James Jihyun Kim

Oboe

Hometown: Seoul, Korea
Alma Maters: The Juilliard School (B.M.), Stony Brook University (M.M.), Yale School of Music (A.D.)
Awards/Competitions: Honorable Mention, 2013 IDRS Fernand Gillet-Hugo Fox International Oboe Competition
Appearances: Pablo Casals Music Festival, France; Norfolk Chamber Music Festival; Aspen Music Festival
Musical origins: I started oboe when I was 15 years old. I also played violin and piano before but it never became serious. I always had a feeling that I wanted to play a wind instrument. I never knew about oboe until I first heard it when I was 15 years old. The tone was so attractive and I felt like it often changes the mood of the entire symphony. That’s how I started oboe and I only found about the hard part, making reeds, a couple of years later. It was too late to change my instrument when I realized it. Now I am happy that I didn’t change to another instrument. Making reeds is always challenging but it is surely rewarding.
How did you hear about TŌN? What inspired you to apply? My teacher and friends introduced me to TŌN. I heard about the program and I loved the idea that it is designed to make a great orchestral musician. Performing with great conductors and colleagues is always inspiring. 
Favorite piece to play: Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin
Favorite fact about your instrument: The reed is almost like another instrument itself. It has its own pitch and tone.
Favorite non-musical hobby or activity: Watching a movie by Christopher Nolan
Favorite painting: Café Terrace at Night by Van Gogh
Piece of advice for a young classical musician: Find a great teacher. It will change your motivation.

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