The South Korean conductor Shiyeon Sung is characterised by a natural authority, a collegial and inspiring rehearsal approach and the ability to tread the fine line between passion and level-headedness. With the Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra, whose chief conductor she has been since January 2014, she toured Europe for the first time in summer 2015. Together, they appeared at the Philharmonie Berlin, in Wiesbaden, at the Musik Festival Saar and elsewhere. In September 2016, she will repay the favour, and conduct the German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern on tour in her home country.
Other highlights of the new season include a return visit to the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, her debut concerts with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra and the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz as well as a concert performance of Bizet’s Carmen, a “Shakespeare in Music” concert, and a Prokofiev portrait concert with the Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom she recently performed and recorded Mahler’s 5th symphony. In July 2016, she made her successful debut with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra with works by Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky and Berlioz. In the previous season, she conducted the National Symphony Orchestra Washington at the Wolf Trap Festival.
When James Levine appointed her as his Assistant Conductor at the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2007, she already had a reputation as one of the most exciting emerging talents on the international music circuit: shortly before, Shiyeon Sung had won the International Conductors‘ Competition Sir Georg Solti and the Gustav Mahler Conductors‘ Competition in Bamberg. During her three-year tenure in Boston, she began a close collaboration with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted their season opening concert in 2007. In 2009, the orchestra established an Associate Conductor’s position especially for her, which she held until 2013.
The list of orchestras with whom Shiyeon Sung has worked since then is remarkable. This includes renowned European orchestras such as the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin and the Bamberg Symphony,as well as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which she led in a spectacular debut concert with Martha Argerich at the Tongyeong International Music Festival. In June 2010, Shiyeon Sung conducted a highly successful concert after the re-opening of the legendary Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. The Argentinian press enthusiastically praised the young conductor’s “virtuoso ability”. At the Stockholm Opera, she has conducted works including Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orpheus und Eurydike.
Born in Pusan, South Korea, Shiyeon Sung won various prizes as a pianist in youth competitions. From 2001 to 2006, she studied orchestral conducting with Rolf Reuter at the Hanns Eisler School of Music in Berlin and continued her education with advanced conducting studies with Jorma Panula at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.