Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Kirill Karabits
BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London

By Neil Fisher, The Times

“Aside from a forthright performance of the Sinfonietta, the other attraction of the evening was the refreshingly sensitive playing of Proms debutant Sunwook Kim in Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto. Karabits drastically thinned down the orchestra and deployed natural trumpets, giving a spruce, lean feel to the accompaniment. Kim repaid the investment by allowing every voice in this concerto to speak, shirking grand gestures and playing with absorbing concentration and nuance. Beethoven in miniature, perhaps — but that’s something of a miracle in a 5000-seater barn.” 4 stars


“Sunwook Kim, the youngest ever winner of the Leeds Piano Competition at 18 in 2006, gave a simply astonishing performance. It is rare to hear a performer so aware of the possibilities for intimacy in the Albert Hall’s massive acoustic: Kim placed pianissimos always on the edge of disappearance so that the audience almost had to strain to hear; the effect was spellbinding, particularly in the simple but shattering cadenzas of the second movement. The BSO met the challenge of Kim’s dynamics with aplomb, capable of scintillating quiet playing and also bright, clear tuttis, helped by “authentic” trumpets and timpani.” Four stars

By George Hall, The Guardian

“…Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto followed, with Sunwook Kim as soloist. In 2006 the youngest ever winner of the Leeds piano competition, the South Korean pianist is now 25, and showed a commendable sense of drive and discipline in this unusually neat and ordered account… the finale benefited from his energetic attack and immaculate fingerwork, while some historically informed touches gave individuality to Karabits’s astute management of the orchestral accompaniment.”