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Kang Eun-kyung ends her term as CEO of SPO

Kang Eun-kyung, president and CEO of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
Kang Eun-kyung, president and CEO of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

Kang Eun-kyung stepped down from her role as president of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra on Sunday, after a three-year tenure.

After the Seoul mayoral by-election, which will take place on April 7, a seven-member committee tasked with appointing a new head will be formed. The committee consists of two recommended by the Seoul city government, two by SPO’s board of directors and three by the Seoul Metropolitan Council.

The new CEO of the orchestra is expected to be appointed before the end of June.

Until the orchestra’s new head is officially appointed, the current executive director of the orchestra Yoo Yeon-sik, who is also the cultural division chief at the Seoul city government, temporarily replaced Kang as acting president.

“Daily tasks of the SPO were not always easy, but looking back, we kept on moving forward. I hope that the orchestra will stay together and show a beautiful performance as one team under Music Director Osmo Vanska,” Kang said in a recent email sent to employees and orchestra members before leaving office on Sunday.

Vanska’s three-year term with the SPO started in January 2020.

Since Kang took office on March 1, 2018, she has been considered a successful and stable municipal music group leader. She especially played a key role in filling the vacancy of the orchestra’s Music Director by appointing Vanska to the role.

The orchestra’s Music Director position has been left empty for around four years since former Music Director maestro Chung Myung-whun’s departure in the wake of numerous scandals, such as his poor relationship with former SPO CEO Park Hyun-jung.

Kang studied the violin at Yewon School, Korea’s first middle school dedicated to the arts founded in 1967. After graduating from Seoul National University with a law degree, she started her career in classical music production management and worked as the head of the performance planning team at Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation and director at Daewon Cultural Foundation before leading the SPO.

By Song Seung-hyun (
Korea Herald daum