activities is far beyond the border.

Kim Min graduated from Seoul Art High School, department of Seoul National University, and Hamburg National Conservatory. He had worked in Berlin Radio Symphony. He was the first Korean to work for German Bayreouth Festival Orchestra for 30 years (1977-2008). After his return to Korea, he was the bandmaster of National Symphony in 1979 and worked has the bandmaster of KBS symphony from 1981 to 1994. In 1980, he reorganized and re-established Seoul Baroque Ensemble and it became the most famous Korean ensemble today.

He has won the second “Lee Mireuk award” and the tenth “Wookyung Culture and Arts award”. He was the first one to receive “the appreciation plaque for participation in music festival for 20 years in a row”. Thanks to his contribute to musical exchange between Poland and Korea, he has received “Polish Cultural Medal” by Polish government and a certificate and medal of “A life of Music” by Italian president. He also received “Coronal Cultural Medal” for the artists who had contributed to the development of arts and culture of South Korea as a “2015 Man of Merit for the development of Arts”. Also, he received the grand prize at the tenth Daewon Music Award for the musicians who have contributed to Korean classical music society.
He has served as one of the juries for Wieniawski International Competition, Tchaikovsky Junior International Competition, Dong-a International Music Competition, Sendai International Music Competition, Germany Leopold Mozart Competition, International Instrumental Competition Markneukirchen, China International Violin Competition, Queen Elizabeth Competition, and Spohr Competition. Then, he was re-invited as a jury once again to Queen Elizabeth Competition in 2012 and Germany Leopold Mozart Competition in 2016.

He was once served as the dean of Music department of Seoul National University (1999-2005, first time to be elected for 3 times) and music director of Korean Symphony Orchestra (2003-2007). For now, he is the art director of Seoul International Music Festival, music director of Korean Chamber Orchestra (formerly known as Seoul Baroque Ensemble), honorary professor of Music department of Seoul National University, and full member of Korean Association of Artists

Yeontaek Hong

Founder, Music Director · Chief Conductor

Even in one century after the advance of Western music and its development, there were some attempts to establish private orchestra to fulfill the demands of Korea as a nation of culture. But it was impossible to have fruit. All the orchestra institutions have barely maintained its existence due to governmental support.

At the present, I believe that this is the moment when we declare our pride as a nation of culture under the banner of creation of advanced fatherland. I hear voices from each corner of country saying that we need to prepare ourselves as a civilized country for the attention that we would have for 86’ and 88’ Olympic games.

Thanks to rapidly improved level of education and growth of the middle class of society, we have raised talented people that have trained with high degree of skills and techniques for the orchestra. I believe that the foundation of first private orchestra, Korean Symphony Orchestra, has a great meaning and plan to have a concert for foundation at the auditorium of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in March 30, 1984, at 7 p.m. To blossom the flower of private orchestra movement, I believe that there must be active sponsorship and supports from all of you who care about arts, develop it, and enjoy it.

Korean Symphony Orchestra, which will be founded soon, will promise to do its best for the enhancement of culture of music in Korea.

March, 1985 Yeontaek Hong