After more than a year of political wrangling, Myung Whun Chung has announced he will step down next year as artistic director of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.
His statement is slightly ambiguous in that it suggests he will continue to fulfil contracted concerts beyond the date of his departure and may return as a guest conductor.
But the definitive element of his resignation is that it will end one of the world’s most prosperous conductor-orchestra partnerships, a relationship that earned the Seoul Phil a 10-album DG contract and unprecendented international recognition.
These gains have been sacrificed to the ambitions of the ruling Park dynasty and other local oligarchs, who have meddled incessantly with the orchestra. When Chung leaves, the music dies in Seoul.