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Digital Archive International History Declassified

Biographies

Im Won-sik

Andrew C. Nahm and James E. Hoare

A major figure on the modern South Korean musical scene, Im was a conductor who studied in Japan and the Julliard School of Music in the US.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

IM WON-SIK (1919-2002). A major figure on the modern South Korean musical scene, Im was a conductor who studied in Japan before attending the Julliard School of Music in the United States. In 1946, he established the Goryeo Symphony Orchestra, the first post liberation orchestra. He created the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) Orchestra in 1956, and served as its resident conductor until 1971. He was later appointed honorary conductor of the orchestra. Im became the Incheon Symphony Orchestra’s principal conductor in 1984, a post he held until1992. During the Korean War, he was a founder of the Seoul Arts School, in Busan, and was later its principal from 1961-197 5. Although Im was devoted to the German classical composers, he introduced much modern music to Korean audiences as well. He also defended his fellow musician, Yun I-sang, and tried to arrange for his return to South Korea.

All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher. (Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Korea, by Andrew C. Nahm and James E. Hoare, published by RLPG Books, appears by permission of the author and publisher).