David Hyun-su Kim

2018 Spokane Piano Competition Judge.

Hailed by Malcolm Bilson as a musician “who will doubtless make an important contribution to the musical life of this country,” pianist and fortepianist David Hyun-su Kim holds degrees from Harvard, Yale, and Cornell Universities, and a doctorate from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He has performed internationally, with past appearances throughout the United States, Canada, Austria, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the United Kingdom, South Korea, and Australia. His concerts have been praised as “emotionally expansive” and “idiomatically perfect,” and, after a 2013 performance in Maine, Camilla Cai wrote that “his interpretations are spectacular.” Café Momus’s Leah Harrison described a recent performance of Davidbündlertänze as “splendid and moving … His Florestan was elegantly calamitous, and his melodies representing Eusebius were like a dear friend whispering arcane truths to only you.”

His 2017–2018 season includes the release of his first two CDs on the Centaur label (a disc of Mozart and Beethoven sonatas performed on a 5-octave Walter piano, and an all-Schumann set recorded on a 6½-octave Viennese Graf), collaborations with violinists Daniel Stepner and Lauren Basney, the Aspen String Trio, and cellist Sally Singer, and appearances in Italy, Austria, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, Boston, Washington, Oregon, Maine, and California. In recent seasons, he has performed at Astona Magna, the Boston Early Music Festival, Music in the Great North Woods Festival, Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University; the Universities of Michigan, Washington, Wisconsin-Madison, South Carolina, Wyoming, New Hampshire, and Maine-Farmington; Bowdoin, Colby, Connecticut, and Gettysburg Colleges; Harvard, Duke, Pennsylvania State, Ohio, and Boston Universities; the Orvieto Musica concert series in Chicago; Yale and Longy Conservatories of Music; and the Bach D minor and Schumann A minor piano concertos. He was also invited to participate in “Lisztomania” at Boston’s Jordan Hall in 2011, celebrating the bicentennial of Liszt’s birth.

David has participated in such esteemed music festivals as the Banff Summer Piano Festival (AB), the Musica Antiqua Festival in Bruges (Belgium), Norfolk Summer Chamber Music Festival (CT), the Center for Eighteenth-Century Music Fortepiano Workshop (NY), Eastman’s Young Artist’s International Piano Festival (NY), the Schumann Festival at Cornell University (NY), ARIA Music Festival (ON), PianoFest Austria Summer Program (Vienna), and the Adamant Summer School of Music (VT). In the summer of 2011, he was a finalist at the international Westfield Fortepiano Competition, part of the Westfield Music Conference of Cornell University. In June 2009, David made his historical performance debut as part of the Fringe Series at the acclaimed Boston Early Music Festival, with a program pairing works by Schubert and Schumann, and he returned to BEMF in 2011, playing a program of Beethoven and Schumann to a sold-out audience.

Winner of numerous musical and academic prizes, including a Fulbright Fellowship to Germany, David was also awarded a Certificate of Distinction in Teaching from Harvard University for his teaching excellence in the fields of music history and theory. In addition, he has received the Donald Gibbons Memorial and Rose Hanus Scholarships, the James S. Marcus Grant (Harvard), the Charles Miller Award (Yale), both an NEC scholarship and a merit grant from the New England Conservatory, and the St. Botolph Emerging Artist Award. Recently David presented a lecture-recital on notation for the Midwest Historical Keyboard Society, as winner of the Bechtel Award. His past teachers include Malcolm Bilson, Robert Levin, Peter Frankl, James Webster, Bruce Brubaker, Christopher Hasty, Gerritt Zitterbart, Kevin Fitzgerald, and Stephen Prutsman, and he has performed in masterclass for such esteemed artists as Claude Frank, Boris Berman, Robert Ward, David Breitman and Andrew Willis.

In addition to his performance activities, David is also active as a scholar and in the summer of 2012 published “The Brahmsian Hairpin” in 19th-Century Music. In this article, he argues for a new understanding of hairpin notation, and points to the radically different interpretive practice suggested by the performances of Brahms’ closest students and colleagues.

Committed to music education, David has presented piano and fortepiano performance masterclasses and lectures at the Universities of Michigan, Wyoming, Ohio University, Colby College (ME), Connecticut College (CT), Bowdoin College, and the University of New Hampshire. He has been guest lecturer on 18th- and 19th-century notation, and the New England Conservatory Department of Music History recently invited him to lecture on improvisation. David has taught ear-training, history, theory, composition and keyboard skills at Harvard and Yale, and has maintained private teaching studios in Ithaca, New Haven, Boston, and Cambridge.

David matriculated at Cornell University in 1999 as a Presidential Research Scholar and National Merit Scholar in chemistry. The lab stool was quickly traded for the piano bench, however, and he graduated magna cum laude in music in 2003. After winning a Fulbright Scholarship, he traveled to Germany, studying piano at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, and making his orchestral debut in Vienna with the Mozart B-flat Piano Concerto, K. 456. Returning to the US, David earned master’s degrees in piano performance from the Yale School of Music and in historical performance from the Harvard Department of Music. He remained in Boston, earning his doctorate from the New England Conservatory, and, in the fall of 2013, began a new post as a Professor of Piano at Whitman College.

Aside from all things music, David enjoys theatre, Vermeers, card games, travel, and pointlessly supporting Arsenal Football Club.

Contents © 2018 David Hyun-su Kim.