Michelle Kim ~ Violinist with Seoul

(Michelle Kim | Photo courtesy of High Desert Chamber Music)

New York Philharmonic Assistant Concertmaster, Michelle Kim, was already earning attention as a musician by the time she moved to the U.S. from Seoul at the age of 16. As a student at the prestigious Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences in Santa Monica, California, she met High Desert Chamber Music Executive Director Isabelle Senger in the orchestra program, then directed by renowned conductor and violinist/violist Heiichiro Ohyama. They reconnected years later as performers in the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, also under Ohyama’s direction.

Kim graduated from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music as a Starling Foundation scholarship recipient. She won several national competitions, and has appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras. She has been a member of the faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music and the Colburn School, and currently teaches at the Mannes College of Music in New York.

Kim, whose parents fled North Korea as children during the Korean War, had a unique opportunity to see her parents’ birthplace when she performed in Pyongyang in 2008 while on tour with the New York Philharmonic. Years earlier, her parents had turned down an invitation for the young Kim to perform for President Kim Il Sung’s birthday out of fear she would be abducted and forced to stay. This time, they were comfortable with her traveling there because she would be traveling not only with the orchestra, but also with an American press corps.

In 2010, Kim founded the Doublestop Foundation, a nonprofit that provides stringed instruments for musicians through The Competition and the Main Violin Project. The Competition loans professional-quality instruments, which can be prohibitively expensive, to rising musicians to help them elevate their artistry. The Main Violin Project makes instrument donations to public schools, including the Harlem School of the Arts whose instrument collection was destroyed in a water main break.

See Michelle Kim perform in High Desert Chamber Music’s season finale at the Tower Theatre on Saturday, March 30, at 7:30pm.

Tickets are available through High Desert Chamber Music by phone or online.

Come hear the music!


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