Hailed by Malcolm Bilson as a musician “who will doubtless make an important contribution to the musical life of this country,” David Hyun-su Kim is at home on the modern piano as well as the fortepiano.
He matriculated at Cornell University as a Presidential Research and National Merit Scholar in chemistry, but quickly traded in the lab stool for the piano bench, and studied music under Bilson and James Webster. He then won a Fulbright Scholarship to Germany, studying piano with Gerritt Zitterbart at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, and made his orchestral debut in Vienna with the Mozart B-flat Piano Concerto, K. 456. Returning to the US, he continued his musical studies at the Yale School of Music, Harvard University, and the New England Conservatory, studying with Bruce Brubaker, Peter Frankl, Christopher Hasty, and Robert Levin.
He has performed internationally, with past appearances throughout the United States, Canada, Austria, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Belgium, the United Kingdom, South Korea, and Australia. His concerts have been praised as “emotionally expansive” and “idiomatically perfect,” “his interpretations” as “spectacular,” and his Schumann playing has been singled out as “splendid and moving … His Florestan was elegantly calamitous, and his melodies representing Eusebius were like a dear friend whispering arcane truths to only you.” His recently released solo debut CD of Mozart and Beethoven sonatas performed on a historically-appropriate Viennese 5-octave piano was acclaimed for its ”great sensitivity to the music’s rhetoric, [yielding] movements that come across as journeys of discovery.”
His 2018 season includes the release of an all-Schumann CD recorded on a 6½-octave Viennese Graf, chamber music collaborations with Lauren Basney, Sarah Titterington Ibbett, Georgina McKay Lodge, Sally Singer, and Sarah Stone, engagements in Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, New York, Berkeley, Boston, Spokane, Seattle, Salt Lake City, artist residencies at Stanford, Utah, and Bucknell Universities, and a research post in Vienna, Austria. In recent seasons, he has performed at Aston Magna, the Boston Early Music Festival, Music in the Great North Woods Festival, Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University; the Universities of Michigan, Washington, Wisconsin-Madison, South Carolina, Wyoming, New Hampshire, and Maine-Farmington; Bowdoin, Colby, Connecticut, and Gettysburg Colleges; Harvard, Duke, Pennsylvania State, Ohio, and Boston Universities; the Orvieto Musica concert series in Chicago; and the Yale and Longy Conservatories of Music.
In addition to his performance activities, David is also active as a scholar. His research interests include notation and early recordings, and he has argued for a new understanding of hairpin notation, and points to the radically different interpretive practice suggested by the performances of Brahms’ closest students and colleagues. (For more on this, click here.) His other research interests include organology and improvisation.
Aside from all things music, David enjoys Shakespeare, Vermeer, travel, and pointlessly supporting Arsenal Football Club.