December 31, 2015 13:26
Chung Myung-whun pointedly left his baton on the podium on Wednesday after he had finished the last encore, and extract from the fourth movement of Beethoven's ninth symphony. It was to be his final concert as chief conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.
Chung then shook hands with each of the 85 members of the orchestra on stage as the audience gave him a standing ovation.
Wednesday's concert at the Seoul Arts Center was a poignant moment for the colorful conductor, who leaves behind an orchestra he coaxed from playing to half-empty houses to one of the top orchestras in Asia during his decade-long tenure.
But controversy about his pay and allegations of embezzlement also grew, in addition to accusations over his conflict with the orchestra's former president Park Hyun-jung.
On Tuesday, Chung sent a letter to all members of the orchestra announcing his resignation.
After the concert he returned to his dressing room without a word, and spent the next 20 minutes taking pictures and sending his regards to the orchestra members.
To the reporters and fans who were waiting for him outside, Chung shouted, "Happy New Year! Thank you!" with a bright smile, and then he was gone.
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