Concertmaster, Eleanor and Michael Gordon Chair
Dennis Kim has been concertmaster of Pacific Symphony since September 2019. A citizen of the world, Kim was born in Korea, raised in Canada and educated in the United States. He has spent more than a decade leading orchestras in the United States, Europe and Asia. Most recently, he was concertmaster of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in New York. He was first appointed concertmaster of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra at the age of 22. He then served as the youngest concertmaster in the history of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, before going on to lead the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra in Finland.
As guest concertmaster, Kim has performed on four continents, leading the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lille, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Montpelier Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Western Australia Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra of Navarra. He served as guest concertmaster with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra on their 10-city tour of the United Kingdom and led the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra in their BBC Proms debut in 2014.
After making his solo debut at the age of 14 with the Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra, Kim has gone on to perform as a soloist with many of the most important orchestras in China and Korea. Highlights include performing on 10 hours’ notice to replace an ailing William Preucil, performing Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” 20 times in one week and touring Japan with the Busan Philharmonic in 2008. During his tenure as concertmaster with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, he was featured annually as a soloist. Over the last two seasons, he was a guest soloist with the Lebanon Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra NOW, with repertoire ranging from Mozart and Haydn to Glass and Penderecki. Future engagements include those with the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.
A dedicated teacher, Kim has served on the faculty at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada’s PRISMA festival and the Interlochen Center for the Arts as Valade Concertmaster in the World Youth Symphony Orchestra summer program. He has also been on the faculty of the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, Korean National University of the Arts, Yonsei University, Tampere Conservatory and the Bowdoin International Music Festival, Atlantic Music Festival and Suolahti International Music Festival. His students have been accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music, Colburn School, Juilliard School, Peabody Conservatory and the Queen Elizabeth College of Music and play in orchestras around the world.
A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and Yale School of Music, Kim's teachers include Jaime Laredo, Aaron Rosand, Peter Oundjian, Paul Kantor, Victor Danchenko and Yumi Ninomiya Scott. He plays the 1701 ex-Dushkin Stradivarius, on permanent loan from a generous donor.