Legendary violinist Kyung-Wha Chung berated the parents of a coughing child at her much anticipated comeback performance at London’s Southbank concert hall on Tuesday. “Maybe bring her back when she’s older,” she suggested, witheringly, from the stage.
Hark at her.
The attitude may be warranted. Ahead of her first London performance in 12 years, life-size posters of the South Korean musician appeared across the capital declaring “The Legend Returns”.
Chung became an international star in 1970 after performing a Tchaikovsky Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra, and in the 1990s she took eight curtain calls after playing Bartok’s Second Violin Concerto in Paris…
Ok, ok. How did it go down?
With mixed responses. Violinist Elizabeth Stahlmann tweeted: “Plenty of people coughing, not cool to pick on a child.” But others were sympathetic. “I would like to publicly express my gratitude to Chang for drawing attention to this issue,” wrote composer Sasha Valeri Millwood in an online article.
Are all classical musicians so uptight?
It appears not. British violinist Thomas Gould, who was in the audience, tweeted: Difficult to be charmed by Kyung-Wha Chung’s Mozart after her curious outburst at parents of a coughing child.”
He added: “But the raised temperatures added an extra belligerence to her taut Prokofiev.”