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 Kim just concluded 2012 with a highly successful debut with the London Symphony Orchestra, stepping in at short notice to perform Beethoven’s Concerto No.4, conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Other highlights among his concerto projects in 12/13 and future seasons include return engagements with London’s Philharmonia Orchestra (Beethoven 4 with Juraj Valcuha), Manchester’s Hallé Orchestra (Brahms 2 and Beethoven 4 with Mark Elder), the Bournemouth Symphony (Brahms 2 Kiril Karabits), the Helsinki Radio Symphony (Beethoven 4 with Andrew Manze) and the Seoul Philharmonic (Bartok 2 with Peter Eötvös, Beethoven 5 with Myung-Whun Chung).
Recital projects in future seasons include a Berlin debut at the Philharmonie (Kammermusiksaal), returns to the “Piano 4 Etoiles” series at Salle Pleyel in Paris, the Wigmore Hall in London, as well as the completion of his acclaimed Beethoven sonata cycle at the LG Arts Center, Seoul. Following his highly successful Japan debut tour in Spring 2012, he will also return to Kioi Hall Tokyo, Symphony Hall Osaka and Shirakawa Hall Nagoya.
Sunwook Kim is also a keen chamber musician. His chamber music projects in the 12/13 season include Brahms concerts in Berlin (Philharmonie) and Paris (Pleyel) with members of the Berliner Philharmoniker, and recitals in Italy with the German violinist Veronika Eberle.
He has appeared as a concerto soloist in the subscription series of the London Symphony Orchestra (Gardiner), Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Chung), London Philharmonic (Sinaisky), Philharmonia Orchestra (Ashkenazy), Berlin Radio Symphony (Janowski), 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.
Recital appearances to date include the Wigmore Hall in London, the prestigious “Paris 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).