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Profile: Fellowship Composer Jin Hi Kim

Friday, March 9, 2001
8:30 pm, Joe's Pub at The Public Theater

Composers Out Front logo


Jin Hi Kim: Komungo Around

Jin Hi Kim. Photo Credit: Camilla Van ZuylenNong Rock
  komungo and string quartet

  for komungo solo

  for komungo solo

EK for JC
  for electric komungo solo

  Jin Hi Kim, komungo
  William Parker, bass
  Reggie Workman, Saxophone

Tickets $20
at the Public Theater Box Office, 425 Lafayette Street, Manhattan.
Tickets are also available through Telecharge at: (212) 239 6200, or online at

Composer/Komungo Soloist Jin Hi Kim
"Out Front" at Joe's Pub, March 9
featured artists include
Oliver Lake, saxophone & Reggie Workman, bass

American Composers Orchestra will present composer/komungo soloist Jin Hi Kim in a "Composers Out Front" series performance at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater on Friday, March 9th, 2001 at 8:30 pm. The program, entitled "Komungo Around," will include Jin Hi Kim performing komungo (the traditional 4th Century Korean fretted zither) and electric komungo solos, plus "Nong Rock" for string quartet and komungo, which was commissioned by Lincoln Center for the Kronos Quartet. The program also features Ms. Kim's improvisational ensemble, Quagmire, with the legendary Reggie Workman on bass and the famed Oliver Lake on saxophone.

The performance provides audiences with a preview of music The Los Angeles Times has called "new music/world music at its finest, beyond political correctness, into the realm of the sublime, where words and cultural postures fall away." Ms. Kim's first orchestral work, entitled "Eternal Rock", commissioned by American Composers Orchestra, will receive its world premiere on Sunday, March 18 at 3pm at Carnegie Hall. The music in both programs has been developed out of "Living Tones", Ms. Kim's improvisational concept in which each tone is alive, embodying its own individual shape, sound and subtext. Both the commission and the Joe's Pub performance are made possible through ACO's Emerging Composer Fellowship program.

The performance on March 9th is the second of three concerts featuring composer-performers in the ACO's second season of "Composers Out Front" at Joe's Pub. This innovative initiative, created in association with Joe's Pub at The Public Theater, puts composers on stage, making connections between their musical roots as performers and their works for the concert hall. The final "Composers Out Front" performance of the season at Joe's Pub will take place on Thursday, April 19, 2001, 8:30 pm and will feature famed Hollywood composer David Raksin, who wrote such hit scores as "The Bad and the Beautiful" and "Laura". Featured guests include Francis Thorne, and Ronny Whyte.

About Jin Hi Kim

Jin Hi Kim. Photo Credit: Camilla Van ZuylenJin Hi Kim is highly acclaimed as both a komungo virtuoso and for her cross-cultural compositions. She has pioneered a wide array of compositions for komungo and ensemble that she has performed with the Kronos Quartet, Xenakis Ensemble, and the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society. She has co-developed the world's only electric komungo with Joseph Yanuziello, and co-created with Alex Noyes an interactive piece for komungo and MIDI computer system. Kim has performed extensively throughout the USA, Europe, Canada, South America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Russia at many international festivals both as a soloist and with leading improvisers such as Derek Bailey, Eugene Chadbourne, William Parker, James Newton, Oliver Lake, Evan Parker, Joelle Leandre, Elliott Sharp, Henry Kaiser, and Hans Reichel. She also collaborated with virtuosos of the Indian sitar, Japanese koto, African drum and Australian didgeridoo on her "Komungo Around the World" CD project. Peter Watrous of The New York Times wrote: "Virtuoso Jin Hi Kim promises thoughtful, shimmering East-West amalgams in combinations that are both new and unlikely to be repeated."

She has developed compositions using her "Living Tones" concept, in performances at the Lincoln Center Festival, Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), Juilliard School's Focus Festival '96, Carnegie Hall, Darmstadt Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival, the Warsaw Autumn Festival, Festival Nieuwe Muziek, Institute for Contemporary Art (London) and the Asian Pacific Festival (New Zealand).

Born in Korea in 1957, Kim earned a BA degree in Korean traditional music at Seoul National University before coming to the US, and received an MFA in electronic music/composition at Mills College, CA. Jin Hi Kim studied traditional music for ten years with National Living Treasures at the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts, as well as with a noted ethnomusicologist at Seoul National University. She has lectured widely about Korean music and specifically about her compositional concept, "Living Tones," in the United States and abroad.

Upcoming Events

Future performances in ACO's "Composers Out Front" series at Joe's Pub will feature composer-pianist David Raksin. On Thursday, April 19, 2001 at 8:30 pm, composer-pianist David Raksin will perform a Hollywood Cabaret, complete with reminiscences about the heydays of the Hollywood Studios. Best known for his film scores such as Laura, Forever Amber, Force Of Evil, Carrie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Bad And The Beautiful, and more than 300 television shows, Raksin, at 88 years old, is now the grand old man of Hollywood music. Special guests include Francis Thorne and Ronny Whyte.

Tickets & Info:

Admission for each performance in the "Composers Out Front" series is $20, and seating is limited. Tickets to these events at Joe's Pub, located at 425 Lafayette Street (between East 4th Street and Astor Place), can be purchased at The Public Theater box office Tuesday-Saturday from 1:00pm to 7:30pm; Sunday and Monday from 1:00pm to 6:00pm or via Telecharge, 212-239-6200, or online at

Major support of the American Composers Orchestra is from Alliance Capital Management L.P., Americans for the Arts, Mr. Thomas Buckner, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, Citigroup Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Eleanor Naylor Dana Charitable Trust, Jean and Louis Dreyfus Foundation, Fidelity Foundation, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation, Christian Humann Foundation, Meet The Composer, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, J.P. Morgan & Co., New York Foundation for the Arts, New York Times Co. Foundation, Virgil Thomson Foundation, and the Helen F. Whitaker Fund. ACO programs are also made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. ACO's "Coming to America: Immigrant Sounds/Immigrant Voices" project is supported by the Animating Democracy Initiative, a program of Americans for the Arts funded by the Ford Foundation.

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