Kyung Wha Chung switches agent

Th violinist, who spoiled her London comeback with a verbal attack on a coughing child, has signed on to ICA for general management.

She began her career with Terry Harrison (at HarrisonParrott) but has been in retirement for several years with various physical issues.

Stephen Wright, who owns ICA, will have his work cut out to repair her image.

kyung wha chung rfh 2014

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  • Please,give me a break!She didn’t almost spoil her comeback by verbally attacking a coughing child.The child almost ruined her comeback.We already went through this. Comments like that only come from non performers,unaware of what it takes to perform in front of a very critical audience.And you and the critics would have thrown the first stone if she hadn’t played well because of the distraction!

  • I hope the new agent has good P.R./damage control skills. She clearly took a lot of public goodwill and squandered it with her comeback recital.

    • On the contrary, Chung has actually elicited a lot of goodwill from those of us who are fed up of poor audience behaviour and of performers who do not have the courage to stand up to it. I had not previously been particularly aware of Chung, but I will be more inclined to get tickets to her recitals in future.

  • Many musicians have spoken up against coughers from Jon Vickers (“Shut up with your damn coughing”) to Alfred Brendel (“I can hear you but you can’t hear me”) via Sir Georg Solti (“If you knew how long we had spent on that pianissimo you would stifle your coughs”). I am not aware that they lost any public goodwill over it -quite the contrary as far as I’m concerned.

    • Could it be sexism? All of the examples Stephen has cited are of men. Are some critics (and it is largely the critics who are pouring the barrage of vituperation on Chung) so backward that they think women /ipso facto/ have no right to complain (after all, some critics, such as Morrison, seem to think that attacking a female performer’s weight is fair game) about anything other than a certain famous orchestra in Austria?

      • Or it could be that – from an audience full of coughing adults – she chose to single out a child. Sexism doesn’t come into it; Keith Jarrett and Michael Tilson-Thomas have rightly been criticised for similar behaviour recently.

        The examples Stephen cites are artists from a past generation, when automatic reverence for “great artists” was less often questioned, however poor their behaviour, and prima donnas (of both sexes) were more widely tolerated. Thankfully, these attitudes are receding into history, at least in live performance. There’s a decent way of defusing a difficult situation; artists as great or greater than any of these have handled noisy audiences with tact, courtesy and charm.

        • Surely Brendel and Solti were polite in what they said? I don’t find Vickers’ remark particularly offensive either (it can be viewed on UTube).

  • During a 1966 performance of “Siegfried” conducted by Solti at Covent Garden someone in the front stalls hacked his way all through Act I. After the interval Solti threw him a cough sweet, which he dropped and hacked his way through Act II. Solti was so upset he said he wouldn’t continue. His secretary, Enid Blech, had the idea of letting the cougher have her seat, which was some way further back, and Act III went ahead. This shows how upsetting such behaviuor is – and any decent person would have left the auditorium as he was in no state to enjoy the opera anyway.

    • As madame Cziffra once said to someone unwilling to part with a few euros to visit the Saint Frambourg chapel, “Il y a beaucoup de belles choses à voir à Senlis. Ici ce n’est pas pour vous. Allez voir ailleurs.”

  • Spoiled her image? In the minds of whom? A few perhaps, but as Ms. Chung is now sorting through a pile of invitations that continue to roll in, please consider that you may have over-stated the case.

  • She is not that important a performer ,
    can’t recall anyone waxing poetic
    her absence. Just another interchangeable fiddler trying to make a buck ………

  • ==can’t recall anyone waxing poetic her absence

    That’s a fair point. She was a star throughout the 1970s but got safe and boring through the 80s and 90s.

  • Years since I heard a decent cough. I blame smoke-free zones and the lack of proper gas coke. Lansley and his successor worked very hard to bring them back,and once we shed a few more GPs and nurses, and fracking gets into gear, we’ll be getting proper Traviatas and Bohemes again. I’m glad Ms Chung has had a glimpse of their vision.

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