After being laid to rest in a grave of honor at the Berlin Landschaftsfriedhof in 1995, it took 23 years for Isang Yun´s dream to become true: to return to his hometown Tongyeong, where he was born over 100 years ago in 1917. With combined efforts of TIMF and Tongyeong City, his ashes were brought back to Tongyeong in 2018 and buried in this rather extraordinary spot, next to the concert hall, right above the ocean, and overlooking the Tongyeong islands.
Funeral Ceremony on 30 March 2018 Address by Tongyeong Intl. Music Foundation CEO Florian Riem
Dear Friends, Today, a long journey ends- the journey longer than a lifetime, that began more than 100 years ago here in Tongyeong.
I am standing here with a laughing and a crying eye. One month ago in Berlin, we opened the Isang Yuns grave. That grave is now gone, and for many Germans, a great artist, who was buried in an honorary grave along with Mendelssohn, Busoni, Max Bruch and many other composers, writers, politicians- is gone now, gone forever.
Germany was a second home to Isang Yun. Here he spent the second half of his life, here he wrote most of his music, here he celebrated his biggest successes, here he was most appreciated as what he was: one of the great composers of the last century.
Yet, all his life he longed to be back, back home, back in Tongyeong. 23 years after his death, that dream has now become a reality. He is here, next to a hall dedicated to his music, looking out over the islands and sea he so loved.
And so we are happy to have him back, where he wanted to be and where he belongs
His return comes with a great joy- but also with a great responsibility. Even after so many years, Yuns name is still tarnished, defamed, or abused for political gain. His rehabilitation will still take time, and lots of efforts by all of us: by the foundation, by Tongyeong City, and by the Yun family.
Only if we all work together, we can bring back the legacy of this great artist, Isang Yun. Only through dialogue and with an open mind, we will achieve his true rehabilitation. And only then, he will have truly returned home.