Unethical Conductor and the fate of Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra

http://www.gramophone.co.uk/forum/general-discussion/unethical-conductor-and-the-fate-of-seoul-philharmonic-orchestra

I am Sang Soo Kim, a playwright, a producer, and culture critic living in Korea. I won the Dae Jong Award (the equivalent of a Korean Oscar) for the best screenplay in 1996.   As an artists, I pursue social justice.

Recently, Korean society has experienced some turbulent times with the alleged embezzlement perpetrated by Myung Whun Chung, the chief conductor and the artistic director of Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO).  Mayor Myung Bak Lee (who became the 10th President of South Korea, whose policy turned into a total failure and also is suspected for his possible involvement in Korean CIA’s illegal intervention in the 2012 Korean presidential election) appointed Chung as the chief conductor and the artistic director at SPO in 2005 and gave him near autocratic power over the SPO management. Upon arrival at SPO, Chung disbanded the union and fired 75 orchestra members without any proper procedure.  As the result of those illegal lay-offs, lives of many families were totally ruined.  As Chung’s illegal and unethical acts have been brought to light, the majority of the Korean public started asking Mayor Won Soon Park, the current mayor of Seoul, to fire Chung from SPO.  There is even a rising voice that Chung should be indicted for embezzlement which he has been involved in for the past 10 years.

As public opinion went against him, Chung’s side released an article written by a fictitious author, named Arnold Nielsen, who claimed to work in the classical music business, but the article did not provide the exact identification of its author. This article was linked to the Slipped Disc, a website on classical music, run by Norman Lebrecht. The purpose of this article is to refute the result of the special audit for Chung and SPO, done by the city of Seoul. The article suggested the accusation against Chung is not true and it was caused by either trivial mistakes or misunderstanding.

In this article, I will uncover all the wrongdoings and embezzlement which Chung Myung Whun has been perpetrating since he joined SPO as the chief conductor. The facts and evidences used in this writing to refute the Arnold Nielsen’s article are all true.

Chung says he knows only music.

“I know only music.”

When the public raised these issues, Myung Whun Chung, the chief conductor/music director of Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) since 2006, responded with the same remark. This remark can be interpreted to mean that he is just a music artist who is not involved in any money or business matters.

In several Korean media, I disclosed many illegal and unethical acts of Conductor Chung and insisted that Mayor Park Won Soon should not continue the contract with him.  Although the special audit by the city of Seoul on Conductor Chung and SPO revealed most of my arguments were true, in January 2015, Mayor Park announced a one year extension of Chung’s contract saying there is no alternative to replacing Chung.

In this column, I want to discuss the reasons why the city of Seoul should not continue the contract with Chung.

Does Chung’s salary fit his worldwide reputation?

Chung’s reputation as a conductor is overestimated in Korea compared to his worldwide reputation. Currently in addition to SPO, Chung assumes Chief Conductor positions at two other orchestras, Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra (RFPO) (Paris, France) and Asia Philharmonic Orchestra (Incheon, Korea).  According to Ms. Mok Soo Jung’s investigation which was checked with an official who has been working at RFPO for over 20 years, RFPO rated Chung’s reputation as a conductor at the middle level of the second group (B Group) and thus his salary at RFPO was determined by such a position.

Considering the fact that Chung is under contract with RFPO with 20 annual performances, Chung’s salary at RFPO is between $674,000 and $719,000. At SPO, in addition to the base salary of $198,000, Chung’s conducting fee has reached at $44,000 this year, with a 5% increase every year and this fee is paid for each performance. Both his base salary and conducting fee paid by SPO are higher than his current level rated by RFPO.  Chung’s total pay of $1,811,000 at SPO is 3 times higher than the pay he receives from RFPO. Chung has been working at RFPO for 14 years and if he really was underpaid there, he could have moved to other places.

Although Chung’s name was not in the list of guest conductors at any of the top 3 orchestra (Berlin Phil, New York Phil, Vienna Phil), his pay at SPO corresponds to the second place among the top ten highest paid orchestra conductors in USA. The average conductor pay of orchestras in USA is much higher than the one of orchestras in Europe.

Is Chung’s extra pay reasonable?

Chung’s extra pay at SPO is even much higher than his salary. According to the contract between Chung and SPO (Dec 30th, 2008) and the financial statement of SPO for the year 2010, the city of Seoul paid Chung $1,811,000 for salary and conducting fees. In addition to this, Chung was paid $188,853 in 2010 and $94,000 for the unlimited first class airline flights (2 persons).  He was also paid $27,000 for his personal expense account, $40,000 for his foreign assistant (The existence of this assistant was claimed by Chung, but its authenticity has never checked yet.), and $54,000 for his oversee activities. These expenses were exchanged to Euro and transferred into Chung’s private account, but Chung has never provided the evidence of these costs. Considering these costs are paid by tax payers of the city of Seoul, Chung is in violation of Korean law by the failure of submitting required expense proofs. Furthermore, there were other incidents of expense claims, such as $36,000 for limousine rentals and $36,000 for hotel stays, which were not listed in his contract. There is no other chief conductor who is provided unlimited first class flights (including his/her spouse) by the orchestra. Also, SPO paid for the round trip airfares to Chung, who work back and forth between Seoul and Paris and RFPO has not paid any part of these airfares.

Chung has not responded to the request for special audit

Since there has been many questions raised about Chung’s possible embezzlement, in 2014, the city council initiated a special audit for Chung and SPO. The city council asked Chung to attend the business report, but Chung did not respond and the special audit had to be done without questioning Chung.

Chung did false claims for airfares

The special audit performed by the city council (presented in January 2015) revealed that Chung let his family (his son and daughter-in-laws) use the flight tickets which were paid by SPO for the use of Chung’s personal manager.  In this matter, the city of Seoul asked Chung to return $11,000. The Korean investigation TV program, “PD Note”, reported that Chung once claimed $40,000 for the round trip first class airfare, when in fact the actual price of the ticket at the time turned out to be only $10,000. In another incident, Chung received the amount of $37,000 with the copy of an electronic flight ticket. However, the investigation of PD Note revealed that the corresponding electronic ticket was never used for boarding. In the phone interview with PD Note, the former CEO of SPO, Park Hyun Jung, said Chung asked SPO to pay cash specifically for the airfares, although all other expenses were paid using his business credit card.

Chung asked the contract kept in private.

On the contract Chung made with SPO on December 30th in 2008, contrary to the list of only a few obligations that Chung needs to do for SPO, the rest of the contract is filled with the list of the requirements that SPO needs to do for Chung.  A careful study of the contract reveals that it is an unfair one sided contract not in conformity with international practices. According to the contract, in addition to the base salary of $198,000, Chung receives a conducting fee of $38,400 for each performance (in 2011), and the conducting fee increased 5% each year since 2010. Customarily, in the contract the chief conductor makes with the orchestra, the general practice is to specify the number of performances which the conductor must conduct in order to get the salary. Chief conductors of major orchestras are usually paid an annual salary and they do not receive additional conducting fees. However, Chung’s contract with SPO consists of both the annual salary and the conducting fee for each performance.

Also on LKL:  Hwang Ji-hae: “I get inspirations from the gardens I saw while growing up.”

Also in this contract, when SPO induces a sponsor using Chung’s image SPO is obligated to give Chung the amount agreed upon in advance up to 30% of the sponsor donation, depending on the proportion that his image is used in the whole PR and marketing.  In addition, SPO has changed its performance schedules if there was a change in Chung’s personal schedule, whereas and this kind of performance schedule change was not possible in the contract with RFPO, unless for health reasons.  The contract also specifies Chung can work as the chief conductor in up to two orchestras including SPO and RFPO in which he has been working for 14 years. But he also works as the chief conductor at Asia Philharmonic Orchestras which he is running with his older brother and by doing so, he apparently is in violation of his contract.

Chung asked SPO to keep the contract private. Considering the one-sided nature of the contract it can be understood why Chung would not wanted it to be publicly revealed. However, it is not proper to keep the contract private, since most of SPO budget is supported from tax payers’ money.

SPO Operates as a One Man Chung Myung Whun Dictatorship.

Has the current SPO attained the status of one of “the most competitive orchestras” worldwide, as Chung had promised?  Chung possesses the absolute power over almost every aspect of SPO management, such as the selection, the dismissal, the evaluation and the request for the sanction of orchestra members, the appointment of vice conductors, the invitation of guest conductors and soloists, the selection of repertoires, and even the rejection right for any matter which was not agreed upon with the city of Seoul. He has determined by himself the selection and the dismissal of orchestra members and he set up the system in which 5% of the total members were fired each year. Under this system, over the past 10 years 75 SPO members have been fired by Chung. Among the five members who were fired last year, four filed a law suit for unfair dismissals and they have already won in the labor arbitration board.  Having 5% of orchestra members fired each year means the members need to remain in the good graces of Chung even aside from enhancing their musical skills.  Under such a system, orchestra members have to sacrifice their teammates in order to survive and it could be harmful to the harmony and the cooperation which is important for orchestras. This system has been working for the past 10 years without major discontents exposed to the outside partly because Chung has removed the union after his arrival at SPO.

The special audit conducted by the city council also revealed some unfair cases in the evaluation process for members. It also revealed that 66 SPO members were asked to perform as guest members of Asia Philharmonic Orchestras where Chung works as the chief conductor and considering the above dismissal system, they could not have refused such a request.

According to Mok Soo Jung, who investigated the case of RFPO, Chung was not given such power at RFPO. At RFPO the chief conductor is just one of the 12 jurors who decide the audition for selecting new members of RFPO and it is not the chief conductor who makes the decision regarding the dismissal of members. The chief conductor is supposed to discuss with the official of RFPO regarding matters relating to the general management of the orchestra. Although the chief conductor is mainly responsible for the selection of repertoires, soloists, guest conductors and guest members, the orchestra members also can provide their opinions through the representative they have selected.

As 5% of members are constantly being fired each year, 15% of the total members were brought from abroad and have played as guest members only at the performances in which Chung appeared. The cost of having such guest members such as airfare and hotel were also paid by SPO.  Some people said the sound of SPO has improved since Chung joined and such improvement was offered as evidence of the achievement of Chung. However, other people have expressed doubts as to whether such temporary input of guest members can be really considered the true sound of SPO.

Is SPO Chung’s private organization?

The former CEO of SPO, Hyun Jung Park, exposed that SPO was being operated as if it is Chung’s private organization. The CEO of SPO is supposed to be appointed by the Mayor of the city of Seoul. But the actual selection process was one in which Chung selected the CEO among candidates that the city of Seoul had listed from recommendation from various sources. The former CEO Park was selected after she was interviewed by Chung. After her arrival at SPO, she pointed out several problems where Chung had ignored the procedures or had violated the contract. She continuously raised issues about Chung’s wrong doing and eventually lost the power struggle by being dismissed from the CEO positon in January 2015.

The symptom which tends to prove that Chung has operated SPO as his private organization appeared in several. For example, two names were listed as the chief conductor in the list of the 2010 SPO Europe tour, one was Chung and the other was his wife. It means tax payers of the city of Seoul had to pay for the tour expense of his wife. There was a case where SPO paid the business class flight to USA for Chung’s son.

Chung also violated the contract by holding 5 piano recitals, which the former CEO Park did not approve since the recitals were for making his own profits. Also Chung participated in the fundraising of the non-profit organization he founded. This act itself was not illegal, but it was not proper for him to receive tax deduction as the business owner by donating his performance fee to his own organization.

Chung also asked SPO to rent out its musical instruments to the orchestra where Chung’s son is the chief conductor and sometimes asked SPO members to appear in the concert in which his son conducted. With respect to questions asked about such illegal rentals of SPO instruments, the SPO official said “The rental fee was paid.” However, since SPO is not supposed engage in rental services for profit, such response was not a proper one.

Is Chung’s achievements at SPO worthy of his pay?

Chung’s achievement at SPO claimed by Chung’s supporters are the following: 1. Increase in audience, 2. Europe tour, 3 Record release at Deutsche Grammophon (DGG). Chung’s supporters suggest that Chung deserves to get paid $1,811,000 a year because SPO audience has increased three times since Chung joined SPO. Although their logic is based upon the market theory, they talk about only the income, not the cost. The SPO budget has increased from $270,000 to $1,183,000 (in 2011), 4.3 times increase since Chung joined SPO. Out of the SPO budget in year 2014 ($1,536,000), $1,001,000 (65% of the SPO budget) comes from tax payers and the ticket income comprises only $171,000 (11% of the SPO budget).

Chung’s supporters also point to the Europe tour in 2010 as Chung’s major achievement. In most invited tours, it is the convention that the inviting sponsor pay most of the tour expense for the orchestra, such as airfares, hotel fee, and performance fees, etc. However, in the SPO Europe tour in 2010, the tour expense, $117,000, was paid by tax payers of the city of Seoul. The ticket income from this tour was only $29,000. Chung said, in the interview Chung did with the Korean Economy, a Korean newspaper on September 20th in 2011, Korean Economy, “I have a lesson from this Europe tour that certain income can be sure when there is substantial investment for SPO.” (September 20th, 2011) In fact, the only one who received such certain income was Chung himself. He earned a total of $153,000 from the four tour performances ($38,400 for each performance) and the amount which 105 SPO members earned from this tour was only $2,277. Chung’s conducting fee ($38,400) is 700 times higher than the amount a SPO member receives from the performance ($54).

Also on LKL:  Embeddedness essay

Chung and SPO officials also claimed that the 5 records of SPO released from DGG are evidence that Chung is entitled to get such huge pay from SPO. “No other Asian orchestra even Japanese orchestras have had such accomplishment which a major record company like DGG has released their records.” (January 13th, 2011, Chosun Ilbo) Is the alleged claim “SPO is the first Asian orchestra which has received recognition from the major record company like DGG” true? If that claim is true, DGG should have paid the expense of the record production and release, such as performance and conducting fees, recording expense, PR and marketing etc. The reality is that SPO paid that total expense, which was over $243,000, not DGG.

From the above reasoning, I suggest the claim that Chung deserves such to get such big pay from SPO needs to be reconsidered.

What did the former SPO members fired by Chung have to say?

Former member A: “I had a high expectation when I heard Chung was coming to SPO. But upon his arrival I realized my hope was just an illusion. He did not talk with us, the members of SPO. The only time he talk to us is when he delivered his instruction. With the name of “the visiting concerts”, we performed at big churches. There are many members who are not Christian, but we had to pray before we perform at those churches. Since when has Chung become a world top class conductor? I think Korean media exaggerated Chung’s legacy.”

Former member B: “My experience of the concert when Lorin Maazel performed as the guest conductor with SPO is unforgettable. He showed me what a great conductor could do for the orchestra and its audience and what the performance was like with such a world-famed top class conductor. I had never felt the similar emotion when I performed with Chung. The audition for firing 5% of members each year scared us. We always felt uncomfortable. We had no opportunity to talk with Chung about music or our concerns. He seldom stayed in Seoul. He came to Seoul accompanying with foreign guest members, performed at concerts and left. This happened only when there was a concert. After the concert, we rarely see him again.”

Former member C: “I always felt anxious. I had to try my best to impress him and not to do anything which could offend him. There was no time when I play music at ease. After SPO became an independent company, we were not able to say NO. The atmosphere was that we could not give him any constructive suggestion. I suspected that there were some members who were monitoring us. After I got fired by Chung, my wife said I looked more comfortable than when I was working at SPO, even though our family had to find other ways to make a living. Since then I stopped playing the instrument.”

Former member D: “We, the SPO members, were only accessories to Chung. I am concerned about the new young members who have recently joined SPO, because they might be getting wrong ideas about how the orchestra should be like. The most important thing in the orchestra is the harmony and cooperation between the conductor and the orchestra members. However, Chung treated the members like parts of the machine. OK, I can admit I got fired because my musical ability was not good enough. However, after the 10 years of my devotion to SPO, when I heard a young office worker tell me “You cannot be part of next concert.”, I was devastated. It is hard to express my feeling when I saw my position filled with a foreign guest member who Chung brought from abroad… that was awful.”

What is the responsibility of an artist as a member of our society?

When Korean public asked Chung not to abuse his power or to justify his use of tax payers’ money, he said “I know only music.” People may feel genuine if this remark is uttered by an artist in poverty who cannot earn enough to provide for his/her family. However, when Chung says the same remark, people may be doubtful since he earns $1,811,000 a year and his family members (wife, son and daughter-in-law) are also paid for first class and business class flights and especially the substantial portion of these pays was supported by tax payers’ money.

Chung’s supporters say that social justice is not the area a great artist like Chung should pay attention to. Really? There are great music artists such as Daniel Barenboim who advocates human rights and Gustavo Dudamel who supports the music education of underprivileged children and the impact of these artists to our society is priceless.

Music is an expression of free spirit of mankind and a great orchestra performance can enrich our lives. An artist should respect other artists and share fellowship with them. As a member of our society, an artist should fill his/her responsibility and should not abuse the art as only means of moneymaking or being famous.

Therefore, I ask Mayor Park not to make an extension of Chung’s contract. For the past 10 years in the hands of Chung, SPO has been operating without proper regulations or procedures. SPO has been just a private organization which was misused by Chung as means for building his own personal wealth and fame. It is time to give SPO back to citizens of Seoul. I also ask Mayor Park to gather public opinions and ideas so that SPO can really serve citizens of Seoul as a sound public art institution.

Thank you very much for spending your precious time in reading my article.

Your interest and support will help Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra come back to normal and eventually will be able to better serve citizens of Seoul.

Sang Soo Kim

—————————————–

Unethical Diatribe Reveals Total Ignorance

Mr. Sang Soo Kim’s diatribe reveals him to be an embittered man without a clue as to the nature of the classical music world and what the norms are governing conductors and their roles, responsibilities and perks.  One can only assume that he is driven by jealousy of Maestro Chung’s incredible success and major standing in the international arts scene, and his own irrelevance.  With the numbers he bandies about, one wonders who is the source of his “information”?  Could he possibly be the mouthpiece for the inept but incredibly cruel former CEO of Seoul Philharmonic, who has now been dismissed in shame from two consecutive positions, and who has a reputation well known in Korea for her dogged pursuit of anyone she feels has bested her?

Had he done all this research himself, surely Mr. Kim also would have learned that it is quite common – indeed, almost a requirement – for Chief Conductors (in some cultures known as Music Directors) to make decisions regarding musical personnel within the orchestra, hiring and firing (which is an agonizing process for the conductor as well as the musicians), repertoire, approving soloists and guest conductors, etc – in short, they are responsible for every artistic aspect, even to the selection of instruments the orchestra purchases.  Some try to shirk these time-consuming and often emotionally-wrenching duties, and those who fulfill these ungrateful tasks do so at great personal cost.  Maestro Chung has accepted his responsibilities and carried them out with humility and humanity – in the cases where musicians have had to be removed from the orchestra because they were holding the rest back artistically, he strove to find them other responsibilities within the organization (such as working in the educational activities of SPO).  Mr. Kim’s reference to this without including the full picture leads me to believe two things:  That his attack is politically motivated (and this impression reinforced by his reference to the former Seoul mayor and later Korean president who brought Maestro Chung to the SPO) , and that he has been directed by an SPO insider to a particular inadequate musician who rejected offers of other ways to serve SPO and its public.  A question for you, Mr. Kim – if you had an actor in one of your productions who couldn’t learn their lines properly, who refused to or was unable to accept your direction and perform to the level of the rest of the company,  what would YOU do?  Jeopardize the success of the play or film and watch the other, competent actors descend into depression and despair? Or would you – after giving that actor instruction and opportunities to improve – finally replace him, for the good of the rest of the company?

Also on LKL:  Mind Dramaturgy: Lee Kyung @ Edfringe 2017

I have to laugh at the reference to first class airfares.  On such long trips as the flight to Asia, this is standard for conductors even of a lower standing than Maestro Chung.  I know of another conductor who is in the same league as Chung, who was routinely given not only first class air for himself and his wife, but also for his infant and the nanny.  Indeed, certain top conductors frequently demand private jet.

Regarding Maestro Chung’s “sin” of performing piano recitals without the former CEO’s approval – it is absolutely ludicrous that this situation of Maestro Chung NEEDING her approval exists.  It reveals both her overpowering need to control and micro-manage those she saw as “beneath her” as well as her total ignorance of the field into which she fell after her previous failure with Samsung.  One would hope a person who was given this job as a political favor to her powerful family (as rumor has it) after her complete failure in another position, would at least take the trouble to study the field and learn what is normal, what is acceptable, and what isn’t.  She, apparently, couldn’t be troubled, or perhaps felt it was up to her to rewrite the profession.  In any case, she quickly became the butt of jokes in classical music circles, with her inflated sense of importance and ridiculous comments and demands which revealed her ignorance and sense of grandiose entitlement.

If there was to be any examination of the workings of SPO, it should have been into the dictatorial way in which the most recent CEO ran her ship.  The turnover of staff – many of them having been with the orchestra for many years – is a clear indication of something wrong.  People were ridiculed and harangued in front of their colleagues, sometimes for hours on end, in the most abusive terms by her.  At least one member of staff ended up in hospital as a result of her abuse.  And yet, the socially-conscious Mr. Kim doesn’t mention or isn’t concerned by THAT?  I have observed Maestro Chung’s work with the SPO in rehearsal on several occasions, and never have I seen him be abusive or even raise his voice.  He is known throughout the musical world for his respectful approach to his musicians.  Indeed, he is revered.  Despite Mr. Kim’s claims to the contrary, he conducts both the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics (and not as frequently as THEY would wish, he often declines their invitations, at times because of conflicts with his commitment to Seoul Philharmonic), and the New York Philharmonic would desperately love to have him conduct, if only he would.

It seems to me that Mr. Sang Soo Kim has joined the dark forces who would wish to reduce Korea’s most important artist ever to their own level.  Success sadly often provokes jealousy.  I’m sorry to see Mr Kim using this as an opportunity to sink in his poison daggers, trying to slander a man who is not only a great artist but also a great humanitarian (and the great ones, like Maestro Chung, do not publicize and flaunt their acts of charity, but do them quietly).  This is clearly a politically-motivated attack, and one can only hope that Mr. Kim isn’t being financially rewarded for being someone else’s mouthpiece.

——————–

rubbish

Dear Sir,  You clearly have a non-musical agenda as you reference the former Mayor and President Lee Myung Bak.  Whatever you think of his politics, Maestro Chung’s music has nothing to do with this.  He was – and remains – the right man at the right time – for the future of orchestral music in Korea.  You quote the former CEO of the Seoul Philharmonic – a person of no credibility in the music field who harrassed and humiliated staff in a clear violation of human rights, not unlike the former KAL Vice President – but betrayed her ignorance when criticising a staffer who programmed Stravinsky’s ‘Le Sacre de Printemps’ in the fall.  Her personal vendetta against Maestro and other staff members has lead to chaos within the organisation and a loss of confidence with the orchestra’s partners in the business abroad.

My understanding – though I cannot confirm this – is that because she comes from a wealthy and powerful family – she was hired as Chief Executive to give her a second chance after she was fired for complete ineptitude by the Samsung Insurance group.  Rather than leaving the debacle she created at the SPO and going quietly, she has decided to continue a vendetta against the Maestro who created a musical miracle, an orchestra now invited to top festivals and venues, whose appearance at the BBC Proms was critically lauded, whose DGG recordings rank with the best in the world.

Maestro Chung only came to the SPO because of his desire to build a great Korean orchestra. What other major conductor would have done this?  The orchestra was in poor musical condition with no reputation even in Korea.  Under Maestro Chung’s leadership, it is viewed as an international success story (at least till the former CEO came along.)  Maestro Chung spent more time working and building this orchestra than most conductors spend with their more famous ensembles.  He has turned down engagements with famous ensembles to devote his time to the SPO project.  Because of the extraordinary work Maestro has done with the SPO, the orchestra is now able to attract a superb group of guest conductors who, ten years ago, would not have considered coming to this orchestra.

Unlike other famous Korean artists who charge a premium for playing in their home country, Maestro Chung’s per concert fee in Korea is similar to his fees abroad.  Unlike other important conductors, he does not travel by or demand a private jet.  The KBS Orchestra – not nearly on the same level as the SPO – was in negotiation with another top conductor for a much higher fee than Maestro Chung was paid.

You and the former CEO may be responsible for changing the history of orchestral music in Korea for the worse.  I know many conductors – most are not saints.  Myung Whun Chung, with his quiet, unsung charitable work round the world and his financial generosity – comes closer than any other conductor I know.  In Seoul, he always fought for the musicians – wanted a pension plan, for example.  When a musiciann had to leave for musical reasons and the good of the orchestra, he always wanted to make sure it was done in the kindest way possible and tried to help them find alternate employment.  You don’t know what you are talking about, Sir, and I suggest you limit your comments to your field of expertise, if indeed you have one.

—————————

To Music Insider & justamusician

I do not know who you are, but both of you might have inside information about Chung and SPO. All the information, especially the numbers (such as pay) are public information, which was either provided by the city of Seoul or published in Korean media.

Also, my remark that Chung was not invited in the 3 major orchestras as a huest conductor was based upon the list of guest conductors presented in the orchestra homepages. If Chung has turned down any of their offers and if you have any proof of such invitation (such as email conversations between SPO and the inviting orchestra), you may provide here.

I clearly say that I have no connection with any other party, like the former SPO CEO.  In my article, I speak using specific public information. If you have OTHER information to refute my arguments, please present what you have, instead of the irrelevant personal attacks.

The information on Chung’s pay at Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra is based upon the article written by Ms. Mok Soo Jung, which was published in the Lemonde Diplomatique:

http://www.ilemonde.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=2956 

This entry was posted in Art and Culture, Gramophone. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *