Pianist Kim Da-sol speaks during a press conference in Seoul last Tuesday. / Courtesy of Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation
By Do Je-hae
Many concert halls around the world, such as London's Wigmore Hall, run artist-in-residence programs for a deeper musical dialogue between artists and their audience.
Kumho Art Hall joined this trend last week, becoming the first Korean concert venue to conduct an artist-in-residence program. It appointed Leipzig-based pianist Kim Da-sol as its first artist-in-residence.
Under the program, the hall will feature the pianist on a regular basis for a period of one year starting with a New Year concert on Jan. 10.
"As a young Korean artist, I am grateful for the support of Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation for young musicians," Kim said during a press conference in Seoul on Tuesday. "The program is a great opportunity for me to share my musical growth with the audience."
The 23-year-old pianist is not as well known as some of his peers like Kim Sun-wook or Son Yeol-eum. But he has been building a solid career in Europe after winning third prize at the Geneva International Music Competition in 2008. Past laureates of this prestigious competition include some of the most important pianists on the stage today, such as Martha Argerich and Maurizio Pollini.
Kim is particularly known for his polished interpretations of Ravel and Schumann. During the press conference, he played Schumann's "Arabesque" and Ravel's "Ondine" from "Gaspard de la nuit."
"I admire pianists like Vladimir Horowitz and Alfred Cortot. These were pianists who played at a time when competitions did not play such a dominant role," Kim said. "Their playing had freedom and they were faithful to the score. I would like to be like them when I am older," Kim said.
As artist-in-residence of Kumho Art Hall, he will present six recitals next year. The programs will range from Baroque to jazz.
The Jan. 10 concert will feature Russian masterpieces of Scriabin and Rachmaninov. "Baroque & Beyond" will take place on May 2, featuring Busoni and Bach's "Goldberg Variations." On July 4, he and cellist Andreas Brantelid will perform pieces by Schubert, Beethoven and Grieg. On July 11, he will play as part of a trio with violinist Erik Schumann and cellist David Pia. On Oct. 10, he will play contemporary classical music and jazz and the close out the year on Dec. 12 with pieces by Gershwin, Schulhoff and Kapustin.
Kim has won prizes at several international competitions, including first place at the Nagoya International Competition in Japan (2005), second prize at the Isang Yun Competition in Gyeongnam, Korea (2006), first prize in the International Chopin Competition in Asia (2006) and third prize at the Robert Schumann International Competition and at the Geneva International Music Competition (both in 2008) and a prize at 2010 Queen Elisabeth Competition.
Born in Busan, he now studies in Leipzig, Germany, with Karl-Heinz Kaemmerling at the University of Music and Theater Leipzig.