Another maestro goes back to the piano

Another maestro goes back to the piano


norman lebrecht

April 23, 2021

We reported earlier this week that Yannick Nézet-Séguin has recorded a piano album for DG.

So, too, has Myung Whun Chung.

With orchestras idle, maestros must find other work, or wither.

“One thing that has not changed (over time) is that the piano remains my first love,” the maestro said in a news conference in Seoul marking the release of “Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms: Late Piano Works.”




  • drummerman says:

    “Find other work?” Recording a classical album is not exactly a lucrative occupation. Perhaps he’s truly doing for the love of music. It sure ain’t for the money!

  • Concertgebouw79 says:

    He did a Mozart concerto with Santa Cecilia this month. It’s on Youtube.

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    I remember his on BBC TV in the 70s “Andre Previn Music Night” playing Saint-Saens 2nd concerto. What a virtuoso he was and that was quite a while before he started conducted. I’ll certainly be listening to him

    • Concertgebouw79 says:

      Last week I bought in LP 180g the reedition of Previn Gershwin concerto, marvelous. All the Previn redition by Warner are wonderful.

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    ==the maestro said he has never regretted aging.
    “I’m a person who likes the fact that I’m getting older. I never want to go back. I’ve never thought about it, even for one second.”==

    If this is really true I envy him – I really do

  • Greg Bottini says:

    It’s not a matter of “going back to”; many conductors started at the piano and continued playing throughout their baton-waving careers.
    Szell, Karajan, Furtwangler, Solti, Bernstein, Previn – all played piano regularly in private and in public.

  • Piston1 says:

    …Yannick is idle??

  • Novagerio says:

    Well, he was actually a prize-winner in Moscow 1974…

  • Off in Bach says:

    Anyone who remembers the finals of the 1975 Leeds competition remembers that Chung was one of the outstanding finalists – a stellar crop that included Andras Schiff and Mitsuko Uchida, both of whom placed ahead of Chung. The first prize ended up being wasted on Dmitri Alexeev, whom the Soviet Union prevented from enjoying all the opportunities that came with the 1st prize. Chung’s career as a solo pianist was taking off, but around the same time he was appointed Giulini’s assistant at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and as the saying goes, once they get that stick in their hands… It is a pity didn’t continue playing, as he was an outstanding pianistic talent.

  • Le Křenek du jour says:

    His 1995 recording, with his sisters Myung-wha and Kyung-wha, of the Mendelssohn and Brahms piano trio sonatas is still my all-time favourite rendering of those pieces.
    The affection and bonding between the artists is overpowering. Ever since hearing it for the first time, I have felt that a similar deep understanding, almost innate, must have existed between Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn.

  • PianistW says:

    His recording of Brahms Op. 8 and Mendelssohn trio on Decca is excellent. I prefer him as a pianist than as a conductor.

  • Alexander Platt says:

    I still miss Myung Whung Chung’s very under-rated work at the Paris Opera, back in the day.

    • Concertgebouw79 says:

      I bought the DG “Musique Française” box he did it’s wonderful. I regret that he didn’t stay longer there and he was unfairly fired for stupid political reason by one of the Opera incompetent administrator at a moment he had an excellent relationship with the public and the orchestra. After he came to Radio France and it was 15 years of triumph. Fortunatly he was not resentful with France.

  • Karl says:

    A wonderful pianist turned outstanding conductor. Barenboim advised him (and others, like L Shani) to keep up his instrumental skills. And so he did as anybody will agree that heard him recently.