Kyung-Wha Chung, born to a family of music-lovers, studied the violin under Ivan Galamian at the Juilliard School. Later she studied under Joseph Szigeti in Europe. In 1967, Chung took first place at the Edgar Leventritt Competition which was the start of her gaining fame. She made her debut in Europe performing with the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of André Previn in 1970. Chung has appeared in concerts under such conductors as Georg Solti, Klaus Tennstedt, Riccardo Muti, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Daniel Barenboim, and Claudio Abbado. She has performed with pianists including Radu Lupu, Krystian Zimerman, and Peter Frankl. She formed the Chung Trio with her younger brother Myung-Whun Chung and elder sister Myung-Wha Chung. Chung received the Order of Cultural Merit from the South Korean Government. She was chosen as one of the 20 Great People in Asia by Asia Week in 1995, the only person from the classical music sphere, and as the Greatest Instrumentalist of the Past 20 Years by Sunday Times in Britain.

Kyung-Wha Chung has signed an exclusive international record contract with EMI. She has released approximately thirty CDs from Decca, RCA, Deutsche Grammophon, etc. Recordings in 1989 and 1994 won the Gramophone Classical Music Awards. Her legendary two-night concert at the Suntory Hall in 1998 was released by King International in 2013 and received rave reviews. Chung has been under exclusive international record contract with Warner Classics since 2015, the first releases of which are J.S. Bach's Solo Sonatas & Partitas (September 2016) and the collection of French pieces with Kevin Kenner, with whom she has recently often performed, titled Beau Soir (March 2018).

From September 2005 Chung did not perform for some time because of a problem with her fingers, but in the meantime she taught at colleges and participated in charity activities, living a full life physically and mentally. Chung resumed her activities in December 2011, giving a superb performance on the stage titled "She is back!" for which the packed audience gave a big applause.

In June 2013, she came to Japan for a recital tour for the first time in fifteen years. After that, Chung came to Japan again in April 2015, leaving a strong impression there. In the season of 2016/17, she celebrated the 50th anniversary of her debut and held concerts performing all the pieces of Bach's Solo Sonatas & Partitas around the world including Japan. Chung has often visited Japan, including for Miyazaki International Music Festival in May 2018, a special concert celebrating her 70th birthday and commemorating the release of Beau Soir, a new CD in June the same year. She also performed Brahms concertos with Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by Myung-Whun Chung) in October 2018. In the Japan tour in October 2019, Chung programmed all sonatas of Brahms, and her passionate but lyrical, luscious and humane performance intoxicated the audience.

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