International Piano Series 2014/15 : Sunwook Kim


– J.S. Bach: Partita No.2 in C minor, BWV.826
– Beethoven: Piano Sonata in C, Op.53 (Waldstein)
– Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition

Sunwook Kim makes his debut in the International Piano Series, performing three essential classics of the piano repertoire.

In 2006 this young Korean pianist won the Leeds International Piano Competition aged only 18, becoming not only its first Asian winner but also its youngest for 40 years. Since then he has been lauded for ‘an acute sense of classical style rare in any pianist’ ( and‘an extraordinary sense of lyricism’ (Bournemouth Echo).

His recital begins with Bach’s brilliantly contrapuntal Partita No.2 in C minor before moving on to Beethoven’s popular Waldstein Sonata. The second half is devoted to Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition in which the composer conjures up a range of paintings and his emotional responses to them through remarkable music.

London-based Sunwook Kim came to international recognition when he won the 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.

Recent highlights have included a debut at the Roque d’Anthéron International Piano Festival, a re-invitation at the Salle Pleyel’s ‘Piano 4 Étoiles’ series in Paris, and a complete Beethoven sonata cycle at the LG Arts Centre in Seoul. This season’s highlights include a residency with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, a return recital at Salle Pleyel, a recital tour in Korea and concerto projects with the Philharmonia Orchestra (Edward Gardner), the Hallé (Sir Mark Elder) and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, as well as a tour to Korea with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen (Paavo Järvi).

Sunwook Kim is a keen chamber musician: highlights last season included concerts at Salle Pleyel with members of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Plans include a trio tour in Asia with Jian Wang and Mayuko Kamio, a piano quartet project with Nobuko Imai, and a duo recital tour with cellist Isang Enders.

He has released two recordings with Myung-Whun Chung and the Seoul Philharmonic on DG –Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 and Unsuk Chin’s Piano Concerto.

In 2013, Sunwook Kim 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.

Date: Tuesday 3 March 2015, 19:30
Venue: Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall

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