|American pianist Ben Kim continues to prove himself an exceptionally gifted musician, through which his performances have gained a burgeoning international reputation for an uncommon maturity, integrity and insight. Ben Kim performs a range of repertoire spanning from Mozart to Schumann and Schönberg, as well as works by living composers, including Manfred Trojahn, Jacqueline Fontyn, and Frederic Rzewski. His interpretations have been lauded among critics and audiences alike, especially for their imaginative sensibility and fidelity toward the score.|
In 2006 Ben Kim’s budding career became a focus of international attention after he won First Prize in the 55th ARD Munich International Music Competition. It earned the attention of his legendary teacher and mentor, Leon Fleisher, who observed Ben’s “enormous potential for a first-class career.” He has garnered comparable critical acclaim for his engagements at such venues including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Berlin Konzerthaus, and the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, and at eminent festivals including Aspen, Ravinia, and Klavier-Festival Ruhr. Recent orchestral engagements include performances with the Bavarian Radio, Central German Radio, Baltimore, St Petersburg Hermitage State, and Ulsan Symphony Orchestras.
Ben has performed regularly throughout the USA, Europe, and East Asia, including his orchestral debut at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall with the Olympus Chamber Players in 2009 and at Suntory Hall in Tokyo in 2010. Last season Ben’s itinerary included a 13-concert tour through Japan with the Brno Philharmonic, as well a number of debuts in Germany, including those at the Berlin Philharmonie, Stuttgart Liederhalle, and Leipzig Gewandhaus. He performed a series of concerts with the Jupiter String Quartet, one of America’s leading young quartets and will perform a second series with the same group this season. Additionally Ben made his orchestral debuts with the Central Aichi Symphony at the Toyota City Concert Hall in Japan and with the Suwon Philharmonic at the Seoul Arts Center in Korea, as well as return engagements with the Columbia Symphony and the Hofer Symphoniker.
Ben’s performances have been broadcast on Performance Today on America’s National Public Radio (NPR). Ben was also featured on American television series Frontline/World for PBS, in addition to German, Polish, Czech, and Korean national TV. Ben’s new recording of the Chopin Préludes and Impromptus was recently released on the Universal Decca label in October 2011. He has additional recordings out on the Sony Classical and the Klavier-Festival Ruhr labels.
Ben was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, where he began studying piano at age five with Dorothy Fahlman. Although he made his solo debut at age eight, his orchestral debut at twelve, and continued his studies in Oregon, he actively pursued other interests, including those in mathematics and writing, until he decided upon completion of his academic studies to follow his love for music.
At age 20, Ben completed an accelerated Bachelor of Music degree program at the Peabody Conservatory as a student of Leon Fleisher. He continued his studies at Peabody with Mr. Fleisher together with Yong Hi Moon after graduating. Ben was selected to attend the International Piano Academy Lake Como in Italy from 2005-2007, a program for seven pianists, headed by Martha Argerich and William Grant Naboré, which, upon befriending a number of Italian students, led to his interest in Italian cooking. Ben currently resides in Berlin, most currently working with Klaus Hellwig at the Berlin University of Arts. Next summer, Ben will join the faculty of the Bowdoin Music Festival in Brunswick, Maine, and the Valencia International Piano Academy in Spain. On occasion, Ben enjoys taking opportunities to travel to destinations that don’t call for a piano.
He can otherwise be followed at facebook.com/benkims and twitter.com/benkims.
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