Myung Whun Chung: I am innocent, ok?

Myung Whun Chung: I am innocent, ok?


norman lebrecht

August 04, 2016

The conductor has been cleared of all wrongdoing by a police investigation in his home country, South Korea, having been wildly accused of expenses fraud and defamation by a sacked orchestra manager. He leaves the country completely innocent, despite a campaign by motivated print and broadcast media.

This morning he issued the following statement:

‘I am happy that after a thorough investigation all the accusations against myself and the SPO have proven to be groundless.

‘It is a pity that so much damage has been done to myself and the SPO over the last year and a half.

‘What I have learned from this experience is how easy, specially in our country, it is to tear down and destroy something that has been built with such hard work.

‘I hope that in the future I can be of help to other people who have suffered through such hardship caused by completely fabricated accusations.

‘I have worked tirelessly and honestly on behalf of SPO over 10 years. I am just sad for all the damage that has been done to the SPO and I hope you will all join me in supporting them in the future.



Myung Whun Chung


  • Novagerio says:

    Just like the Bastille Opéra, when lead by the nefastous political bureaucracy of the early 90’s (under Hughes Gall), the SPO has committed cultural suicide. And not only losing it’s Deutsche Grammophon contract – if that means anything at all now a days…

  • Nick says:

    Braco Maestro Chung! Many of us never gave an iota of credence to the lies thrown at you by a spiteful, hate-filled woman She should now be in the dock for a raft of false accusations, for goodness knows how much wasted public expenditure and for the destruction of an orchestra of which the entire nation should have been proud. Let’s also not forget this verdict is also a disaster for the manipulated South Korean media who eagerly joined the witch hunt. And that’s before we start on the powers-that-be in Seoul that put THAT woman in charge and then did nothing about the chaos she was causing. Of course the spin will now start and all will state their hands are clean. What a disaster for the poor musicians and staff!

  • opus 131 says:

    I played under Chung a few times, and admire him enormously as a musician and as a human being. He did not deserve this.

  • Pauken says:

    Maestro Chung is a World Treasure.

    • someone says:


      I wouldn’t say I’m a great fan of Maestro Chung as I’m not currently a fan of any living conductors.
      It’s just totally a matter of taste.
      However, there is a very small group of conductors I prefer, and Mr Chung is certainly one of them.

      Mr Chung never seemed to be a great expert in communication or dealing with the media and politicians, he wasn’t very clever at that though he’s a great musician.
      And I don’t think Mr Chung is a perfect human being as none of us is.
      However, what I couldn’t stand was that some people have distorted the truth constantly and accused some others, including Mr Chung and the current Mayor of Seoul, of wrong reason and most of the rest applauded for the show without knowing the truth.

      The history goes deep backwards.
      Everything started because of the jealousy and ignorance and false pride of some people.
      It was just a tiny starting point, but they knew how to use the system and the ignorance of the public, and then they finally made this disaster happen.

      This is not very new.
      This is one of the ‘classics’ that is always very ‘popular’ throughout history, and the results are awful as always.

      Somebody said that what she/he can’t stand the most was that they took away the only pleasure that she/he could afford, by paying just 10,000 won (which is about 9 US dollars).

      Classical music is not only a hobby of the rich, and it should never be.
      It is art that can heal wounded spirits of people.

      Artists are not saints and will never be.
      Great artists were usually wounded people and often incompetent at many other things.
      But wounded people know how it feels when somebody is wounded, not perfect ones know that, even if there is any.
      Then why people expect or ask artists to be perfect or saints?

      Don’t expect or ask Mr Chung to be perfect or a saint,
      but he is a great musician and artist who at least gave a pleasure that healed someone else’s heart.

      The worst thing I worry about is that I don’t think this is the end of the show.
      Don’t underestimate them.
      They are incredibly persistent.
      They never give up.

      They are the people who have an unusually very storing will, but who always use it to do wrong things to destroy the ones whom they are jealous of and to have control of everything.

      God may have given them an iron will, but didn’t give them a talent.
      What a misery.

      The first and the only Nobel Peace Prize winner of Korea, who dedicated his entire life to the truth and democracy and freedom of the country, couldn’t completely change it.

      Just a mere(?) conductor?
      It’s ok, even if Mr Chung doesn’t do anything any more for the country or its people.
      Just save yourself and be an even greater artist as possible as you can.

      I hope, next time, to hear that his performance is a great success.

  • WU says:

    Those bugs just can’t see others being better than them. But no use…pitiful

    • someone says:


      Believe it or not, it was actually the starting point in the very beginning and one of the main reasons that made all this disaster started.

  • Chay Veeder says:

    I never doubted your innocence, Maestro Chung. It is so sad Korea, my motherland, has lost her shining star. You had achieved what no other Korean conductor has ever come close to achieving. I pray you will conduct SPO sometime again in the future.

  • Younggy Paim says:

    The biggest culprit is collision of his wife with the city of Seoul administration in the unprofessional management system. In such environment, it would have been prudent for the Maeatro Chung to be impartial and alert asking his wife not to be political and allowing too much power in financial matter but he hadn’t been, collaborating with her. In my opion, his wife needs to stand trial for the damages and abusing tax money. Maeatro Chung is world renown conductor and I am proud of him, but what is wrong is wrong.