Furla Series #02

Encountering Isang Yun

A conversation-concert of Isang Yun’s music
with Elena Abbado (musicologist) and Francesco Dillon (cellist)

Sunday November 4, on the occasion of the finissage, the conversation-concert Encountering Isang Yun, dedicated to the Korean composer Isang Yun will take place in the exhibition rooms. The cellist Francesco Dillon will perform the piece Glissées (1970) and, along with the musicologist Elena Abbado, will introduce the work of Isang Yun.


Isang Yun (1917-1995) was known worldwide for his innovative musical life and his politically turbulent biography. Growing up during the Japanese occupation (1919-1945) of the Korean Peninsula, he learned to play musical instruments and joined the resistance movement against the Japanese. After the Korean War (1950-1953), Yun began composing, and in 1956, departed to Europe to study twelve-tone music. His unique compositions, though played on Western instruments, were inspired by Korean traditional techniques and folk tales, and brought him international attention.  

In 1967, Yun was abducted and taken to Seoul on the fabricated charge of spying in the East Berlin Incident. Yun and hundreds of other Korean intellectuals and artists were imprisoned and tortured. Released after increased pressure by international musicians and intellectuals in 1969, he was never politically rehabilitated, however. Soon after, he was naturalized as a German citizen and never returned homeHe died of pneumonia in Berlin in 1995. 

To this day, Yun symbolizes the ongoing ideological division of the Korean Peninsula and its polarization between the right and left—he is a consummate national artist yet a tragic figure, and branded the absolute leftist traitor by the far right. Simultaneously claimed and silenced by both sides of Korea, the enduring contention around him has heavily overshadowed and isolated his musical legacy. 

Cover photo by:
Installation view of Furla Series #02 - Haegue Yang: Tightrope Walking and Its Wordless Shadow
Courtesy Fondazione Furla and La Triennale di Milano, photo Masiar Pasquali


Sunday, November 4, 2018, at 6.30 pm

Free entrance
Subject to availability

La Triennale di Milano
Viale Alemagna 6

-> How to get there

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