Soovin Kim

July 6, 2006 at 04:56 AM · Soovin Kim's website is up:

For those of you who don't know who he is, he is an outstanding violinist. He just recorded the 24 Paganini Caprices (which I purchased today). Can't wait to hear.

On his calendar, it looks like he'll be performing all 24 in recital in Santa Fe this summer. I can't remember the date, but it's on his site.

Here's a link to a live performance of Il Palpiti:

Pretty amazing.

Replies (18)

July 6, 2006 at 05:03 AM · Do take a look at his site, and hear him if you can! He's a good friend and I was lucky to be in a quartet with him for 2 years. Plus how many people do you know that actually do the 24 caprice thing live? I heard him do it in 1997 or 8 and it was very inspiring. It really humanized Paganini (even if it made Soovin seem a little less human for playing so well)!

July 6, 2006 at 11:37 AM · sheepish Kevin Huang in a REALLY small voice: I've done the Paganini Caprice thing live from memory in concert.

Granted, I didn't do too well at first. You want to talk sloppy, that was ME. Fortunately I did my concerts in no-risk situations. The biggest stumbling block for me was the endurance factor. I tend to feel battered by these pieces even though I've been run 3-4 in a row on a daily basis for the last few months. Right now I've been relearning all of the Caprices in order to deal with the endurance factor on stage.

To this day, I still haven't figured out the best place to put an intermission into a Paganini Caprice program. That's because it varies for me. At this point, I've been seriously contemplating putting that intermission not squarely in the middle but right before #11. I like the idea of starting the 2nd half on a solid introduction in the key of C, and the "hard" Caprices for me are actually in the 1st half and not the 2nd. By the time I get to #11, I'm pretty beat down physically and so the intermission gives my body a breather.

The last time I performed the 24 Caprices live, I stuck in "Caprice d'Adieu" as an encore. I can't say the audience really dug that, but that's just been a habit of mine for years now.

Back to Soovin Kim: Every time I've heard him play, I am astounded at how cleanly he plays. Not since Midori have I heard that level of technical purity.

July 6, 2006 at 01:58 PM · Kevin, I remember that Soovin took a main intermission somewhere in the middle plus two several-minutes-long breaks at the quarter and three-quarter marks. Endurance must be hellish for this! Bravo for doing it.

July 6, 2006 at 03:29 PM · Thanks for the bravo, Nathan.

Soovin took all those breaks? He's SMARTER than I am!

If I were taking 3 breaks, I'd put the first after Caprice #6, the middle one after Caprice 10, and the third one after #16. That's for musical purposes, not for endurance ones.

The last time I played the Caprices, I ended up playing an orchestral concert last night and also soloed on Paganini's Moto Perpetuo with repeats. I was so wiped out afterwards that I don't even remember how tired I was the next day.

July 6, 2006 at 04:33 PM · Hi, Kevin. It would be great to hear some of your caprices. You should upload some to the net. I'm sure we would all love to hear them!

July 6, 2006 at 06:04 PM · Kevin I hope you decide to upload some of your Paganini for us. As for Soovin--WOW--what a juicy sound and lovely musicianship.

July 6, 2006 at 06:03 PM · Soovin sounds terrific, and to think it is live.

I do remember Ruggiero Ricci playing the 24 caprices at Carnegie Hall in the '80s which was astounding.

And to top it all off, he played "God Save the King ( or is it queen?)" var. as an encore.

July 7, 2006 at 05:51 AM · I'll be ordering some recording gear soon.

I don't know if I'll upload Paganini, but I'll probably do something that's unaccompanied.

July 7, 2006 at 01:56 PM · upload "Last Rose of Summer" & Ysaye #6 (Live Performance perhaps like YOUTUBE style) if it is in your repertoire, I am sure people here would be very interested.

July 7, 2006 at 03:38 PM · Yup, had something like that (but not THOSE TWO) in mind.

Back to Soovin Kim: William and Nathan seem to know him as a person. Maybe if we could talk him up a bit, there would be more attention given to his career and talent.

July 7, 2006 at 06:44 PM · I think Soovin has always been happiest playing great chamber music, which is why he devotes so much time to that. I'm not sure what he feels his ideal season would look like, but he's rarely at a loss for somewhere to play! To have a career as a top soloist, you have to be willing to sacrifice many other opportunities, and I don't think that's a trade he has wanted to make. I can't speak for him, but I think the people he has met and worked with outside the solo realm have enriched him more than the solo engagements would have. But drop him an email at his site! He's very approachable.

July 7, 2006 at 09:20 PM · I took a master class from Soovin Kim about 5 years ago. I had just won a small concerto competition and was due to play the Mendelssohn Concerto in a few weeks, so I considered it to be pretty polished. Kim totally dissected my playing. He was clear and precise in his comments. He was able to significantly improve my interpretation of the piece in about 30 minutes!

July 8, 2006 at 01:53 AM · Kevin,

I can recommend the M-Audio Microtrack.. the quality is astounding for not much money.

July 11, 2006 at 05:31 AM · I have the M-Audio FastTrack Pro - my brother sent it to me because he had some money in an account left over. However, I don't think I'll be using it to record anything. Maybe I'll play with it after a while.

I'd love to hear YOUR Paganini, Pieter. Actually, I'd like to hear anybody's Paganini if they can do it. Several members have online Paganini recordings that are worth listening to.

Doesn't anybody else on care or recognize how good Soovin Kim is?

Frankly, I'd rather listen to him than a whole lot of other great violinists who get a lot of hype.

July 11, 2006 at 06:02 AM · Soovin is not only a brilliant violinist, but also just about the nicest person I've ever met. I recently had the pleasure of listening to him play through several caprices at 2 a.m. - he was amazing, even though jetlagged and recovering from a stomach flu. Go hear him play if you have the chance - he's not to be missed!

July 11, 2006 at 04:05 PM · Appearing in Baltimore. Soovin Kim will perform the Mozart Violin Concerto No. 3 with the BSO. Featured in the BSO'S Summer MusicFest July 21, 2006 at the Meyerhoff.

Also on Thursday, July 20 at Strathmore, Montgomery County.

July 11, 2006 at 11:57 AM · I can't say I know Soovin very well as a person, but working at Temple prep I used to see him fairly often. He is in the Johannes Quartet with my teacher, CJ Chang (a fantastic violist in his own right) and I have to say that the group as a whole kick some major chamber music butt. I don't know who their new second (or I should say other) violinist should be, but the group in its former iteration was great. Soovin is a phenomenal violinist, and an extremely nice guy. Also if you get the chance to pick up his Paganini Caprices definitely do so. He manages to infuse some musicality into those pieces.

July 12, 2006 at 12:12 AM · Greetings,

the web site is superb.



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