Korean Violinist Seohyun Kim wins 2022 Cooper Competition at Oberlin

August 23, 2022, 12:54 PM · South Korean violinist Seohyun Kim has been named the winner of the 11th annual Thomas and Evon Cooper International Competition, which took place Aug. 15-19 at Oberlin College and Conservatory in Ohio.

BELOW: Seohyun Kim's recital final with pianist Tatiana Lokhina.

The competition, which had been on hiatus for two years due to the pandemic, began with 17 violinists from nine states and six countries. On Friday, three finalists performed concertos with the Canton Symphony Orchestra, directed by Gerhardt Zimmermann. Those finalists have each been offered a four-year full-tuition scholarship to Oberlin Conservatory of Music, predicated on a successful application process.

Here are placements of the finalists:

Cooper Competition winners 2022
L-R: Thomas Cooper, Calvin Alexander (3rd place), Seohyun Kim (1st place), Sameer Agrawal (2nd place), and Evon Cooper.

Kim, who began playing the violin at the age of five, currently studies with Sunny Lee at the Seoul Central Conservatory. She has received mentoring from Pavel Vernikov, Ulf Wallin, Min Kim, Clara Jumi Kang, Qian Zhou, Clara Cernat and Lorenz Nasturica-Herschcowici. In 2021 she was a semifinalist in the Menuhin Competition.

As first prize winner at Cooper, Kim will also receive a two-year partnership with MKI Artists with up to 10 concerto or recital engagements in the U.S.; as well as exclusive rights to the world premiere of a new six-minute work for violin and orchestra by Jeff Scott and two years of performances. She also will receive a two-year loan of a rare Italian violin from Jonathan Solars Fine Violins of New York.

Founded in 2010, the Thomas and Evon Cooper International Competition takes place annually, alternating between piano and violin. The competition is open to musicians between the ages of 13 and 18.

The jury for the 2022 competition consisted of Oberlin violin professor and competition director Sibbi Bernhardsson, Danielle Belen from the University of Michigan, Philip Setzer of the Emerson Quartet, and John Zion of MKI Artists.

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August 23, 2022 at 09:39 PM · Wait, Susan is that your son? Snaps!

August 23, 2022 at 10:10 PM · Yes, Christian. :)

August 24, 2022 at 03:15 AM · He sounds great! I've never heard that cadenza for the Mozart Adagio, it was pretty cool - Do you know what it is?

August 24, 2022 at 05:02 AM · Congratulations to Sameer! Susan, you must feel incredibly proud.

August 24, 2022 at 08:31 AM · congrats to "our" Sameer and we wish him a fantastic four years ahead as a student.

August 24, 2022 at 11:26 AM · Christian, he writes his own cadenzas whenever possible and appropriate. This one he wrote in June.

August 24, 2022 at 02:12 PM · Bravo, Sameer!!!

August 25, 2022 at 01:11 AM · Yes, bravo, Sameer!!!

August 25, 2022 at 07:33 PM · Congrats to all three finalists! It's especially gratifying to hear that Sameer did so well, as we have been following his education in bits and pieces here. I'm sure Susan and her husband are happy to know there is the Oberlin scholarship there for him also!

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