Friday, June 20, 2008

Esther Kim is about to get the Vermont treatment...

Esther Kim made her first television appearance at the age of seven on the popular Fox Network television drama, Party of Five. Her first solo appearance with orchestra was at the age of eight performing the Mozart Violin Concerto. One year later, she performed Paganini’s Concerto No. 1 with the Claremont Symphony Orchestra. Shortly after, she performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto on an international television broadcast. At the age of ten, she attended the Juilliard School of Music where she studied with the late Dorothy DeLay and Naoko Tanaka. After Delay’s passing, she continued her studies with Hyo Kang. At 14 years old, she entered the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria to study with Michael Frischenschlager. Esther is currently studying with Jaime Laredo at the Indiana University School of Music. And now she's coming to solo with the Vermont Symphony on the TD Banknorth Summer Festival Tour. Read on for her answers to the five questions we've been asking musicians all season.

VSO: As a musician, you probably find yourself on the road a lot. What item(s) can't you live without on this tour (besides your instrument and concert dress, of course!)?
EK: When I'm on the road I always make sure I have my Ipod, a book I'm reading (I'm currently reading "Kreutzer Sonata" by Tolstoy—it’s interesting because it is connected to the Janacek String Quartet No. 1 which is one of my favorite pieces!), and if I can, I usually like to bring my two dogs, Dukie and Duchess (although lately it's been a little difficult bringing Dukie since he's gotten so big!).

VSO: Do you have a pre-performance ritual? How do you deal with nerves?
EK: I don't really do anything different on performance days--usually I just treat it like an ordinary day. In fact, practicing a lot before the concert really helps me calms my nerves. Oh, and I like to eat a banana before I play!

VSO: If you could be Maestro for a day, what would you program?
EK: If I were a Maestro for a day, I think my program would be Brahms Symphony No. 2, Shostokovich 5, "Transfigured Night" by Arnold Schoenberg, and Mozart Symphony No. 40 in K. 550. (That would be quite a long concert!)

VSO: If you weren't a musician, what would you be doing?
EK: This one is a tough question!! Well, I guess If I wasn't a musician, I would be interested in either having my own radio show (like Garrison Keillor) or be a writer for a travel magazine (or a tv show host for a travel channel). I always thought it would be so much fun to be able to travel all around the world and just be able to write about it!

VSO: What's your favorite aspect of Vermont? If you haven't ever been here, what are you looking forward to?
EK: I haven't been to Vermont before, but everyone tells me how beautiful it is. I know that there are supposed to be a lot of pretty lakes and lots of greenery! I'm really looking forward!