Deutsche Grammophon presents conductor Myung-Whun Chung and his Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra with a new album of Debussy and Ravel. The orchestra, “a world-class ensemble” (Berliner Morgenpost), is setting a new standard for orchestral music in Korea and regularly performs for largely sold-out audiences. In anticipation of the orchestra’s first official North American tour, the Yellow Label releases this album of French masterpieces, available April 10.
Myung-Whun Chung, who has held the position of Music Director and Chief Conductor since 2006, has reinvigorated the Seoul Philharmonic and brought worldwide attention to the ensemble. In 2010 the orchestra made a European tour which drew critical acclaim in cities such as Berlin, Bologna, St. Petersburg and Prague. Now maestro and orchestra come to North America with performances in Vancouver, Seattle, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.
On the tour, as on the new album, the orchestra will perform Debussy’s La Mer and Ravel’s Ma Mère l’Oye and La Valse. All three works are masterfully orchestrated and give the entire ensemble numerous opportunities to display their virtuosity and refined sound. Of their 2010 performances, the Berliner Zeitung noted “Debussy’s La Mer and Ravel’s La Valse framed the two new works. In the translucency of its layers of sound, its rhythmic subtleties and its gripping sense of overall structure, Debussy’s piece in particular was on a very high level.”
Music Director Myung-Whun Chung began his musical career as a pianist, making his debut with the Seoul Philharmonic at the age of seven. After musical studies in New York he became Carlo Maria Giulini’s assistant in 1979 at the Los Angeles Philharmonic and two years later was named Associate Conductor. In 1990 he became an exclusive recording artist for Deutsche Grammophon and many of his recordings have won international prizes and awards. In 2006 Myung-Whun Chung was named the Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic.