Kyu-Young Kim, Artistic Director and Principal Violin of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, is one of the most versatile and accomplished musicians of his generation. His appointment as the SPCO’s Artistic Director in January 2016 marked the first time a playing member had been tapped to take the artistic helm of a major American orchestra. Previously, Kim served as Senior Director of Artistic Planning with the SPCO all the while continuing to perform in the orchestra, and since assuming a dual role as musician and administrator in 2013, the SPCO has named five new Artistic Partners, opened its new Concert Hall at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, and toured domestically and internationally to great critical acclaim.
Under Kim’s artistic direction, the SPCO has been consistently recognized for its innovative programming and the clarity of its artistic profile. Most recently, the SPCO was nominated for a 2018 Grammy Award for best chamber music performance for a recording of Schubert’s Death and the Maiden Quartet in a new arrangement by Artistic Partner Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Of the SPCO and its programming, Rob Hubbard of the Pioneer Press wrote in March 2017, “Chalk it up to an increasingly adventurous group of artistic partners or the growing empowerment of the orchestra’s musicians in programming decisions and conductor-less collaborative performances, but SPCO concerts feel a lot more like exploration than they used to.”
The Twin Cities Business Magazine recognized Kim in 2017 in its list of 100 People to Know. In naming Kim as honorable mention in the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s 2016 Artist of the Year awards, Terry Blain wrote, “Player, thinker, planner, mover, shaker – Kyu-Young Kim had a major influence on the Twin Cities arts community in 2016, setting new standards for what’s possible in the world of classical music.” In 2014, Kim and the SPCO were awarded an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming for its commitment to contemporary music.
As a violinist, Kim has toured throughout North America, Europe and Asia, performing in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, the Seoul Arts Center, the Palais des Beaux Arts (Brussels), and the Beethoven-Haus (Bonn). As a founding member of the Daedalus Quartet, winners of the Grand Prize at the 2001 Banff International String Quartet Competition, he performed in many of the major halls of Europe, including the Musikverein (Vienna), the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), the Philharmonie (Cologne), the Cité de la Musique (Paris), the Mozarteum (Salzburg), and the Megaron (Athens), and was a member of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Two Program.
He has also served as guest concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and was a core member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra from 2010-2016. As a member of the Pacifica Quartet from 1997-1999, Kim won the 1998 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. Kim has received degrees from the Curtis Institute, the Juilliard School, and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and has studied with Donald Weilerstein, Robert Mann, Jaime Laredo, Yumi Scott and Shirley Givens.