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Kyung-Wha Chung

Korea's long, rich tradition in the performing arts has helped it produce a number of internationally acclaimed classical musicians, despite its relatively short acquaintance with Western music. Kyung-Wha Chung was the first of Korea's performers to achieve this status. She is best known as a concert soloist, but is also recognized for her appearances with her younger brother, pianist and conductor Myung-Whun, and elder sister, cellist Myung-Wha, in the Chung Trio.

Born in Seoul, in 1948, Chung at first took up the piano; however, a magnetic introduction to the violin at the age of 6 inspired her to switch. After studying with Shin Sang Chul, she made her debut at the age of nine with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, playing Mendelssohn's E minor Concerto. When she was 12 years old, Chung toured Japan, and the following year moved to New York to study at the Juilliard School of Music with Ivan Galamian, with whom she worked until 1971.

In the late '60s she took first prize at the Leventritt Competition (along with Pinchas Zukerman) and also appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She made her London debut with its Symphonic Orchestra in 1970, playing the Tchaikovsky Concerto. Shortly thereafter, she began to expand her circle of teachers by working with Josef Gingold, Szymon Goldberg, Paul Makanowitzky, and Joseph Szigeti. Her sonata partners have included Peter Frankl, Itamar Golan, Radu Lupu, Stephen Kovacevich, and Krystian Zimerman, and she has performed with leading conductors, such as André Previn, George Solti, and Lorin Maazel. Her brother, Myung-Whun, has also been the acting conductor when she has performed as soloist.

At the turn of the 21st century she maintained a rigorous touring schedule, performing more than 100 times a year. She was named one of the most prominent violinists of the latter part of the 20th century by The Sunday Times of England, and took eight curtain calls in the mid-'90s when she played Bartók's Second Violin Concerto at a concert at the Champs Elysees Theater in Paris, organized to commemorate the 70th birthday of Pierre Boulez. The performance, which was recorded by EMI, was critically acclaimed and awarded the Grammophon Prize. Her other recordings, totaling over 20, include the concertos of Beethoven, Berg, Bruch, Elgar, Mendelssohn, Saint-Saëns, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, and Walton, and are primarily under the Decca label.

As members of the Chung Trio, she and her siblings became the United Nations' first goodwill anti-drug ambassadors for their concert-giving support of anti-drug campaigns in Rome, New York, Chicago, and other cities of the world. Kyung-Wha Chung has been literally showered with recognition for her sparkling, energetic personality, and for her concentrated, inspiring, and nearly technically perfect performances; she is considered one of the top violinists in the world.
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Bach: Complete Sonatas & Partitas for Violin Solo

Title: Sonata For Solo Violin No. 1 In G Minor, Bwv 1001

1. Sonata For Solo Violin No. 1 In G Minor, Bwv 1001: I. Adagio

2. Sonata For Solo Violin No. 1 In G Minor, Bwv 1001: II. Fuga (Allegro)

3. Sonata For Solo Violin No. 1 In G Minor, Bwv 1001: III. Siciliana

4. Sonata For Solo Violin No. 1 In G Minor, Bwv 1001: IV. Presto

Title: Partita For Solo Violin No. 1 In B Minor, Bwv 1002

6. Partita For Solo Violin No. 1 In B Minor, Bwv 1002: II. Corrente

7. Partita For Solo Violin No. 1 In B Minor, Bwv 1002: III. Sarabande

8. Partita For Solo Violin No. 1 In B Minor, Bwv 1002: IV. Tempo Di Borea

Title: Sonata For Solo Violin No. 2 In A Minor, Bwv 1003

9. Sonata For Solo Violin No. 2 In A Minor, Bwv 1003: I. Grave

10. Sonata For Solo Violin No. 2 In A Minor, Bwv 1003: II. Fuga

11. Sonata For Solo Violin No. 2 In A Minor, Bwv 1003: III. Andante

12. Sonata For Solo Violin No. 2 In A Minor, Bwv 1003: IV. Allegro

Title: Partita For Solo Violin No. 2 In D Minor, Bwv 1004

13. Partita For Solo Violin No. 2 In D Minor, Bwv 1004: I. Allemanda

14. Partita For Solo Violin No. 2 In D Minor, Bwv 1004: II. Corrente

15. Partita For Solo Violin No. 2 In D Minor, Bwv 1004: III. Sarabanda

16. Partita For Solo Violin No. 2 In D Minor, Bwv 1004: IV. Giga

17. Partita For Solo Violin No. 2 In D Minor, Bwv 1004: V. Ciaccona

Title: Sonata For Solo Violin No. 3 In C Major, Bwv 1005

18. Sonata For Solo Violin No. 3 In C Major, Bwv 1005: I. Adagio

19. Sonata For Solo Violin No. 3 In C Major, Bwv 1005: II. Fuga

20. Sonata For Solo Violin No. 3 In C Major, Bwv 1005: III. Largo

21. Sonata For Solo Violin No. 3 In C Major, Bwv 1005: IV. Allegro Assai

Title: Partita For Solo Violin No. 3 In E Major, Bwv 1006

22. Partita For Solo Violin No. 3 In E Major, Bwv 1006: I. Preludio

23. Partita For Solo Violin No. 3 In E Major, Bwv 1006: II. Loure

24. Partita For Solo Violin No. 3 In E Major, Bwv 1006: III. Gavotte En Rondeau

26. Partita For Solo Violin No. 3 In E Major, Bwv 1006: V. Bourrée

27. Partita For Solo Violin No. 3 In E Major, Bwv 1006: VI. Gigue

x

Track List: Mendelssohn, Bruch: Violin Concertos

Composer: Felix Mendelssohn
Title: Violin Concerto In E Minor, Op. 64

1. Violin Concerto In E Minor, Op. 64: I. Allegro Molto Appassionato

2. Violin Concerto In E Minor, Op. 64: II. Andante

3. Violin Concerto In E Minor, Op. 64: III. Allegretto Non Troppo - Allegro Molto Vivace

Composer: Max Bruch
Title: Violin Concerto No.1 In G Minor, Op. 26

4. Violin Concerto No.1 In G Minor, Op. 26: I. Vorspiel. Allegro Moderato

5. Violin Concerto No.1 In G Minor, Op. 26: II. Adagio

6. Violin Concerto No.1 In G Minor, Op. 26: III. Finale. Allegro Energico

Title: Scottish Fantasy, For Violin & Orchestra, Op. 46

7. Scottish Fantasy, For Violin & Orchestra, Op. 46: I. Introduction: Grave - Adagio Cantabile

8. Scottish Fantasy, For Violin & Orchestra, Op. 46: II. Allegro

9. Scottish Fantasy, For Violin & Orchestra, Op. 46: III. Adagio - Andante Sostenuto

10. Scottish Fantasy, For Violin & Orchestra, Op. 46: IV. Finale: Allegro Guerriero

x

Track List: Tchaikovsky, Sibelius: Violin Concertos

Composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Title: Violin Concerto In D Major, Op. 35

1. Violin Concerto In D Major, Op. 35: I. Allegro Moderato

2. Violin Concerto In D Major, Op. 35: II. Canzonetta: Andante

3. Violin Concerto In D Major, Op. 35: III. Finale: Allegro Vivacissimo

Composer: Jean Sibelius
Title: Violin Concerto In D Minor, Op. 47

4. Violin Concerto In D Minor, Op. 47: I. Allegro Moderato

5. Violin Concerto In D Minor, Op. 47: II. Adagio Di Molto

6. Violin Concerto In D Minor, Op. 47: III. Allegro, Ma Non Tanto

Comments

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Technically good but not my fave of this much performed violin concerto recorded by all virtuoso artists. My favorite is of course by David Oistrachk. Hard to believe but when first performed critics hated it even calling it music that "stinks to the ear" now it ranks evenly with the other big 2 or 3 or 4 to add Mendeillsohn and Sibelius

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