Kyung Wha Chung

Kyung Wha Chung
Background information
Born (1948-03-26) 26 March 1948 (age 75)
Seoul, South Korea
Korean name
Revised RomanizationJeong Gyeonghwa
McCune–ReischauerChŏng Kyŏnghwa

Kyung Wha Chung (born 26 March 1948) is a South Korean violinist.

Early years and education

Kyung Wha Chung was born in Seoul as the middle of the seven children in her family. Her father was an exporter, and her mother ran a restaurant. She began piano studies at age 4, and violin studies at age 7, where she proved more sympathetic to the violin. She became recognized as a child prodigy, and by the age of 9 she was already playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. As time progressed she steadily won most of the famous music competitions in Korea. With her siblings, Chung toured around the country, performing music both as soloist and as a part of an ensemble. As the children became famous in Korea, Chung's mother felt that it was too small a country for her children to further their musical careers[citation needed], and she decided to move to the United States. All of Chung's siblings played classical instruments and three of them would become professional musicians. Her younger brother, Myung-whun Chung is a conductor and a pianist, and her older sister, Myung-wha Chung is a cellist and teacher at the Korean National University of Arts in Seoul. The three of them have subsequently performed professionally in their later careers as the Chung Trio.

At age thirteen, she arrived in the United States. She followed her older flautist sister Myung-Soh Chung in attending the Juilliard School in New York, where she studied with Ivan Galamian.

Musical career

In 1967, Chung and Pinchas Zukerman were the joint winners of the Edgar Leventritt Competition, the first time for such an outcome in the history of the competition. This prize led to several engagements in North America, such as with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. She substituted for Nathan Milstein for his White House Gala when he became indisposed.

Her next big opportunity came in 1970 as a substitute for Itzhak Perlman, with the London Symphony Orchestra. The success of this engagement led to many other performances in the United Kingdom and a recording contract with Decca/London. Her debut album with André Previn and London Symphony Orchestra, which coupled Tchaikovsky and Sibelius concertos, brought her international attention, including the top recommendation in the BBC Radio 3's Building a Library programme which compared the various recordings of the Sibelius. In Europe, Chung continued her musical studies with Joseph Szigeti.

Her commercial recordings include core repertoire violin concerti, including Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Berg. She has recorded chamber works such as the Brahms violin sonatas, Franck & Debussy sonatas, and Respighi & Strauss sonatas (with Krystian Zimerman, a recording which earned her a Gramophone Award for Best Chamber Recording). Other recordings include Vivaldi's Four Seasons, which was selected as Gramophone's editorial choice, and the Brahms violin concerto with the Vienna Philharmonic under Simon Rattle.

In 1997, she celebrated the 30th anniversary of her international debut at Barbican Centre in London and in her hometown of Seoul, South Korea. In 2008, illness and injury caused her to halt her performing career temporarily. Her most recent return to live performance was in London at the Royal Festival Hall in December 2014. However, her reaction to the audience coughing, including persistent coughing from a child in her line of vision and her subsequent talking to the child's parents, caused widely reported controversy at this recital.

Chung has two sons, Frederick and Eugene, from her past marriage to the British businessman Geoffrey Leggett. Their 1984 marriage ended in divorce.


In 2007, Chung joined Juilliard as a member of the faculty of the school's Music and Pre-College Divisions. She received the Kyung-Ahm Prize in 2005. In 2011, she received the Ho-Am Prize in the Arts division in recognition of her 40-year-long career as a violinist and educator.


Solo recordings

Year of issue Album details Collaborating artists Record label First Issue
1970 Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto / Sibelius: Violin Concerto London Symphony Orchestra
(conducted by André Previn)
Decca SXL 6493
1972 Bruch: Violin Concerto / Scottish Fantasia Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
(conducted by Rudolf Kempe)
Decca SXL 6573
1973 Walton: Violin Concerto / Stravinsky: Violin Concerto London Symphony Orchestra
(conducted by André Previn)
Decca SXL 6601
1975 Bach: Partita No. 2 in D minor; Sonata No. 3 in C Major Decca SXL 6721
1976 Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto No. 3 / Vieuxtemps: Violin Concerto No. 5 London Symphony Orchestra
(conducted by Lawrence Foster)
Decca SXL 6759
1977 Prokofiev: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 London Symphony Orchestra
(conducted by André Previn)
Decca SXL 6773
1977 Bartók: Violin Concerto No. 2 London Philharmonic Orchestra
(conducted by Sir Georg Solti)
Decca SXL 6802
1977 Elgar: Violin Concerto London Philharmonic Orchestra
(conducted by Sir Georg Solti)
Decca SXL 6842
1978 Saint-Saëns: Havanaise; Introduction and Rondo / Chausson: Poeme / Ravel: Tzigane London Philharmonic Orchestra
(conducted by Charles Dutoit)
Decca SXL 6851
1980 Beethoven: Violin Concerto Vienna Philharmonic
(conducted by Kirill Kondrashin)
Decca SXDL 7508
1980 Franck: Violin Sonata / Debussy: Violin Sonata Radu Lupu Decca SXL 6944
1980 Mendelssohn: Piano Trio No. 1 / Schumann: Piano Trio No. 1 André Previn (Piano)
Paul Tortelier (Cello)
His Master's Voice ASD 3894
1981 Bach: Trio Sonatas BWV 1038, 1039 & 1079 James Galway (Flute)
Phillip Moll (Harpsichord)
Moray Welsh (Cello)
RCA Red Seal
1981 Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole / Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto No. 1 Montreal Symphony Orchestra
(conducted by Charles Dutoit)
Decca SXDL 7527
1982 Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto / Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto Montreal Symphony Orchestra
(conducted by Charles Dutoit)
Decca SXDL 7558
1984 Berg: Violin Concerto / Bartók: Violin Concerto No. 1 Chicago Symphony Orchestra
(conducted by Sir Georg Solti)
Decca 411 804-1
1987 Con Amore (Romantic violin works by Kreisler and other composers) Phillip Moll (Piano) Decca 417 289-1
1988 Franck: Violin Sonata / Debussy: Violin Sonata / Phillip Moll (Piano) Decca
1989 Dvořák: Violin Concerto Op. 53; Romance Op. 11 Philadelphia Orchestra
(conducted by Riccardo Muti)
1989 Strauss: Violin Sonata Op. 18 / Respighi: Violin Sonata Krystian Zimerman (Piano) Deutsche Grammophon
1989 Beethoven: Violin Concerto / Bruch: Violin Concerto London Philharmonic Orchestra
(conducted by Klaus Tennstedt)
2001 Vivaldi: Le Quattro Stagioni, The Four Seasons St Luke's Chamber Ensemble
(part of Orchestra of St. Luke's)
EMI Classics
2016 Bach Sonatas & Partitas Warner Classics 0190295944162
2018 Beau Soir – Fauré, Franck, Debussy – Works for Violin and Piano Kevin Kenner (Piano) Warner Classics 0190295708085

Chung trio recordings

Year of issue Album details Collaborating artists Record label
1986 Dvořák: Piano Trios Nos. 1 & 3 Myung-wha Chung (Cello)
Myung-whun Chung (Piano)
1987 Mendelssohn: Piano Trio No. 1 / Brahms: Piano Trio No. 1 Myung-wha Chung (Cello)
Myung-whun Chung (Piano)
1988 Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in A Minor / Shostakovich: Piano Trio No. 1 Myung-wha Chung (Cello)
Myung-whun Chung (Piano)
1988 Beethoven: Triple Concerto; Two Romances Myung-wha Chung (Cello)
Myung-whun Chung (Piano)
Philharmonia Orchestra
(conducted by Myung-whun Chung)
Deutsche Grammophon
1992 Beethoven: Piano Trio Nos. 4 & 7 "Archduke" Myung-wha Chung (Cello)
Myung-whun Chung (Piano)

See Kyung-Wha Chung discography at

This page was last updated at 2024-02-05 01:15 UTC. Update now. View original page.

All our content comes from Wikipedia and under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.


If mathematical, chemical, physical and other formulas are not displayed correctly on this page, please useFirefox or Safari