The Korea Herald


Late composer Yun I-sang‘s body to be returned home

By Joel Lee

Published : Feb. 19, 2018 - 20:50

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The remains of late composer Yun I-sang will arrive in South Korea later this month to be buried in his homeland, a local music foundation said Monday.

Tongyeong International Music Foundation, set up in 2014 in remembrance of the venerated composer, said there would be a ceremony at a cemetery in Berlin, Germany, at 11 a.m. Friday (local time) to dig his grave to remove his body, which will be transferred to his motherland as early as this weekend. The exact date of return has yet to be determined.

After arriving, Yun’s remains will be kept by his family until the annual Tongyeong International Music Festival opens, on March 30, when there will be another ceremony to bury him at a site near the music hall of the festival.

“We haven‘t been notified at which airport his remains will arrive,” an official from the foundation said. “His remains will be kept out of the public eye until the opening day of the festival.”

The late composer Yun I-sang (1917-95) The late composer Yun I-sang (1917-95)

The move follows the composer’s wish to see the Tongyeong sea while he was still alive.

One of the greatest Korean composers, he is credited for his lifelong dedication to new music that blends Korean musical elements and technique with those of western music.

Born in 1917, the late composer spent most of his later life in West Germany until he died in November 1996.

He studied composition at the Paris Conservatory and the Musikhochschule Berlin which later became the Berlin University of the Arts. Yun obtained German citizenship in the early ‘70s.

In 1967, he was implicated in a spy case, known as “the East Berlin Affair,” by the regime of military dictator Park Chung-hee, the father of ousted former President Park Geun-hye. In 2006, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission found that the case exaggerated the activities by those implicated. (Yonhap)