Lauded for her “beautiful, heartfelt” playing by the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Korean-American violinist Joo Kim made her solo debut with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra under the baton of David Robertson in 2008 performing Zigeunerweisen by Sarasate. Since then, she has returned as a soloist on multiple occasions with the orchestra, presenting works by Piazzolla, Vivaldi, and Tchaikovksy. Kim has also performed as a soloist with the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, New World School of the Arts Orchestra in Miami, and the Sebastian Chamber Ensemble in Korea. Kim’s solo and chamber music appearances have been presented in prestigious venues, including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Lincoln Theater in Miami Beach. As a chamber musician, she has collaborated with renowned artists such as Andrés Díaz, Ricardo Morales, and Lev Polyakin.
Kim began her violin studies at the age of four in Seoul, Korea. At the age of six, she won the Korea Times Music Competition and had a subsequent performance broadcast live on Korean national television. After moving to the U.S., in 1992, Kim continued her violin studies at the New World School of the Arts in Miami. Kim earned her B.M. and M.M. degrees from the Juilliard School where she was a student of legendary pedagogue Dorothy Delay and Naoko Tanaka. Her other principal teachers included Todd Phillips, Felicia Moye, and Ivan Chan. In 2004, while still a student at Juilliard, Kim joined the first violin section of the SLSO. Prior to her appointment, Kim served as concertmaster of the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in Japan and the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra. She also toured with the Grammy Award-winning Orpheus Chamber Orchestra as guest principal and held the same position with the Jerusalem International Symphony Orchestra in Israel. Kim has participated in many music festivals including Taos Chamber Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival and School, Pacific Music Festival, Spoleto USA, Sun Valley Music Festival, and Encore School for Strings.
Kim is a dedicated teacher whose students have been accepted to the finest conservatories, universities, and summer festivals. She also enjoys her partnership with the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra as a regular coach and mentor for the first violin section.
Joo Kim performs on a rare Italian violin made by Francesco Ruggieri in 1694.