August 28, 2015 11:33
Chung Myung-whun is prepared to quit as chief conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra amid growing controversy about his pay and allegations of embezzlement.
Chung told the Chosun Ilbo on Thursday that he would be willing to continue with scheduled concerts if the orchestra and audience want and pledged to donate his fees to charitable causes and the development of the orchestra.
Chung clashed with the former head of the orchestra, Park Hyun-jung, last year after he sided with musicians who accused Park of verbal abuse and gender discrimination. Park quit, but some civic groups later accused Chung of diverting orchestra funds for his personal use including air fares.
Chung has led the Seoul Philharmonic since 2006 and has been credited with raising its status a notch. Last year, the orchestra made its debut at the BBC Proms, one of the world's greatest top classical music festivals founded in 1895. But his high pay and lavish lifestyle have dogged him throughout his tenure.
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