JUNGHAE KIM’s unique style blends a sparkling virtuoso technique with a gentle and lyrical sensibility that makes the harpsichord instantly accessible to the modern ear. New York Arts described her playing as “impressive” and characterized by “a supple flow and expressiveness.” Early Music America raved, “I have never listened as closely or enjoyed D’Anglebert as much. Kim’s playing is gallant and regal.”
Kim earned diplomas in harpsichord performance at the Peabody Institute, Oberlin Conservatory, and Sweelinck Conservatorium before completing her studies with Dutch master Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam.
A versatile musician on historical keyboard instruments, Kim has appeared as a soloist with period-instrument ensembles as well as the San Francisco Symphony and New Century Chamber Orchestra. She has been featured on NPR and national Korean television (KBS). A sought-after pedagogue, Kim has taught and performed at festivals around the world, including the Bloomington Early Music Festival, Berkeley Early Music Festival, Madison Bach Musicians Workshop, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Assisi Music Festival (Italy), Midsommer Baroque Music Festival (Denmark), and Chuncheon International Early Music Festival (Korea).
As co-director of MusicSources (Center for Historically Informed Performance), Kim advocates for historical keyboard performance and has been active in bringing early music to the San Francisco Bay Area.
In 2016, she directed and appeared in a performance featuring Belgian virtuoso Sigiswald Kuijken. Kim is founder and artistic director of Ensemble Mirable, which has performed throughout the United States and was recognized by Early Music America for the ensemble’s world-premiere recording of the complete cello sonatas of Jean Zewalt Triemer. Besides her recordings with Ensemble Mirable, Kim’s discography includes albums featuring English virginal music (The Virginalists); the keyboard music of Jean-Henri d’Anglebert; suites and fantasias of J.S. Bach; and four of Bach’s harpsichord concerto
- Score Reading at the Piano
- Keyboard Harmony
- Performer’s Certificate, Sweelinck Conservatorium (Amsterdam Conservatory) in Harpsichord
- MM, Oberlin Conservatory in Historical Performance-Harpsichord
- BM, Peabody Conservatory in Performance-Harpsichord
- Please see question below for all ensemble collaborations
What is your hometown?
Seoul, South Korea
What ensembles have you been a part of?
San Francisco Symphony
New Century Chamber Orchestra
Munich Chamber Orchestra
Assisi Festival Chamber Orchestra
Seoul Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra
What is your favorite recording? Why?
Ton Koopman’s recording (with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir) of Bach’s B Minor Mass. When I was a student living in Amsterdam, I turned Koopman’s pages during one of the recording sessions.
What are you passionate about outside of music?
Downhill skiing, playing with my miniature poodle Higgins, traveling, and painting.
Who were your major teachers?
Gustav Leonhardt, Bob van Asperen, Lisa Crawford.
What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?
“Performing is not about you; it is about bringing to life the message of the composer” (Gustav Leonhardt).
What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?
“How can I articulate better?”
What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?
My parents initially didn’t support the idea of me traveling abroad to study on my own, so I went on a hunger strike and, fortuitously, got a scholarship to study music in the U.S.
What was a turning point in your career?
The year I spent studying with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam. Every week was a revelation.
If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?
My father wanted me to be a dentist!
What is your daily practice routine?
I come out of the gates with careful, sectional practice. When I’m in the thick of it, I might spend hours perfecting a single phrase. Practicing is work!
If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?
Byrd, Frescobaldi, Froberger, d’Anglebert, and Bach, I cannot stick to 3!
From a music history perspective, what year and city are most important to you, and why?
Versailles, France, 17th/18th century. I would love to be at the court of Louis XIV and XV.
Please list your most important collaborations.
Sigiswald Kuijken, Max van Egmond, Ton Koopman; touring with my colleagues from Ensemble Mirable.
What recordings can we hear you on?
The Virginalists, Magnatune U.S.A.
Jean Henri D'Anglebert: Pièces de Clavecin, 1689 Paris, Magnatune
J.S. Bach: Suites and Fantasias, Magnatune
J.S. Bach: Complete Harpsichord Concertos on Antique Instruments, Plectra U.S.A.
The Harpsichord, compilation of solo and Ensemble Mirable. released by Chang creative, South Korea
Influenza Italiana, with Ensemble Mirable, on Magnatune, USA