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.
include recitals at the International Piano Series in London (Queen Elizabeth
Hall), the City of London Festival, at Salle Pleyel’s prestigious “Piano 4
Etoiles” series in Paris, in Aix-en-Provence, and at the Seoul Arts Centre. As
a concerto soloist, he will give the German premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Piano
Concerto with the NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, and will appear for return
projects with the London Symphony Orchestra (Prokofiev 2 with Daniel Harding),
the Philharmonia Orchestra (Mozart K491 with Edward Gardner), the RTSI
Orchestra in Lugano (Beethoven 3 with Vladimir Ashkenazy), the Bournemouth
Symphony Orchestra (Kiril Karabits), as well as on tour in Europe and the
United States with the Seoul Philharmonic and Myung-Whun Chung.
Sunwook Kim has just
recorded Unsuk Chin’s Piano Concerto with the Seoul Philharmonic and Myung-Whun
Chung, due for release on Deutsche Grammophon later this year.
Sunwook’s year 2013
was packed with exciting developments, including acclaimed debuts at the BBC
Proms (Beethoven 3 with Bournemouth Symphony / Kiril Karabits), with the London
Symphony Orchestra (Beethoven 4 with Sir John Eliot Gardiner), a world premiere
performance of Unsuk Chin’s Piano Concerto at a festival dedicated to the
composer at the Konserthuset Stockholm, return projects with the Helsinki Radio
Symphony (Beethoven 4 with Andrew Manze), the Philharmonia Orchestra (Beethoven
4 with Juraj Valcuha), the Seoul Philharmonic (Beethoven 5 with Myung-Whun Chung),
as well as recitals at Salle Pleyel in Paris, to a sold-out house at Teatro
Colon Buenos Aires, at the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn and on tour in Japan. He also
completed a widely praised complete Beethoven sonata cycle at the LG Arts
Centre in Seoul, and his debut recording, featuring Beethoven’s “Emperor”
Concerto, was released on Deutsche Grammophon.
Sunwook Kim is also a
keen chamber musician. 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
some of the world’s most prestigious orchestras: the Royal Concertgebouw
Orchestra (Chung), Philharmonia Orchestra (Ashkenazy), Berlin
Radio Symphony (Janowski), London Philharmonic (Sinaisky),
Radio-France Philharmonic (Chung), Tokyo Philharmonic (Chung), NHK Symphony
(Steffens), 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, 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
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, and then
completed an MA in conducting at the Royal Academy of Music. 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.