Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France



Heir of the first Philharmonic Orchestra founded in the 30’s by the French radio, the orchestra was re-established in the middle of the 1970’s at the instigation of Pierre Boulez, who criticized the rigidity of the traditional symphony orchestras.

L’Orchestre philharmonique can therefore cover a vast repertoire from the 18th century up until our time, written for either a small ensemble or a large orchestra. Each group is formed according to the composition of the works, several groups working simultaneously.  
The first music directors of the orchestra were composer Gilbert Amy and conductor Marek Janowski. After more than 10 years at the head of the orchestra, Myung-Whun Chung is proud to have his orchestra considered as one of Europe’s most remarkable. The greatest conductors have joined Myung-Whun Chung, enriching the orchestra such as Pierre Boulez, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Ton Koopman, or the most brilliant conductors of the new generation: Gustavo Dudamel, Alan Gilbert, Daniel Harding, Vasily Petrenko, Lionel Bringuier and Mikko Franck who will succeed to Myung-Whun Chung in 2015.

The Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France is in residence at the Salle Pleyel. Pending the opening of a new auditorium at Radio France, set to November 2014, the orchestra also takes part to the Cité de la musique, the Châtelet and the Opéra Comique programming. All these concerts, broadcast on France Musique, are postcasted on the Radio France website. Every month, some are also available on video-streaming on the ArteLiveWeb and Radio France websites. The orchestra is present as well on the France Televisions, Arte and Mezzo TV antennas. Its recording activity remains steady and more than 300 references are now available on iTunes. 

The orchestra musicians integrate themselves in schools and in hospitals to visit sick children. Beside Myung-Whun Chung, they have been ambassadors of UNICEF since 2007. Thay have also imagined a Philharmonic Academy in partnership with the Conservatoire de Paris. 

The Orchestre Philharmonique created a website especially dedicated to the young audience (www.zikphil.fr). It enjoys the support of its principal patron, Amundi and of different partners brought together in the association ProPhil.



Myung-Whun Chung began his musical career as a pianist, making his debut at the age of seven. In 1974 he won the second prize at the Tchaikovsky piano competition in Moscow. After his musical studies at the Mannes School and at the Juilliard School in New York, he became Carlo Maria Giulini’s assistant in 1979 at the Los Angeles Philharmonic and two years later he was named Associate Conductor.

He was Music Director of the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1984 to 1990, Principal Guest Conductor of the Teatro Comunale of Florence from 1987 to 1992, Music Director of the Opéra de Paris-Bastille from 1989 to 1994 and Principal Conductor at the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome from 1997 to 2005.
In 1995, Myung-Whun Chung founds the Asia Philharmonic, an orchestra made up of the best musicians from 8 Asian countries. In 2005, he was appointed Music Director of the Seoul Philarmonic Orchestra. He has been Music Director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France since 2000.

Myung-Whun Chung has conducted virtually all the world’s leading orchestras, including the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw, all the major London and Parisian Orchestras, Filharmonica della Scala, Bayerisch Rundfunk, Dresden Staatskapelle, Boston and Chicago Symphony, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras.

As a recording artist for Deutsche Grammophon many of his numerous recordings have won international prizes and awards. He has been the recipient of honours and prizes for his artistic work, including the Premio Abbiati and the Arturo Toscanini prize in Italy and the Légion d’Honneur (1992) in France; in 1991, the Association of French Theatres and Music Critics named him “Artist of the year” and in 1995 and 2002 he won the prize “Victoire de la Musique”.

Deeply sensitive to humanitarian and ecological problems of our age, Myung-Whun Chung has devoted an important part of his life to these causes. He served as Ambassador for the Drug Control Program at the United Nations (UNDCP); in 1995, he was named “Man of the year” by UNESCO and. In 1996, he received the “Kumkuan”, the highest cultural award of the Korean government for his contribution to Korean musical life. Chung now serves as Honorary Cultural Ambassador for Korea, the first in the Korean government’s history.

Myung-Whun Chung and the musicians of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France were nominated Ambassadors for UNICEF in September 2007.
In April 2008 Myung Whun Chung was appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, as an acknowledgement of his commitment to children‘s issue.

In 2011, he has been appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Dresden Staatskapelle.

In June 2011, Myung-Whun Chung has been appointed « Commandeur dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres »

In March 2012, for the first time, Myung-Whun Chung gets together the Unhasu Orchestra of North Korea and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in a joint concert at the Salle Pleyel, Paris.