“...a rare virtuoso of the flute” —Libération
Since her concerto debut with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra at age ten, flutist Sooyun Kim ’04, ’07 M.M., ’09 G.D. has enjoyed a flourishing career performing with orchestras around the world including the Bavarian Radio, Munich Radio, Munich Chamber, and Boston Pops orchestras. She has concertized in Budapest, Paris, Munich, Kobe, and Seoul; and at the Gardner Museum, Kennedy Center, and Carnegie, Alice Tully, and Jordan halls. Since her European debut recital at the Auditorium du Louvre in France in 2012, she has performed in Germany, Finland, Denmark, and Sweden. In the summer of 2012, she served as an artist-in-residence with the Danish Chamber Players in Denmark where she curated and collaborated with the ensemble in its annual "Summermusic in Fuglsang." Ms. Kim has received numerous international awards and prizes including the third prize at the ARD International Flute Competition and the Georg Solti Foundation Career Grant. She studied at the New England Conservatory under the tutelage of Paula Robison and John Gibbons. She is an Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and a former member of CMS Two.
Currently living in: New York City
What’s next on your schedule and/or highlight of your performance season?
As a Member of the Chamber Music Society, I have been involved in many different projects and residencies this season. Most recently, our annual Brandenburg Concerti program went on tour and I had a great honor to play with Robert Langevin, Principal Flutist of the New York Philharmonic. In November, I played my first professional recital in my motherland Korea, after the International Sejong Soloists invited me to Seoul to repeat the recital I gave at the Louvre Museum in Paris. In a way, I had to go through the Louvre Museum to get to my homeland! Coming up, I am playing as guest principal flute with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and I am headed to Portugal to give a recital with my duo partner, Juho Pohjonen. I have also become actively involved with Groupmuse. On my trip to Korea, I introduced Groupmuse for the first time in Korea and we were able to have five very successful Groupmuses in just three weeks. On my trip to Portugal, in addition to my recital, I am putting a first Groupmuse event in Portugal at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, the renowned biomedical research center in Lisbon. You can read more about it here in my blog!
How did NEC affect the way you think about and make music?
NEC is a place of wonder. It is a place where I learned, studied and dreamed! Chamber Music is a huge part of my life – at NEC, I was always surrounded by a warm and encouraging community. Music is an act of sharing – I learned the importance of sharing at NEC.
What is your favorite NEC memory?
Late-night practices – and beer with friends afterward at Tiger Lily (which sadly only exists in my memory now).
What would be your dream collaboration?
My dream collaboration always is with my teacher, Paula Robison. A few years ago, we did Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire with Paula on the Sprechstimme part, and it was a magical experience. I would love to do Debussy's Chansons de Bilitis for two flutes, two harps, and celeste with Paula as narrator. Now that would be a dream project!
What is your greatest passion outside of music?
I love to dance! My last few years at NEC, I studied Baroque Dance with the great Melinda Sullivan. It was an eye opening experience for me to actually be able to dance the Sarabande, Menuet, Folia, and all the other baroque dances that I had only played on the flute. With her help, I was able to develop two pieces that I choreographed and danced while playing the flute. Melinda always encouraged me to realize in sound and in movements whatever I dreamed in my head!
I also love to run and I dream to be able to walk on a tight rope someday. Phillippe Petit is my hero!
Photo by Lisa Mazzucco