Maestro Remains The Same For Lotte Opening

Conductor Chung Myung-whun will return to the podium of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra when it performs at the opening of the new Lotte Concert Hall in the South Korean capital.

in Seoul, South Korea. By KPF architects

Chung resigned as music director of the SPO last December “amid a whirlwind of controversy,” as the Korea Herald put it.

The opening concerts will take place Aug. 18-19. An orchestra representative said Chung was always going to conduct for the hall’s opening concert, and his leaving his post didn’t change that.

The 2,036-seat Lotte Concert Hall is a big deal because it’s the first auditorium dedicated to classical music to be built in Seoul in 28 years. As such, it was considered very important that the country’s most internationally renowned musician take part in the opening festivities. Chung apparently feels the same way, even though the problems that caused him to not renew his contract with the orchestra are ongoing. Police had been investigating accusations made by SPO members against their former CEO, and eventually came to suspect that Chung’s wife may have been behind the accusations, which police believe were fabricated.

The former CEO has also filed a suit against Chung saying that the maestro “made it appear in a past media interview that the allegations of abuse were known facts,” according to the Korea Herald.