Internationally renowned violinist Soovin Kim performs as both a concert soloist and recitalist and with the Johannes String Quartet. In 2009 he founded the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival in Burlington, Vermont, which has quickly gained national attention for excellence in performance, innovative programming, educational outreach, and work with young composers and performers. Soovin received first prize at the Paganini International Competition when he was only 20 which launched an international concert career. He later was a recipient of such distinguished prizes as the Henryk Szeryng Career Award, the Avery Fisher Career Grant, and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. Soovin has released nine commercial CD recordings in recent years including Niccolò Paganini’s demanding 24 Caprices and a French album of Fauré and Chausson with pianist Jeremy Denk and the Jupiter Quartet. He is currently working on a recording of the Bach works for solo violin. Soovin grew up in Plattsburgh, NY, and joined the Vermont Youth Orchestra as its then-youngest member at age 10. He is often heard in Vermont through his performances with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, on the Lane Series at the University of Vermont, on the Rochester Chamber Music Society series, at Middlebury College, with the Burlington Chamber Orchestra, and on Vermont Public Radio. Soovin is passionate about music education and joined the violin faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music in the Fall of 2014, after teaching at SUNY-Stony Brook and the Peabody Conservatory of Music.
Picked by the Boston Globe as one of the Superior Pianists of the year, “… who appears to excel in everything,” pianist Gloria Chien made her orchestral debut at the age of 16 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Since then, she has appeared as a soloist under the batons of Sergiu Comissiona, Keith Lockhart, Thomas Dausgaard, and Irwin Hoffman. She has presented recitals at the Alice Tully Hall, Jordan Hall, Gardner Museum, Phillips Collection, Caramoor and Verbier Music Festivals, Salle Cortot in Paris, AlpenKlassik in Germany and the National Concert Hall in Taiwan. An avid chamber musician, Gloria has been the resident pianist with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston since 2000. She has recorded for Chandos Records, and recently released a CD with clarinetist Anthony McGill. In 2009, Gloria launched String Theory, a chamber music series in downtown Chattanooga, as its Founder and Artistic Director. The following year, she was appointed Director of the Chamber Music Institute at the Music@Menlo Festival by Artistic Directors, David Finckel and Wu Han. A native of Taiwan, Gloria is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music (DMA ’04, MM 01′, BM ’99) where she was a student of Russell Sherman and Wha-Kyung Byun. She is an Associate Professor at Lee University in Cleveland, TN, and is a member of Chamber Music Society Two of Lincoln Center. Gloria is a Steinway Artist.
Acclaimed for his inspirational performances and eloquent musicianship, Paul Watkins enjoys a distinguished career as concerto soloist, chamber musician and conductor. Born in 1970, he studied with William Pleeth, Melissa Phelps and Johannes Goritzki, and at the age of 20 was appointed Principal Cellist of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. During his solo career he has collaborated with world renowned conductors including Sakari Oramo, Gianandrea Noseda, Sir Mark Elder, Andris Nelsons, Sir Andrew Davis, and Sir Charles Mackerras. He performs regularly with all the major British orchestras and others further afield, including with the Norwegian Radio, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony and Queensland Orchestras. He has also made eight concerto appearances at the BBC Proms, most recently with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in the world premiere of the cello concerto composed for him by his brother, Huw Watkins, and premiered (and was the dedicatee of) Mark-Anthony Turnage’s cello concerto. Highlights of recent seasons include concerto appearances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, and the BBC Symphony under Semyon Bychkov, a tour with the European Union Youth Orchestra under the baton of Bernard Haitink, and his US concerto debut with the Colorado Symphony. A dedicated chamber musician, Watkins was a member of the Nash Ensemble from 1997 to 2013, and joined the Emerson String Quartet in May 2013. He is a regular guest artist at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York and Music@Menlo, and in 2014 he was appointed Artistic Director of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in Detroit. Watkins also maintains a busy career as a conductor and, since winning the 2002 Leeds Conducting Competition, has conducted all the major British orchestras. Further afield he has conducted the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Prague Symphony, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Tampere Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic and the Melbourne Symphony, Queensland and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestras. Paul Watkins is an exclusive recording artist with Chandos Records and his recent releases include Britten’s Cello Symphony, the Delius, Elgar, Lutoslawski and Walton cello concertos, and discs of British and American music for cello and piano with Huw Watkins. His first recording as a conductor, of the Berg and Britten violin concertos with Daniel Hope, received a Grammy® nomination. Cello: Domenico Montagnana and Matteo Goffriller in Venice, c.1730.