Kyung Wha Chung - Violin
Kyung-Wha Chung's dazzling and probing artistry has made her one of classical music's most acclaimed performers for more than 30 years. Lauded for her passion, her musicality and the intense excitement that she brings to her performances, Ms. Chung's uniquely expressive interpretations of the violin literature have established her as an artist of the very highest stature.
Born into a musical family in Korea, Kyung-Wha Chung began studying the violin at the age of 6. At New York's Juilliard School, she studied with the legendary Ivan Galamian and later coached with Joseph Szigeti, who also introduced her to art and literature.
Kyung-Wha Chung has appeared regularly as a soloist with the world's most prestigious orchestras, working with top conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Simon Rattle, André Previn, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti and the late Sir Georg Solti. As a recitalist, Kyung-Wha Chung has collaborated with an extraordinary list of important artists including Radu Lupu, Krystian Zimerman, Peter Frankl and Itamar Golan and as a member of the Chung Trio, with her brother, conductor/pianist Myung-Whun Chung, and her sister, cellist Myung-Wha Chung.
The government of South Korea has awarded Ms. Chung its highest honor, the Medal of Civil Merit. In addition, she has been cited by the Sunday Times of London as one of the most important contributors to British cultural life.
Record collectors for three decades have sought out Kyung-Wha Chung's releases, many of which have attained classic status. An exclusive EMI recording artist since 1988, Kyung-Wha Chung has made numerous recordings for Angel/EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, London/Decca and RCA. Her recording of the Strauss and Respighi Sonatas for DG with Krystian Zimerman won a Gramophone Award, as did her EMI Classic recording of Bartók's Second Violin Concerto and Rhapsodies under Sir Simon Rattle. Her 1972 recording of the Mendelssohn Concerto has been reissued in Decca's acclaimed "Legends" series.
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
is London-based and performs a prestigious series of concerts each year at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall. The Orchestra’s 2011-2012 series features Charles Dutoit, Pinchas Zukerman, Daniele Gatti, Nigel Kennedy, Andrew Litton, Julia Fischer and Kirill Karabits. The Orchestra’s London home is at Cadogan Hall, in the heart of the capital, just off Sloane Square. This idyllic location offers an intimate atmosphere for concert-goers, with the current series of concerts featuring Grzegorz Nowak, Freddy Kempf and Natalie Clein. Complementing the concert series at Cadogan Hall, the Orchestra regularly performs in the magnificent Royal Albert Hall, presenting works of great magnitude in a varied series of concerts, ranging from large-scale choral and orchestral works to themed evenings of contemporary popular repertoire, all designed to suit the immensity of this historic and grand venue.
Within the UK, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is committed to offering an extensive regional touring programme, with established residencies in Croydon, Northampton, Lowestoft, Reading and Crawley. The Orchestra also gives regular performances at other venues throughout the UK, including forthcoming engagements in Ipswich, High Wycombe and Dartford. As an international orchestra, the RPO has toured more than thirty countries in the last five years. Recent tours have included performances in Japan, Egypt, Russia, Spain, Italy, Germany, Azerbaijan and China. The 2011-2012 season begins with the second year of the Orchestra’s annual residency in Montreux, Switzerland under Charles Dutoit, with guest artists including Yefim Bronfman and Lisa Batiashvili. Autumn 2011 sees a tour to Spain with Pinchas Zukerman and concerts in Germany, Austria, Lichtenstein and Italy with Charles Dutoit and Yuja Wang. In January 2012 the Orchestra will embark on a month-long tour of the major cities of the USA with Charles Dutoit, Pinchas Zukerman and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and 2012 will also see concerts in Spain, Eastern Europe and Dublin with artists including Charles Dutoit, Pinchas Zukerman and Julia Fischer.
The Orchestra is also recognised for its artistic work through a vibrant and innovative community and education programme, titled RPO resound. Specially trained members of the Orchestra, alongside accomplished project leaders, provide comprehensive workshops where music is used as a powerful and inspirational force. RPO resound prides itself on working in a wide variety of settings, including projects connected with homeless people, youth clubs, the probation service and terminally ill children.
Frequently found in the recording studio, the Orchestra records extensively for film and television as well as for all the major commercial record companies. The Orchestra also owns its own record label and is proud to be the first UK orchestra to stream its entire series of concerts live from Cadogan Hall.
Rudolf Kempe (1910-1976), Conductor
Since his early death in 1976, aged 66, the reputation of the German conductor Rudolf Kempe has remained at the highest level, especially through the series of orchestral recordings of music by Richard Strauss, made for EMI with the Staatskapelle Dresden in the years 1970-75. These interpretations remain the bench-mark for all subsequent recordings.
Born near Dresden in June 1910, Kempe studied the oboe and, at the age of 19, was named first oboe of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. In 1933 he became a repetiteur at the Leipzig Opera and made his conducting debut three years later. After war service, he was named Chief Conductor of the Chemnitz Opera (1945-48), moving to the Weimar National Theatre (1948) and then to the Staatsoper Dresden (1949-52). Between 1952-54 he was at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. It was with the latter company that he made his auspicious debut at Covent Garden where in the following years he was a highly respected visitor. Kempe first conducted at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York in 1954 and between 1960-63 conducted the annual cycles of Wagner's Ring at the Bayreuth Festival. He was selected personally by Sir Thomas Beecham to be his successor with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, a position he held until 1975. Concurrently he was Music Director of the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich and the Munich Philharmoniker. In 1975 he was appointed the Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
The first of Kempe's many recordings for EMI was in 1955: these include Smetana's The bartered bride, Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, Wagner's Lohengrin and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg plus the Beethoven and Brahms symphonies. Not to mention his many recordings of the music of Richard Strauss. He died in Zürich, Switzerland in May 1976.