Concert Master 
Dr. Benjamin Rush Chair

Violinist David Kim was named concertmaster of The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1999. Born in Carbondale, Illinois, in 1963, he started playing the violin at the age of three, began studies with the famed pedagogue Dorothy DeLay at the age of eight, and later received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School. In 1986 he was the only American violinist to win a prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, and in 1990 he was a prizewinner at the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis.

Highlights of Mr. Kim’s 2013-14 season include a new position as visiting lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin’s Butler School of Music; appearances as concertmaster of the All-Star Orchestra in New York City on PBS stations across the United States; an October residency at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; a return to L’Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne in France for a continuation of his Eight Seasons of Vivaldi and Piazzolla project; return visits to the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra in Japan, where he is artist in residence; a return to the Masterworks Festival in Indiana; recitals and solo appearances across the United States and Korea; solo appearances with The Philadelphia Orchestra in December; and in April, serving on the jury panel for the Menuhin Competition.

As a highly sought-after pedagogue, Mr. Kim presents master classes at schools and institutions such as Juilliard, the New World Symphony in Miami, Princeton, Yale, the Korean National University of Arts, and universities and colleges across the United States. He also continues his long association as artist in residence at Eastern University in suburban Philadelphia. 

Mr. Kim was founder and, for 20 years ending in 2008, artistic director of the Kingston Chamber Music Festival at the University of Rhode Island. In conjunction with the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, he founded an annual outreach program that took him to elementary schools, performing and speaking about classical music in an effort to cultivate future audiences. In the state of Rhode Island alone, he performed for well over 12,000 young people during his tenure with the Festival. Mr. Kim continues to devote a portion of his schedule each year to bringing classical music to children and visits numerous schools in the Philadelphia area.  

Mr. Kim appears as soloist with The Philadelphia Orchestra each season as well as with numerous orchestras around the world. Conductors with whom he has performed include Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Myung-Whun Chung, Christoph von Dohnányi, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Vladimir Jurowski, Peter Oundjian, and Wolfgang Sawallisch. 

The latest additions to Mr. Kim’s discography are The Lord Is My Shepherd, a collection of sacred works for violin and piano with pianist and composer Paul S. Jones, and Encore, a collection of recital favorites with pianist Gail Niwa. He has received honorary doctorates from Eastern University and the University of Rhode Island.

Mr. Kim’s instrument is a J.B. Guadagnini from Milan, Italy, ca. 1757 on loan from The Philadelphia Orchestra. He resides in a Philadelphia suburb with his wife, Jane, and daughters, Natalie and Maggie. For more information please visit and follow him on Twitter at @Dkviolin.
 Photo: Chris Lee
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