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A promising young violinist to perform around Kanto

by Chiho Iuchi

The project “Classical for Millions,” which has staged a series of “concerts for the people” at halls around the Kanto region since 2007, will feature Korean-American violinist Esther Kim from June.

“This is a new kind of concert for me. Usually I do programs consisting of sonatas and some show pieces, but these are all encore pieces,” says Kim with a cute smile, showing me the program selected from her favorite pieces, including “Salut d’amour” (“Love’s Greeting”) by English composer Edward Elgar (1857-1934) and “Liebesleid” (“Love’s Sorrow”) by Austria-born violinist and composer Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962).

“Sometimes, it may be difficult for many people to understand deeper classical music, such as long sonatas. The pieces I will be playing have just as much depth and can be enjoyable.”

Born in 1988 in Southern California, Kim began playing the violin at the age of 5. At 10, and already with a passion for performing, she was accepted to the Juilliard School in New York City, where she studied with the renowned professor Dorothy DeLay (1917-2002), who had taught many talented violinists such as Itzhak Perlman, Nigel Kennedy and Midori Goto. After studying at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna Kim is currently studying at the Indiana University School of Music.

As a prize winner in several international competitions — such as the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition for Young Violinists in 2002, and European Union Music Competition for Youth in 2004 — Kim has given concerts worldwide, including a collaboration with the Nagoya Philharmonic as a soloist, performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto during the The 2005 World Exposition in Aichi, Japan.

Also being performed at Kim’s upcoming recitals are pieces by J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Dvorak, Paganini and Sarasate, as well as “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” a jazzy number from the opera “Porgy and Bess” by the U.S. composer George Gershwin (1898-1937).

“Esther Kim Violin Recital 2009″ takes place from June 6 through July 1 at 12 halls in the Kanto region, including Yokohama and Fujisawa in Kanagawa Prefecture; Urayasu and Ichikawa in Chiba; Kawaguchi and Tokorozawa in Saitama; Tsukuba in Ibaraki; and Tokyo’s Fuchu City and Nerima Ward. Tickets are ¥2,500. For more details, call (03) 5210-9071 or visit eplus.jp/esther. To apply to win one of three pairs of tickets, send a postcard stating your name, address, telephone number, age, the most convenient venue for you and a comment on The Japan Times to: Gakugei-bu, The Japan Times, 4-5-4 Shibaura, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023 by May 21.