24-year-old Roman Kim has burst onto the musical scene as a breath-taking virtuoso with stunning musicality and intelligence. His transcription for solo violin of Bach’s famous Air on a G String – the first person to dare such an audacious feat – was snapped up by giant German music publisher Baerenreiter after his own nuanced performance of the work on YouTube created an overnight sensation. His YouTube fame preceded the acclaim he has since achieved in large concert halls in Germany, Spain, Israel, Italy, Russia and South Korea. In halls such as the Philharmonie in Cologne and Hamburg Laeiszhalle he played with the NDR Sinfonieorchester, the Staatskapelle Halle, the Fondazione lirico sinfonica Petruzzelli (Bari) and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra.
Kim delights audiences with outstanding virtuosity, unrestrained energy, and artistic sensitivity. He cares little for conventions or expectations, instead preferring to rediscover the Romantic repertory for himself and his audience.
He specializes in the major works by Glazunov, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Brahms and Mendelssohn, but his most important inspiration is the life and work of legendary violinist Niccolo Paganini – to whom the young virtuoso/composer has been favourably compared. His debut with the Philharmonie Cologne caused the Koelner Stadt Anzeiger to exclaim: “...Kim demonstrated a witchcraft, which made the visitors of the Cologne Philharmonie jump from their chairs. ...No one else could create more varied sounds and extravagances in five minutes.”
A further inspiration for Roman Kim is the legendary Rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix, whose innovations continue to spur Kim to look beyond stylistic horizons and search for unheard of sounds through unconventional means.
Roman Kim received his first violin lessons at the age of five and began winning national competitions at the age of seven. This led him to the Central Music School in Moscow in 2000, supported by a grant from the Mstislav Rostropovich Foundation. In 2007 he began studies with Maxim Vengerov and has since attended master classes with Midori Goto, Lewis Kaplan, Miriam Fried and Gidon Kremer.
At the age of 16, Kim was admitted to the Musikhochschule Koln (Cologne Academy of Music), where he studied with Prof. Viktor Tretyakov (and where he continues to study composition). In 2012 he won First Prize at the 28th International Music Competition “Valsesia Musica”. After taking first prize at the Cologne International Music Competition, he made his German orchestral debut with the esteemed West German Radio Orchestra. In 2013, WDR 3 TonArt featured Kim in a one- hour radio-broadcast. As a composer, Kim belongs to no established schools of thought, writing music instead “as he feels it”. Among his compositions are “Three Romances for Violin and Piano, “I Brindisi,” and transcriptions of Bach's “Badinerie” and “Air”.
Kim plays a Giovanni Battista Zanoli violin (1750 Verona), courtesy of the Deutsche Musikinstrumentenfonds of the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben. Kim resides in Cologne.