Wonkak Kim

Korean-born clarinetist WONKAK KIM has captivated audiences around the globe with his “excellent breath control” (The Washington Post) and “exuberant musicianship” (Fanfare). Kim appeared as a soloist and chamber musician at leading venues throughout the United States such as Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and Constitution Hall as well as in Paris, London, Ghent, Geneva, Seoul, Osaka, Costa Rica, and Brazil. A Naxos Recording Artist, he has recorded numerous CDs that received international acclaim: Gulfstream, a collection of new American chamber music, was named “Music US Choice” by BBC Music Magazine and praised for its “very highest quality” (Gramophone, UK). The Clarinet lauded Kim’s “sensitive playing, a lovely sound and consummate facility” in François Devienne: Clarinet Sonatas. Kim’s live and recorded performances have been featured on Radio France, Swedish Radio, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, CJPX Radio Classique Québec, Hong Kong RTHK-HK, Korean Broadcasting System, and NPR stations around the US. Kim is a Buffet-Crampon and Vandoren Performing Artist and plays exclusively on Buffet Tosca Clarinet, Vandoren products, and Silverstein Ligatures.

An avid chamber musician, Kim has been invited to OK Mozart, Norfolk, Osaka, and South Korea’s ISCM Pan Music festivals, working with Richard Stoltzman, Yo-Yo Ma, and members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Tokyo, Artis, Brentano and Hayden string quartets. Kim is a founding member of enhakē, the award-winning clarinet-violin-cello-piano quartet praised for its “rock solid rhythmic integrity” as well as “strength in balance, intonation, and musicality” (The New York Concert Review). With enhakē, Kim has toured throughout the US and abroad, most notably at NYC’s Weill Recital Hall, International ClarinetFest, and the Promising Artists of the 21st Century Series in Costa Rica under the auspices of the US Department of State. Kim regularly collaborates with living composers such as Edward Knight, Libby Larsen, Peter Lieuwen, Peter Schickele and Ellen Zwilich, commissioning, premiering or recording their new works.

Currently, Kim serves as the Assistant Professor of Clarinet at Tennessee Tech University, where he has been a recipient of Derryberry Faculty Award and the QEP Award for Excellence in Innovative Instruction. Kim is the principal clarinetist of the Bryan Symphony Orchestra and performs with the Cumberland Quintet, the faculty ensemble-in-residence of Tennessee Tech. Starting 2012-13 Season, he was appointed the principal clarinetist of the Albany Symphony Orchestra in GA by invitation. In the summer, he serves on the faculty at the Chapel Hill International Chamber Music Workshop and the Southeast Chamber Music Institute. Kim is regularly invited as a guest artist and teacher at world’s renowned institutions, including the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and many universities and conservatories throughout the US, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. In 2013, Kim was named a College Music Society Ambassador to Korea.

Kim is a recipient of numerous awards: the Presser Music Award (2010), First Prize at the Mary Graham Lasley Competition (2010), First Prize at the Richard B. Salsbury Young Artist Competition (2008), and Grand Prize at the Washington Metropolitan Young Artist Competition (2007); Laureate of the 9th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition and Festa (2011), First Prize at the Yellow Springs International Competition (2009), Gold Medal at the International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition at Carnegie Hall (2008), Judges Special Prize at Plowman Competition (2008) as a member of enhakē; winner of the University of North Carolina and Florida State University Doctoral concerto competitions. Additionally, Kim received fellowships and grants from the American Composers Forum, Chamber Music America/National Endowment for the Arts, Norfolk/Yale School of Music, and the Presser Music Foundation.

A native of South Korea, Dr. Wonkak Kim grew up in Seoul and Paris and moved to the United States at the age of 15. The same year, he began studying clarinet with Kenneth Lee, a disciple of the legendary pedagogue Leon Russianoff. Kim subsequently attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a distinguished scholarship, where he studied clarinet with Donald Oehler and received degrees in Mathematics (BA) and Music (BM). He continued his graduate studies with Dr. Frank Kowalsky, earning MM and DM degrees at Florida State University. In 2014, Kim was inducted into FSU’s Thirty Under 30 and became a recipient of Governor Reubin O’D. Askew Young Alumni Award, the highest honor bestowed upon its young alumni. Please visit www.wonkak.com for more information.