Combining a distinctive ability of “holding an audience spellbound” with his expressive qualities as “a fire-breathing, passionate communicator” (Indiana Tribune-Star; Aspen Times), violinist Stephen Kim is continually praised for his originality and honest performances.
Stephen gained international recognition most recently winning the 3rd Prize at the 2019 Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition, 3rd Prize at the 2018 Premio Paganini International Violin Competition, and 2nd Prize at the 2016 Sendai International Violin Competition.
Presented in venues across North America, Europe, and Asia, Stephen has appeared as a soloist with the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, Brussels Philharmonic, Belgian National Orchestra, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, l’Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra, Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra, Curtis Chamber Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra, Carmel Symphony Orchestra, Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, Austin Symphony Orchestra, and the Aspen Music Festival’s AACA and Philharmonic orchestras, among others.
In recent seasons, Stephen performed Brahms' Violin Concerto seven times with two orchestras during a two-week tour in Belgium, as well as six performances of Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 during a two-month tour across the United States with the Curtis Chamber Orchestra. He embarked on multiple concert tours in Korea, Japan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macao, and Belgium, in addition to performing recitals at the Verbier Festival Academy, Stradivari Society recital series, and Kingston Chamber Music Festival. Stephen also donated a performance in Seoul for disabled young musicians, as well as leading masterclasses, in an effort to inspire and spread a passion for music. Additionally, he was invited to perform for the award presentation ceremony of Korea's Ho-Am Prize. Last February, Stephen performed the New York premiere of Steven Mackey's Violin Concerto, "Beautiful Passing", at Carnegie Hall with the Juilliard Orchestra.
Upcoming engagements in 2021 include recital tours in Germany, Canada, Belgium, Korea, and at Carnegie Hall in New York.
During his teenage years, Stephen also won major prizes at the 2015 Seoul International Violin Competition and 2014 Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition, and he has the distinction of being the first person in the Aspen Music Festival’s history to win all three of the festival’s violin competitions: 2014 Brahms Violin Concerto, 2013 Dorothy DeLay Memorial Fellowship, and 2011 AACA Mozart Violin Concerto.
Stephen holds a Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Shmuel Ashkenasi, Joseph Silverstein, and Aaron Rosand. At Curtis, Stephen was the recipient of the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Fellowship, and he was awarded the Curtis/Milka Violin Artist Prize. Stephen also received a Master of Music from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Hyo Kang. Stephen's studies at Juilliard were also fully funded as the recipient of the Irene Diamond Fellowship, along with the Syril H. and Walter A. Frank Scholarship and the Mary L. Bianco Scholarship. Stephen is currently pursuing Professional Studies at the Kronberg Academy with Antje Weithaas. These studies are funded by the Dr. Rolf M. Schwiete Stiftung.
Stephen plays the 1725 “ex-Moller” Guarnerius del Gesù, on generous loan from the Samsung Foundation of Culture of Korea and the Stradivari Society of Chicago.