|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 integrity and insight. His interpretations have been lauded among critics and audiences alike, especially for their imaginative sensibility and fidelity toward the score. The Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany’s largest daily paper, commented on a recent concert as “practically euphoric and filled with vitality.”|
Ben has delighted audiences and garnered critical acclaim for his performances worldwide since having won First Prize at the ARD Munich International Music Competition in 2006. He made his debut at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall with the Olympus Chamber Players in 2009 and at Suntory Hall in Tokyo in 2010. Recently Ben also went on a 14-concert tour through Japan with the Brno Philharmonic, as well a number of debuts in Germany, including those at the Berlin Philharmonie and Konzerthaus, Stuttgart Liederhalle, Munich Philharmonie im Gasteig, and Leipzig Gewandhaus. Recent orchestral engagements include performances with the Bavarian Radio, German Radio, Baltimore, Seoul Philharmonic, and St Petersburg Hermitage State Symphony Orchestras. Highlights from this year include appearances at Konzerthaus in Vienna and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam with violist Nobuko Imai, with the Kyushu Symphony in Japan, and will be making return appearances with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, at the Konzerthaus in Berlin and Tokyo Hamarikyu Asahi Hall.
Most recently Ben was recipient of the Rheingau Musik Festival's 2017 LOTTO Career Development Prize. The international jury panel made its decision upon the following stated reasons: "His brilliant technique and his incredible flair for interpretive refinement are self-evident....an exceptional phenomenon among pianists his generation - such a natural, sympathetic charisma and pleasant modesty, coupled with great virtuosity, are rarely experienced with a leading musician.” In 2012 he was one of six recipients selected among a pool of more than 13,000 recent graduates of his alma mater at the Johns Hopkins University to be awarded an Outstanding Recent Graduate Award for outstanding achievement or service in any professional field.
Ben’s recording of the Chopin Préludes and Impromptus was released on the Universal Decca label in 2013. He has additional recordings out on Sony Classical and Klavier-Festival Ruhr labels featuring works by his favorite composers, including Mozart, Debussy and Schumann. Ben's performances have been broadcast on radio and television on all continents, including Performance Today on America’s National Public Radio (NPR) and was featured on the American television series Frontline/World for PBS. He has worked with eminent musicians such as conductors Christoph Eschenbach, Andrew Litton, and Christoph Poppen, sopranist Juliane Banse, violist Nobuko Imai, and emerging musicians such as violinist Veronika Eberle and the Jupiter String Quartet.
Ben was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, where he began studying piano at age five with Dorothy Fahlman. While he made his solo debut at age eight, his orchestral debut at twelve, and continued his studies in Oregon, Ben 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. Ben received his Bachelor of Music degree 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, 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 resides in Berlin, having graduated from the Berlin University of Arts under Klaus Hellwig. He has most recently begun coaching with renowned conductor Christoph Eschenbach on a regular basis. Ben has served on the faculties of the Bowdoin Music Festival in Brunswick, Maine, and the Valencia International Piano Academy in Spain. Ben enjoys rock climbing and is a member of the German Alpine Society (Deutscher Alpenverein). He also enjoys the occasional opportunity to travel to destinations that don’t call for a piano. He can otherwise be followed at benkimonline.com and instagram.com/benkims.
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