Benny Kim, violin
Whether playing in the intimate setting of a string quartet or performing a concerto on the stage of a concert hall, Benny Kim’s “emotional depth and musical carriage are his real drawing cards. His is a style that touches the peak of romantic violin playing.” (The Washington Post) Known for his versatility as soloist, chamber musician and teacher, Mr. Kim has been described as having “titanium technique” and producing “exquisite, pearly colorations.”
In past seasons Benny Kim has performed with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Boston, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston, Utah, Denver, San Diego and Phoenix. Internationally, he has performed with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Orquésta Sinfonica Nacional de México, and the major orchestras of South Africa. He has been a regular at the festivals of Aspen, Bravo! Vail Valley, Chamber Music Northwest, Music from Angel Fire, Santa Fe, Savannah, SummerFest La Jolla, Tucson, and Vancouver.
As a chamber musician, Mr. Kim is first violinist of the Miami String Quartet, winner of the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award. Highlights of recent seasons include performances on the Quartets Plus Series at Carnegie Hall and the Fortas Chamber Music Series at the Kennedy Center. The ensemble’s commitment to new music has led to many commissions and premieres, including Concierto de Cámara by Roberto Sierra, Septet by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Angels by Joan Tower and Green Sneakers by Ricky Ian Gordon.
Additionally, he has collaborated with numerous artists including Pinchas Zukerman, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Lynn Harrell, and Gary Graffman. With Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg, Benny Kim appears on two recordings for EMI: Bella Italia and Night and Day. He can also be heard on recordings on Koch International and Centaur. In recital, Kim has performed in virtually every major city in the United States, including critically acclaimed engagements at New York’s 92nd St. Y and at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center.
A passionate proponent of bringing the arts to the people, Kim continues to give school concerts, lecture-demonstrations, and “informances” to students at all levels, senior citizens, and various other groups. Kim states, “I want to reach as many people as possible who would not otherwise have the opportunity to be touched by music.”
Benny Kim is a graduate of the Juilliard School where he studied with Dorothy DeLay. He makes his home just outside Kansas City where he is currently associate professor of violin at the University of Missouri/Kansas City Conservatory of Music. His early studies were with Doris Preucil and Almita Vamos.
A golf fanatic, he is always in search of a game and brings his clubs whenever he travels. Mr. Kim plays a Stradivarius violin, dated 1732.