More turmoil at the Seoul Philharmonic

More turmoil at the Seoul Philharmonic


norman lebrecht

September 07, 2017

The orchestra’s chief executive, Heung-sik Choe, has abruptly resigned.

Local reports indicated that Choe, 65, is about to be named head of the national Financial Supervisory Service, in a breach with tradition that gives the key clean-hands job to a veteran public servant.

Choe, a former university professor linked to the disgraced Park regime, was an unsatisfactory chief of the orchestra. He undermined the return of its former music director Myung Whun Chung and threatened players with demotion or dismissal if they joined Chung’s new One Korea orchestra.

Few will weep to see him go.


  • Sue says:

    I would have thought Seoul has far more pressing problems with a clear and present danger than to be worrying about an orchestra!!!

    • T. Melnyk says:

      Just because our mediea covers Asia in this way does not mean that people’s lives in Korea stopped and are all just sitting and waiting for something to happen politically. Very narrow minded comment.

  • Nick says:

    You forget the Seoul has been at the front line of all the North’s aggressive behaviour over many decades. The DMZ is barely 50 kms away from Seoul. The only time I have ever noticed concern in the streets was in the early 1980s when its own students were demonstrating for democracy and the tear gas from its own troops lingered. If the citizens of Seoul panicked every time the North increased its weapons capability, either the city would have been emptied of its 10 million souls long ago or they would have gone stark raving mad! Life goes on virtually as it does in any major capital city with plenty of night time entertainment to meet most tastes.