Born in 1953, the South Korean conductor Myung-Whun Chung embarked on a musical career as a pianist. He made his debut at the age of seven with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. Together with his sisters, violinist Kyung-Wha Chung and cellist Myung-Wha Chung, he formed the Chung Trio.
Chung studied conducting at the Mannes School of Music and the Juilliard School in New York, going on to serve as Carlo Maria Giulini’s assistant with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
After various permanent and guest conductorships with many leading European orchestras, Chung has become increasingly involved in the musical world of the Far East, having co-founded the Asia Philharmonic Orchestra, of which he also serves as chief conductor. He has held the posts of special artistic adviser of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra since 2001 and of art director and principal conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra since 2006. He has toured Europe (making appearances at the Concertgebouw) with the latter ensemble to critical acclaim. In 2011, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra was the very first Asian orchestra ever to sign a contract with Deutsche Grammophon, for which it recorded ten CDs. He is music director of the Korean Broadcasting Symphony, and the first Honorary Cultural Ambassador for Korea.
Chung was appointed the very first principal guest conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden in the 2012–13 season. Since his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1984 he has been invited back on a regular basis. In March 2014 he conducted Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique.