Myung-Whun Chung first trained as a pianist. While still studying the piano, he studied conducting at the Mannes School of Music in New York, and at the Juilliard School.
In 1978, he was appointed assistant to the music director at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Carlo Maria Giulini, then two years later, he was given the position of assistant conductor.
From 1984 to 1992, he was music director of the Saarbruck radio Orchestra. Then from 1989, he was first guest conductor of Florence’s Teatro Comunale until 1992 and music director of the Opera of Paris until 1994. Myung-Whun Chung has conducted the most prestigious ensembles (Berlin’s Philharmonic, Amsterdam’s royal Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, Vienna’s Philharmonic, Leipzig’s Orchestra of the Gewandhaus, Boston’s Symphonic, Chicago’s Symphonic, Cleveland’s Orchestra, New York’s Philharmonic, Philadelphia’s Orchestra). He has been chief conductor of Rome’s Orchestra dell’Accademia nazionale di Santa Cecilia since October 1997.
He is also the founder and music director of the Asia Philharmonic Orchestra, an ensemble bringing together musicians from all over Asia in order to support humanitarian causes. His record contract with DG led him to record operas, sacred music and symphonic pieces, mainly with the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia and Vienna’s Philharmonic.
In 1988, Myung-Whun Chung received the Abbiati Award for his commitment as first guest conductor at Florence’s Teatro Comunale, then in 1989, it was the Arturo Toscanini Award.
Since 1994, he has launched environment educational projects through music festivals. On top of his music activities, he served as an ambassador for the United Nations’ drug control program from 1992 to 1997 (UNDCCP) and was named “Man of the year” by the Unesco in 1995. In 1996, he was given the highest cultural title “Kumkuan” by the Korean government for his outstanding contribution to Korea’s musical life.
On May 1st 2000, he was appointed director of Radio France’s Philharmonic Orchestra.