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Maestro Chung to lead Lotte's new youth orchestra

2017/06/25 16:06

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SEOUL, June 25 (Yonhap) -- Former Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra conductor Chung Myung-whun will return to the country's music scene as the director of Lotte's new youth orchestra scheduled to be set up later this year, the retail giant said Sunday.

Lotte Foundation for Arts said it has appointed Chung as the first music director for its youth orchestra which will hold its inaugural concert in January.

The foundation said the establishment of the orchestra is aimed at nurturing promising musicians in the country, adding Chung was considered the best person for the post.

Chung, who led the Seoul Phil from 2006, stepped down as the director in December 2015 over a legal battle with a former president of the orchestra.

"We know that different perspectives exist on maestro Chung, but his talent has been recognized worldwide," a foundation official said. "We could not come up with an alternative to establish a base for the orchestra and build up a reputation."

   Chung and the foundation reportedly signed a one-year contract, but both sides are known to be considering the job as a long-term project.

The orchestra will be comprised of musicians aged from 19 to 28 who will have been selected through auditions, it said.

In addition to Chung, other renowned performers from the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra will join the orchestra as the coaching staff, according to the foundation.

The foundation was set up in October 2015 based on some 20 billion won (US$1.7 million), including 10 billion won coming from Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin's private pocket. Shin is the current chief of the foundation.

In this file photo taken on Aug. 16, 2016, maestro Chung Myung-whun, former conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO), and its members rehearse for a concert at the Lotte Concert Hall in southern Seoul to mark the opening of the new classical music concert hall. (Yonhap) In this file photo taken on Aug. 16, 2016, maestro Chung Myung-whun, former conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO), and its members rehearse for a concert at the Lotte Concert Hall in southern Seoul to mark the opening of the new classical music concert hall. (Yonhap)

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