News for Yun
- Memorial park for Isang Yun
[posted 23 March 2010]
In his town of birth, Tongyeong in South Korea, a memorial was opened for composer Isang Yun. Yun’s daughter Yun-jeong and his brother Dong-hwa both attended the opening.
On display are, amongst other, the composer’s cello, his passport, a miniature Korean national flag he carried in the pocket, hand-written letters and cards to his families. There are also some musical scores.
There is also a bust of Yun, made in North Korea. It took nine months before it made its way to Tongyeong, because of problems getting government approval.
The Docheon Theme Park, as it is called, is in Docheon-dong in the marine city, adjacent to the coastline. It has a modern-architecture museum with a 100-seat recital hall on the first floor and a collection of Yun’s possessions on the second.
- Wife of Isang Yun visits Korea after 40 years
[posted 11 September 2007]
After 40 years of exile Isang Yun's widow, Lee Soo-ja, has set foot on Korean soil again. In 1967 the composer was accused of being a North-Korean spy. After international pressure he was released from prison after 40 days. He was again jailed and tortured, but in 1969 was freed, upon which he moved to Germany.
A year before his death in 1994 (in Berlin), Isang Yun was invited to attend a festival of his music in South Korea, but the trip was cancelled due to conflict with the government.
Last Monday 80-year old Lee Soo-ja arrived in Seoul after an invitation form the Korean government to partake in the 2007 Isang Yun festival. Upon the occasion she remarked: "In political terms, his honor was restored. But there's a long way to go for the restoration of his artistic honor".
The annual gala is organized by South Korea's Isang Yun Peace Foundation in cooperation with Germany's International Isang Yun Society. It will open in Seoul on 16 September and then continues in Busan and in Yun's coastal hometown, Tongyeong, until 10 November.
On 17 September will be the 90th anniversary of Yun's birth.
- Isang Yun’s home in Berlin to become memorial
[posted 19 March 2007]
The “Yun Isang Peace Foundation” has announced that it will buy the home in Berlin where Isang Yun lived. They plan to turn it into a memorial venue called “Yun Isang House”.
The goal of the foundation is to turn the house into a base for Asian and European musical exchanges. It is scheduled to open at the end of this year or maybe early next year.
The music of Yun is dodecaphonic ("Zwölftonmusik") and serial, mixed with the traditions of Chinese-Korean music. It’s influenced by taoism and his thoughts in categories like Yin and Yang. Among his works are operas (e.g. "Sim Tjong"), an oratorio (e.g. "Om mani padme hum", 1964), concerts, cantatas (e.g. "On the treshold", 1975), chamber music (e.g. "Chamber Symphony I", 1987) and orchestral works, e.g.: "Réak" (1966), "Dimensions" (1971), "Exemplum in Memoriam Kwangju" (1981), "Symphony I" (1982/83), "Symphony II" (1984), "Symphony III" ("Philosophical", 1985), "Symphony IV" ("Singing in the Dark", 1986), "Symphony V" (1987, with texts by the German poet Nelly Sachs).
Yun, son of the poet Ki-Hyong Yun, studied music from 1933 on, in Tokyo and Osaka from 1939-1941. When Japan entered the Second World War, he returned to Korea and took part in his people’s struggle for liberation, being imprisoned by the Japanese occupants in 1943. 1946–1952 he taught at schools in Tongyong and Pusan, 1952–1956 at the universities of Pusan and Seoul. In 1955 he won the South Korean Culture Award. To establish contacts with the Western European avantgarde, in 1956 he went to Europe and was a pupil of Tony Aubin’s at the Conservatoire in Paris; after 1957 his teachers were Boris Blacher, Josef Rufer and Reinhard Schwarz-Schilling at the Musikhochschule West Berlin. He also took part in the Darmstadt courses. Since 1964 he lived in West Berlin. Because of his political involvement and a 1963 trip to North Korea he was kidnapped by the South Korean Secret Police in 1967 and brought to Seoul. Due to international pressure, he was released two years later. After his return to Western Germany he taught at the Musikhochschule Hannover and became a German citizen. Since 1970 he taught at the Musikhochschule West Berlin, from 1974–1985 as a Professor for Composition.