Sunwook Kim PIANO

Sunwook Kim came to international recognition when he won the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition in 2006, aged just 18, becoming the competition’s youngest winner for 40 years, as well as its first Asian winner. His performance of Brahms’s Concerto No.1 with the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder in the competition’s finals attracted unanimous praise from the press.

Sunwook has just concluded a highly successful 12/13 season, with highlights including a debut with the London Symphony Orchestra, stepping in at short notice to perform Beethoven’s Concerto No.4 conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, return projects with the Helsinki Radio Symphony (Beethoven 4 with Andrew Manze), Manchester’s Hallé Orchestra (Brahms 2 with Sir Mark Elder), the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (Brahms 2 with Kirill Karabits) and the Seoul Philharmonic (Bartok 2 with Peter Eötvös, Beethoven 5 with Myung-Whun Chung) as well as recital appearances at Salle Pleyel, Paris, Beethoven-Haus Bonn, and the LG Arts Centre in Seoul.

Sunwook Kim’s debut recording, featuring Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto, has just been released on Deutsche Grammophon.. In January 2014, he will return to the studio to record Unsuk Chin’s Piano Concerto, also for Deutsche Grammophon.

Sunwook will be making his BBC Proms debut this Summer, performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.3 with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Kirill Karabits. Other highlights among future concerto projects include world premiere performances of Unsuk Chin’s Piano Concerto in Stockholm (Norrköping Symphony) and in Hamburg (NDR Symphony), return engagements with the London Symphony Orchestra (Prokofiev 2 with Daniel Harding), the Philharmonia Orchestra (Beethoven 4 with Juraj Valcuha), Manchester’s Hallé Orchestra (Beethoven 4 with Mark Elder), the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, as well as touring in Europe and the United States with the Seoul Philharmonic.

Future recital projects include return appearances at the Salle Pleyel’s prestigious “Piano 4 Etoiles” in Paris, the Wigmore Hall in London, a debut at Buenos Aires’s Teatro Colon, as well as the completion of his acclaimed Beethoven sonata cycle at the LG Arts Center, Seoul. Following a highly successful Japan debut tour in Spring 2012, he will also return for recitals at Kioi Hall Tokyo, Symphony Hall Osaka and Shirakawa Hall Nagoya.

Sunwook Kim is a also keen chamber musician. Chamber music projects in the 12/13 season included a Brahms concert in Paris (Salle Pleyel) with members of the Berliner Philharmoniker, and recitals in Italy with the German violinist Veronika Eberle. Future plans include two Schubert concerts at Salle Pleyel with members of the Berliner Philharmoniker, a trio tour in Asia with Jian Wang and Mayuko Kamio, and a piano quartet project with Nobuko Imai.

Over the years, Sunwook Kim has appeared as a concerto soloist in the subscription series of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Chung), Philharmonia Orchestra (Ashkenazy), Berlin Radio Symphony (Janowski), London Symphony Orchestra (Gardiner), London Philharmonic (Sinaisky), Radio-France Philharmonic (Chung), Tokyo Philharmonic (Chung), NHK Symphony (Steffens), Hallé Orchestra (Elder), BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, and the Aspen Festival Orchestra.

Recitals to date include the Wigmore Hall in London, regular appearances in the “Piano 4 Etoiles” series at Salle Pleyel in Paris, Kioi Hall in Tokyo, Symphony Hall Osaka, Brussels Klara Festival, Brussels Summer Festival, Beethoven-Haus and Beethovenfest in Bonn, Klavier-Festival Ruhr and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festspiele, the Dinard Festival in France, the London and Vancouver Chopin Societies, the Aspen Music Festival, New York’s International Keyboard Institute, the New Ross International Piano Festival in Ireland, the Duszniki Zdrój International Chopin Festival in Poland as well as the Tongyeong International Music Festival and Kumho Rising Stars Series in Korea.

Born in Seoul in 1988, Sunwook Kim began the piano at the age of 3. He gave his debut recital aged just 10 at the Kumho Prodigy Series in Seoul, and this was followed by his concerto debut two years later.

Sunwook Kim graduated from the Korean National University of Arts in February 2008, where he was a student of Daejin Kim. Besides Leeds, international awards include the first prize at the 2004 Ettlingen Competition (Germany) and the 2005 Clara Haskil Competition (Switzerland).

In 2013, Sunwook was selected by the Beethoven-Haus Bonn to become the first beneficiary of its new Mentoring Programme, a status which grants him exclusive access to the house’s unique collections and resources.

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