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), at the Roque d’Antheron International Piano Festival, at the 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 returns to the Philharmonia
Orchestra (Mozart K491 with Edward Gardner), the Hallé Orchestra (Chopin 2,
Prokofiev 3 and Brahms 2 with Sir Mark Elder), the Bournemouth Symphony
Orchestra (Beethoven Triple and Rachmaninov 3 with Kiril Karabits), the RTSI
Orchestra in Lugano (Beethoven 3 with Vladimir Ashkenazy), the Orchestre
Philharmonique de Radio-France (Unsuk Chin piano concerto), as well as a debut
project with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen on tour in Korea (Schumann
with Paavo Järvi) and extensive touring in Europe and the United States with the
Seoul Philharmonic and Myung-Whun Chung.
Sunwook Kim’s second recording
for Deutsche Grammophon, featuring Unsuk Chin’s Piano Concerto with the Seoul
Philharmonic and Myung-Whun Chung, was released in May 2014. In 13/14, Sunwook
also gave the world premiere performance of the work at a festival dedicated to
Unsuk Chin at the Konserthuset in Stockholm, and the German premiere with the
NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg.
The past two years
were packed with many other exciting developments for Sunwook, including an acclaimed
debut at the BBC Proms (Beethoven 3 with Bournemouth Symphony / Kiril
Karabits), return projects with the London Symphony Orchestra (Prokofiev 2 with
Daniel Harding), Helsinki Radio Symphony (Beethoven 4 with Andrew Manze), Philharmonia
Orchestra (Beethoven 4 with Juraj Valcuha) and 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 a keen
chamber musician: chamber music highlights in his 13/14 season included two
Schubert concerts at Salle Pleyel with members of the Berliner Philharmoniker,
and several concerts at Guy Braunstein’s Rolandseck Festival in Germany. Next
season will feature 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
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), London Symphony Orchestra (Gardiner), 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.