The Chamber Music Society (CMS) of Lincoln Center honored Chien and Kim for "working tirelessly to keep the art form thriving in the face of tremendous odds" during the pandemic.
Gloria Chien ’99, ’01 MM, ’04 DMA and Faculty Soovin Kim are the recipients of the 2021 Chamber Music Society (CMS) of Lincoln Center Award for Extraordinary Service to Chamber Music. They will be honored with their award on November 9 at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall in New York.
Chien and Kim are artistic directors of Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival in Burlington, VT and Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, OR. Chien is also artistic director of String Theory at the Hunter, a chamber music series at the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, TN. Throughout the pandemic, they brought chamber music to the people of these cities through digital concerts by featuring both live performances and archival recordings; creating digital lecture series and educational programming; partnering with local public radio and television to extend the reach of programming; and offering many of these programs free to the public. In Summer 2021, Soovin and Gloria also began reintroducing live performances, with in-person concerts, open rehearsals and master classes, family concerts, free performances and even school visits. Early on in the pandemic, Chien also launched Notes of Hope, daily virtual concerts at 7:00 p.m. that aired alongside the daily expressions of thanks that were taking place for frontline healthcare workers.
A husband and wife team, both are internationally-renowned performers—Chien a pianist, Kim a violinist—and experienced music presenters. Kim teaches violin at NEC in both the College and the Preparatory School. Chien is an alumna of NEC's BM, MM, and DMA programs as well as the Preparatory School, where she studied with Russell Sherman and Wha Kyung Byun.
David Finckel and Wu Han, co-artistic directors of CMS, said of Chien and Kim:
Even during the deepest and darkest days of the pandemic, we knew that this award should go next to those who were working tirelessly to keep the art form thriving in the face of tremendous odds [...] As young artistic directors (and stellar performers) they have set an example not only as artists but citizens of the world, and for that, we should all be truly grateful.