There's a story that has always deeply impressed Opera Chic -- unabashed Giulini fan that she is -- and it's about the Italian maestro during his years at the helm of the LA Philharmonic: the orchestra needed to hire a new player and one of the orchestra members recommended a friend of his to Giulini explaining what a gifted musician his friend was; and then Giulini asked him, "Yes, but is he a good person?".
Because for Carlo Maria Giulini music had never been simply a matter of notes written down in a score, it couldn't be; he knew that you have to look into your heart before you even glance down at the score, and that kind of sensibility, that humanism, one can hear in Giulini's timeless recordings.
It does not therefore surprise that Myung-Whun Chung was not only Giulini's student and assistant but was considered by the maestro like a son; because he is a good musician and a good man.
A few months ago, Myung-Whun Chung and l'Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France (where he's been the Music Director since y2k) went to Benin as Unicef Ambassadors to participate in health, education, and child protection programs.
Film was shot and presented on Radio France's website, and frankly, all the panels and symposia in the world don't even rawk as hard as Myung-Whun Chung dancing with a tiny little baby! Chung 4 PREZ!!! (Or, you know, for Scala Music Director!)
Tonight, Chung and his Philharmonic play a Unicef benefit concert at the Théâtre du Châtelet with Natalie Dessay, Laurent Naouri and Stéphane Degout.