Youn Kwang-chul, professor of vocal music at Seoul National University, was awarded the title of Kammersänger by the internationally-acclaimed Berlin State Opera House in Germany on Thursday. Kammersänger, which means " court singer," is the highest honor given to distinguished singers of opera and classical music in Germany and Austria. It is rare for an Asian singer to be awarded the title. Historically, the title had been bestowed by princes or kings. Today, the German and Austrian governments award the title.
The Korean bass studied music at the Sofia Academy of Music in Bulgaria and the Berlin University of the Arts in Germany after graduating from Cheongju University in South Korea. He won international recognition by winning in the Plácido Domingo International Opera Voice Competition in Paris. After that, he was an ensemble member of the Berlin State Opera from 1993 to 2004. He is renowned as a specialist in Richard Wagner.
Youn is the second Korean singer to be awarded the title after Attila Jun, who won it from the Stuttgart State Theatre in 2011.