A forceful and dynamic conductor whose love and understanding for music has made GUM NANSE one of the most respected in his field.
In 1977, GUM was one of the prize winners at the prestigious ‘Herbert von Karajan Conductor's Competition and was the first Korean to be given an opportunity to conduct Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Since returning home in 1980, he was appointed as the conductor of KBS Symphony Orchestra for 12 years.
In 1992 he suddenly decided to move to Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra. At that time no one quite expected him to move to a less known orchestra after his tenure at KBS Symphony. Although it was considered to be very challenging to reenergize then a struggling orchestra, he believed that it was his role as a conductor to reach out and rebuild such orchestra needing help. After a short period of time, Suwon Philharmonic's dramatic turnaround started to make headlines and it even made Samsung Electronics to dedicate a new outdoor concert hall to Suwon City. Samsung Electronics also suggested to give a financial support to the orchestra for five years. After his appointment as a Principal Conductor, Suwon Philharmonic's number of concerts also increased from about 10 concerts per year to more than 60 concerts. Samsung Electronics also supported Suwon Philharmonic's overseas tours in US, Canada, UK, Spain, Thailand (for Asian Games in Bangkok) for three years. It was during that time GUM began 9-concert series with Seoul Arts Center titled, 'Young People's Concerts with Gum Nanse'. The concerts stayed sold-out for six consecutive years from 1994 to 1999 and it still holds a record in Korea's classical music scene.
Since 1997, GUM has been primarily engaged in the activities of Euro-Asian Philharmonic Orchestra(now, New World Philharmonic Orchestra) founded by himself. Under his dynamic leadership, the orchestra has rapidly gained prominence in the national music scene through innovative programs that appeal to music lovers of all generations. Apart from New World Philharmonic, he served as the Artistic Director of Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra and Incheon Philharmonic Orchestra consecutively.
His creative ideas and new approaches to classical music are well reflected in his concerts and they are not limited to traditional concert halls. He strongly believes that musicians should extend their talents to the audience regardless of venues. In the past, GUM organized a series of concerts in places such as POSCO Center in Seoul. In the lobby of POSCO Center, GUM and Euro-Asian Philharmonic gave sold-out concerts with programs that included complete Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Brahms Symphonies. Thanks to GUM, POSCO Center’s lobby area is now considered as a new kind of cultural venue in Seoul. It seems only natural that he is widely recognized as a musician who contributed significantly in popularizing classical music and making it more accessible to a wider audience in Korea.
During the past few years, GUM has been active as a festival director. The 'Music Isle Festival in Jeju’ (since 2005) and the 'Manhattan Chamber Music Festival’ (since 2012) have successfully testified how he could inspire people with the magic of chamber music. In addition, the 'Music Isle Festival in Jeju’ joined the European Festivals Association(EFA) in 2009.
For years, GUM has been devoting himself to discover many gifted young musicians and he considers this as one of his most important roles. For example, Sarah Chang and Hanna Chang are some of the famous musicians that GUM recognized from very early on. GUM regularly conducts Korea United College Orchestra(KUCO) which consists of non-music major students from 25 universities nationwide. He also conducts Korean Youth Dream Orchestra(KYDO) which consists of young, music-loving adolescents from 25 small provincial towns once a year.
Currently, GUM is the Principal at the prestigious Seoul Yego Arts High School and he is the Artistic Director of Seongnam Philharmonic Orchestra since 2015. He was also appointed as the Principal Guest Conductor of Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra in September 2015.