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Lisa Eunsoo Kim

Associate Principal Second Violin

In Memory of Laura Mitchell


Violinist Lisa Eunsoo Kim joined the New York Philharmonic in September 1994, and was named Associate Principal, Second Violin Group, in January 2003. Previously, she was with Chicago’s Grant Park Symphony Orchestra as its youngest member. She performs and teaches frequently in South Korea and the United States. She is very active in chamber music concerts throughout the world, including the New York Philharmonic Ensembles at Merkin Hall and at David Geffen Hall, Brooklyn’s Bargemusic, and Hofstra Chamber Ensemble series. Her engagements have included a performance of Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat with principals of the New York Philharmonic, participation in a Mostly Chamber Festival with Ani Kavafian and Carter Brey, and Lyric Chamber Music Society with Glenn Dicterow, Karen Dreyfus, Carter Brey, and Richard Bishop. She has also appeared with Stanley Drucker, Lukas Foss, Garrick Ohlsson, Yo-Yo Ma, and Lynn Harrell. She was appointed to the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music in 1999. In April 2002 she performed with SooWon Symphony Orchestra in South Korea.  

Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, Kim began studying the violin at age seven. She attended the North Carolina School of the Arts on a Stanford Governor’s Scholarship, where she was a pupil of Elaine Richey. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, where she was awarded several scholarships and studied with Philharmonic Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow.

Kim has performed with the Seoul National Philharmonic Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra, and the Durham Symphony Orchestra, appearing as a soloist in concertos by Bruch, Mendelssohn, Khachaturian, and Mozart. She has won prizes in the Arts Recognition and Talent Search, the Bryan Young Artists String Competition, the Winston-Salem Young Talent Search, and the Durham Symphony Young Artists Competition. Kim has also performed chamber music throughout Europe under the International Music Program, and has participated in Jordan’s Jurash Festival at the invitation of King Hussein. She has appeared at numerous chamber music festivals, including those of Meadowmount, Bowdoin, and Saugatuck.

For me, the most inspiring composers are Mozart and Bach — they're the Bible of music.

Interview with Lisa Eunsoo Kim

THE FACTS: Born in Raleigh, North Carolina. Educated at the North Carolina School of the Arts; bachelor and master’s degrees, The Juilliard School. Prior to the Philharmonic: Chicago’s Grant Park Symphony Orchestra. At the Philharmonic: Joined in September 1994. Faculty, Manhattan School of Music. Philharmonic solo debut in December 2006 in Corelli’s Concerto “Composed for Christmas Night.” Most recent recording: Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet with former Philharmonic Principal Clarinet Stanley Drucker, on Elysium Recordings Inc.

EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY: At age five I would sneak into my brother’s room and try to play his violin. He was six years older, and I always wanted to do what he did. I began studying the violin at seven; I took pride in doing something extra special outside of school work. The first piece I fell in love with was Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 2.

WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU WANTED TO BE A PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN? When I was in high school in North Carolina. I had just come back to North Carolina from South Korea and was offered several scholarships. It was hard with the family being separated. Because of my parents’ sacrifices I was well educated by Elaine Richey at the North Carolina School of the Arts and became a student of former Philharmonic Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow at Juilliard.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT WITH THE ORCHESTRA? February 1994, when I had just gotten the job at the Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev was conducting Pictures at an Exhibition. He made the piece so moving. I was overwhelmed by being able to play with the New York Philharmonic. Also Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Masur, Mahler’s Ninth with Alan Gilbert, and The Firebird with Esa-Pekka Salonen in October 2014.

MOST INSPIRING COMPOSERS: Mozart and Bach — they're the Bible of music.

IF YOU COULD PLAY ANOTHER INSTRUMENT, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Trumpet. I love it. I actually have one in my locker. I never took lessons but I have taken suggestions from members of the Orchestra.

ARE THERE MUSICIANS IN YOUR FAMILY? No, but my parents love classical music and they come to concerts all the time. My mother used to play the piano, and my brother played the violin.

WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN LISTENING TO LATELY? Mahler’s Eighth. It was the last concert we performed under Lorin Maazel as our Music Director and it still lingers.

WHAT WOULD YOU BE IF NOT A MUSICIAN? An investment banker — I love numbers

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF WORK? Look into the stock market, travel, and food-and-wine hunt.

As of November 2014

Upcoming 2023-2024 Performances

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