“This week, as the San Francisco Symphony begins its first tour of … Korea, one of the most dramatic East-meets-West stories in the music world remains largely unknown,” writes Elijah Ho on Friday (11/11) at San Francisco radio station KQED. “Says [violinist] Kum Mo Kim, who’s been with the [San Francisco] Symphony for 41 years, ‘I must give credit to my father, John S. Kim. He was the one who brought classical music to Korea.’ In 1948, John S. Kim … founded the Seoul National Philharmonic, the first symphony orchestra in Korea…. [During the Korean war] John S. Kim and his orchestra … planned an outdoor concert [and] U.S. Vice President Alben W. Barkley (1949-1953) was in town…. ‘The American government invited my father to come to this country,’ [says Kum Mo Kim.] John S. Kim went on to study with Eugene Ormandy in Philadelphia and then with Leonard Bernstein in New York.… John S. Kim created educational musical programs for the Korean public, and held competitions to raise the national level of playing of his homeland.” Says Kum Mo Kim, who grew up in America, “I’m just very happy that I now, finally, get to bring my own orchestra to my hometown.”

Posted November 14, 2016