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Sunwook Kim came to international recognition when he won the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition in 2006, aged just 18, becoming the competition’s youngest winner for 40 years, as well as its first Asian winner. His performance of Brahms’ Concerto No.1 with the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder in the competition’s finals attracted unanimous praise from the press. Since then, he has established a reputation as one of the finest pianists of his generation, appearing as a concerto soloist in the subscription series of some of the world’s leading orchestras.

In the 2023/24 season, Sunwook will make his debut with Atlanta Symphony, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Gävle Symfoniorkester as well as his conducting debuts with the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra (Budapest), Georges Enescu Philharmonic and Filharmonia Śląska (Poland). Sunwook will also return to conduct the Seoul Philharmonic and Bournemouth Symphony and as soloist with BBC Philharmonic. In September 2023, Sunwook Kim was announced as the next Music Director of the Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra for an initial term until December 2025, leading the orchestra in a minimum of ten performances per year, starting with Gyeonggi Arts Center’s New Year’s concert in January 2024.

ecital highlights to date include regular appearances at the Wigmore Hall, London’s International Piano Series (Queen Elizabeth Hall), Stockholm Konserthuset, Teatro Colón Buenos Aires, La Roque d’Antheron International Piano Festival in France, Kioi Hall in Tokyo, Seoul Arts Centree, Symphony Hall Osaka, Brussels Klara Festival, Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Klavier-Festival Ruhr and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festspiele.

Sunwook Kim’s debut recital disc was released on the Accentus label in October 2015, featuring Beethoven’s Waldstein and Hammerklaviersonatas, this was followed by a recording of Franck’s Prelude, choral et fugue paired with Brahms Sonata No.3. He has released further recordings of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas: Sonata No.8 (Pathétique), No.14 (Moonlight) and No. 23 (Appassionata) as well as Sonatas Nos. 30-32. His most recent chamber music release features the Violin Sonatas of Beethoven in collaboration with Clara-Jumi Kang. His discography also includes multiple concerto recordings; on Accentus Music with the Staatskapelle Dresden conducted by Myung-Whun Chung featuring Brahms’ Piano Concerto No.1 and Six Piano Pieces (2020) in addition to recordings on Deutsche Grammophon with the Seoul Philharmonic conducted by Myung-Whun Chung, a CD featuring Unsuk Chin’s Piano Concerto (2014) and a CD featuring Beethoven’s Concerto No.5 (2013).

This biography should not be edited without permission from Askonas Holt. October 2023

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The swell of suspended harmonies was perfectly controlled, the chords perfectly struck and voiced, and Kim always kept the sense of restless searching at just the right level of intensity