Ahn Eak-tai

Ahn Eak-tai

Composer + Conductor
Born Dec 5, 1906

Ahn Eak-tai was a Korean classical composer and conductor. He conducted numerous major orchestras across Europe, including the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Rome Philharmonic Orchestra. Ahn composed the Aegukga, now the national anthem of South Korea, Korean Dance, Nongae, and the Symphonic Fantasy Korea.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Ahn Eak-tai.


1906 Birth Ahn was born into a wealthy family in the city of Pyongyang, now the capital of North Korea, on December 5, 1906 four years before Korea fell under Japanese rule in 1910. … Read More
1914 8 Years Old In 1914, he entered Pyongyang Jongno Elementary School (평양종로보통학교) and began to play the trumpet.


1918 12 Years Old In 1918, he was admitted to the Pyongyang Soongsil Middle School, where he played in the school orchestra. … Read More
1919 13 Years Old On October 6, 1919, Ahn took a train to Busan and boarded a ship for Shimonoseki. … Read More


1926 20 Years Old In 1926, Ahn was accepted to the Kunitachi College of Music. … Read More
1928 22 Years Old In 1928, Ahn's father died, and his mother faced financial difficulty in providing for all five of her sons' education. … Read More
1930 24 Years Old 1 More Event
In May 1930, Ahn returned to Korea. … Read More
1935 29 Years Old After his successful tour, Ahn changed his career goal from cellist to conductor. In 1935, Ahn transferred to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, graduating in 1936. … Read More


1936 30 Years Old On April 8, 1936, Ahn left New York City, and, upon landing in Europe, headed to Berlin. … Read More
1937 31 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1937, Ahn went to Hungary to study under Zoltán Kodály, applying his teachings specifically to Asian music in composing the Symphonic Fantasy Korea.
1939 33 Years Old At the same time, Ahn was attending the Eötvös Loránd University on a scholarship from the Hungarian government, and, in 1939, Ahn graduated from the University. … Read More
1940 34 Years Old In December 1940, Ahn was invited by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, arguably the world's greatest orchestra at the time. … Read More
1944 38 Years Old Ahn found another place to work, the Orchestre de Paris, but he was forced to leave in 1944, when Paris was liberated from the German forces. … Read More


1946 40 Years Old 1 More Event
…  After their marriage in 1946, the two moved to the United States, where Ahn conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra. … Read More
1948 42 Years Old On August 15, 1948, Ahn's Aegukga was sung during the ceremony commemorating the establishment of the Korean government.
1955 49 Years Old After the Korean War, President Syngman Rhee invited Ahn to be part of his 80th birthday celebration, and, on February 19, 1955, Ahn returned to his motherland after 25 years away from home. … Read More


1960 54 Years Old On invitation from the Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku, Ahn arrived at the Haneda Airport in January 1960, and conducted a concert at the Yaon Hibiya Auditorium on the night of February 4. … Read More
1964 58 Years Old Later in 1964, Ahn conducted a concert during the 1964 Summer Olympics, as requested by the NHK.
1965 59 Years Old After a successful concert in Spain, Ahn organized three successive Seoul International Music Festivals, but could not continue the event any further because it disrupted Ahn's work for the Seoul Philharmonic. On September 16, 1965, Ahn was stricken by a sudden illness and died while staying on the island of Majorca, where he lived the last 20 years of his life. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahn_Eak-tai.
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