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Press Release

JIN HI KIM, AN ACCLAIMED KOREAN MUSICIAN, WILL PERFORM AT BARD ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6 "Virtuoso Jin Hi Kim promises thoughtful, shimmering East-West amalgams in combinations that are both new and unlikely to be repeated." -Peter Watrous, New York Times

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Jin Hi Kim, highly acclaimed as a komungo virtuoso and for her cross-cultural compositions, will perform at Bard College on Friday, December 6. There will be a preconcert lecture at 7:30 p.m., followed by the concert of solo pieces for the komungo, a Korean fourth-century fretted board zither, at 9:00 p.m. Both the lecture and concert are open to the public without charge and will be held in the multipurpose room of the Bertelsmann Campus Center.

"Using sticks and fingers, Ji Hi Kim sculpted myriad bouncing, glissing, galloping attacks to produce small waves of melody that were cumulative in their power," according to an review in the Village Voice by Kyle Gann, associate professor of music at Bard College. A codeveloper (with Joseph Yanuziello) of the world's only electric komungo, Kim has also has created (with Alex Noyes) an interactive piece for komungo and the MIDI computer system. She has performed in the North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and at many international festivals as a soloist and with Derek Bailey, Eugene Chadbourne, William Parker, James Newton, Oliver Lake, Peter Kowald, Evan Parker, Joelle Leandre, Fredy Studer, Elliott Sharp, and Henry Kaiser. Kim also collaborated with virtuosi of the Indian sitar, Japanese koto, African drum, and Australian didgeridoo on her recording Komungo Around the World.

Kim is a noted composer for the komumgo and has received commissions from the Kronos Quartet, Xenakis Ensemble, and the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society. These compositions have been presented in New York at the Lincoln Center Festival, The Juilliard School's Focus Festival '96, Carnegie Hall, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival; in Washington, D.C., at the Kennedy Center; in London at the Institute for Contemporary Art; and at New Zealand's Asian Pacific Festival. Josef Woodard of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "This is new music/world music at its finest, beyond political correctness, into the realm of the sublime, where words and cultural postures fall away."

Kim was also the creator of the widely acclaimed cross-cultural mask dance music theater, Dragon Bond Rite, that featured artists from Korea, Japan, India, Indonesia, Tuva, and the United States. This program was commissioned by the Japan Society and supported by funds from Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust and the Rockefeller Foundation. Presented at the Walker Art Center, the Kennedy Center, the Japan Society, and at the Festival of Asian Art in Hong Kong, Dragon Bond Rite, "cut across barriers of language, culture, and tradition, to touch us at deep, irrational levels, and resulted in a work that speaks to our common humanity," according to Joseph McLellan of the Washington Post.

Jin Hi Kim began her study of traditional Korean music at the age of 13 and received a bachelor's degree in Korean traditional music from Seoul National University. In the United States she received an M.F.A. degree in electronic music and composition at Mills College. She studied for traditional music at the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts and with a noted ethnomusicologist at Seoul National University.

Kim's preconcert talk will be on her theory of "Living Tones." She will explore and elucidate her philosophy of music and the compositional concept that she has developed over the past 20 years. Living Tones (sigimse in Korean) is essentially a Korean concept of music that Kim has made the foundation of her compositional path. She explains that "the conceptual basis for living tones, which is the essential element in Korean traditional music, is that each tone is alive, embodying its own individual shape, sound, texture, vibrato, glissando, expressive nuances, and dynamics. Living tones can take on a dramatic weight that makes music rich." Kim has also spoken on this topic at Dartmouth, Hartwick, Skidmore, and Vassar Colleges; Cornell and Yale Universities; the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; the American Museum of Natural History in New York; the California Institute of the Arts; and many other universities and organizations in Japan, Korea, and Europe.

The program, organized by Bard student Adria Otte, is presented with support from the Undergraduate Asian Students Initiative at Bard. Other sponsors of the event include the Office of Student Activities, Multicultural Affairs, the Creative Music Alliance, the Asian American Student Organization, and the Music Program at Bard. For further information, call 845-758-6822 or e-mail Otte at

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This event was last updated on 11-26-2002