Sunwook Kim

© Marco Borggreve


Sunwook Kim came to international recognition when he won the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition in 2006, aged just 18, becoming the competition’s youngest winner for 40 years, as well as its first Asian winner. His performance of Brahms’s Concerto No.1 with the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder in the competition’s finals attracted unanimous praise from the press. Since then, he has established a reputation as one of the finest pianists of his generation, appearing as a concerto soloist in the subscription series of some of the world’s leading orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden (Asia Tour conducted by Myung-Whun Chung), NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, Finnish Radio Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Radio-France Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, Hallé Orchestra, and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra for his BBC Proms debut in Summer 2014.

Recitals highlights to date include regular appearances in the “Piano 4 Etoiles” series at Salle Pleyel in Paris, as well as debuts at the Wigmore Hall, the London International Piano Series (Queen Elizabeth Hall), Stockholm Konserthuset, Teatro Colon Buenos Aires, La Roque d’Antheron International Piano Festival in France, Kioi Hall in Tokyo, Symphony Hall Osaka, Brussels Klara Festival, Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Klavier-Festival Ruhr and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festspiele.

Sunwook Kim’s debut recital recordings on the Accentus label include two discs of Beethoven sonatas, Franck’s Prelude, choral et fugue and Brahms’s Sonata No.3.  His discography also includes multiple concerto recordings; on Accentus Music with the Staatskapelle Dresden conducted by Myung-Whun Chung featuring Brahms’ Piano Concerto no. 1 and Six Piano Pieces (2020) in addition to recordings on Deutsche Grammophon with the Seoul Philharmonic conducted by Myung-Whun Chung, a CD featuring Unsuk Chin’s Piano Concerto (2014) and a CD featuring Beethoven Concerto No.5 (2013).


Video & Audio

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    29 Oct 20 Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1; Klavierstücke, Op. 118

    “…Kim demonstrates a magical sensitivity of touch and phrasing to rival even (Emil) Gilels at his majestic prime…”

    Classical Music Reviews

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    10 Oct 19 Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor & Capriccio brilliant in B Minor for Piano and Orchestra
    Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Debut)

    “…He played Mendelssohn’s lush, virtuosic “Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor” and “Capriccio brilliant in B Minor for Piano and Orchestra” to ravishing, rippling effect, moving seamlessly from the stormiest passages to the most lyrical sequences with an astounding physical and emotional fluidity…”

    Hedy Weiss, WTTW News

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    08 Jan 19 Mozart Piano Sonata in D Major K.311
    Wigmore Hall, London

    “… Kim’s fluent and fabulously secure technique enables him to sail through Mozart’s balancing act of cause and effect with flawless results, but he also admits space and sweetness to take you beyond it’s infectious energy…”

    Classical Source

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    15 Jun 18 Greig Piano Concerto
    Royal Festival Hall, London

    “…Sunwook Kim’s playing in the Concerto was a delight. His rhythmically incisive, crisp, clear-cut delivery was highly attractive, his presentation was stylish but unsentimental and perfect for Grieg’s delicately wrought music. He brought a notably subtle blend of power and refinement to the virtuosic demands of the first movement cadenza, and his quietly reflective account of the lyrical central movement was supported by some lovely playing from the orchestra, particularly the strings…”

    Seen and Heard International

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    06 Mar 18 Brahms Piano Concerto in D Minor
    Halle Orchestra, Bridgewater Hall

    Kim’s perceived chemistry with the Hallè was again apparent in his magisterial performance of the D minor Concerto conducted by Karina Canellakis. The fluidity of Kim’s technique, combined with an intensity of expression and myriad colouring of notes, makes this epic concerto an unforgettable experience.

    Wharfedale Observer

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    01 May 17 Brahms Piano Concerti 1 & 2

    “Elder and the Hallé provide a dramatic orchestral introduction to commence the massive and dramatic first movement, Maestoso. It just pulsates with drama. One immediately notices how decisively Kim strikes the keys and everything is shaped with clarity and immediacy. The glorious lyrical theme with Kim’s playing alone is near spine-tingling, so introspective.”
    Musicweb International

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    17 Apr 17 Beethoven Sonatas No.8, 14, 23

    “Kim has an unerring sense of underlying harmonic tension and tonal design, plus the skill to apply colour and blend accordingly, which gives his playing both eloquence and architectural solidity and saves him from having to rely on gimmicky exaggeration to make his mark.”
    Gramophone May 2017

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    25 Oct 16 Recital
    Wigmore Hall

    “The remoteness of the opening instantly gave you an entrée into Kim’s acute sensibility, in which every inflection of weight, dynamics and sublimely poised decoration released Mozart’s elaborate web of balance and consequence. This is music where there is nowhere to hide. It’s a conundrum that musicians wrestle with, and Kim addressed it with rare communicative depth.”

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    03 Mar 16 Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3
    Hamburger Symphoniker

    “Die ungeheure Virtuosität der wilden Kaskaden, die sich dauernd wie ausbrechende Geysire ins Geschehen schalteten, beherrschte Kim faszinierend”
    Die Welt

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    30 Mar 16 Franck, Brahms Prelude, Chorale et Fugue, Sonata No. 3

    “The fluttering figurations of the Prelude speak with a delicate poignancy and the Fugue blossoms into that ecstatic exaltation so characteristic of Franck… The brief Intermezzo prepares a truly impressive finale. Kim delineates the proliferation of thematic material with aplomb, pulls off a galvanising fugato and achieves heft in the lonely cadential chords that end the piece.”
    Gramophone, April 2016

    “Sunwook Kim brings some splendid pianism and conceptual thinking to both works: a full-toned touch and resonant atmosphere connects the Prelude, Choral et Fugue strongly to Franck’s organ works.”
    BBC Music Magazine, June 2016

    “Kim rend compte du foisonnement de l’écriture avec simplicité et raffinement… (cette version) s’impose par son intériorité, son souffle et son inépuisable beauté formelle.”
    Diapason June 16

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    29 Apr 15 Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3
    Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Lighthouse Poole.

    “It very much felt as though Karabits and Kim had been holding everything in reserve for this movement, a thrilling, roller-coaster ride of emotion to the very end. In the contrasting episodes, there was a blend of humour, playfulness and reflection; Kim again showed the huge range of his pianistic talent in the set of four variations squeezed into the overall structure of the movement.”

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    25 Jun 14 Recital
    City of London Festival

    “The swell of suspended harmonies was perfectly controlled, the chords perfectly struck and voiced, and Kim always kept the sense of restless searching at just the right level of intensity.” ( Scriabin, Sonata no. 3)
    The Guardian

    “His real strengths were to be found in the second theme of this movement, where emotions melted, and in the ‘Aria’, a message of love to Clara, which was taken slowly but with phrasing beautifully aligned. The lead out from capricious scherzo to the determined finale was ideally wrought and the transition from darkness to light was fully affirmative.” (Schumann; Sonata no. 1)

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    14 Feb 14 Unsuk CHIN Piano Concerto
    NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg

    “…ein Tastenteugel sondergleichen, dem kein Hindernisrennen zu vertrackt, kein Motivpuzzle zu verzwickt und kein Partikelgestöber zu chaotisch ist. ”
    Die Welt, 17 February 2014

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    01 Nov 13 Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5
    Seoul Philhamonic Orchestra, Mwung Whun Chung, recording

    “Kim and Chung seem very much on the same wavelength, interpretatively, from the opening flourish onwards, and they surmount this work’s tricky transitions with great naturalness… The finale has an infectious energy to it, Kim making the trenchant rhythms sound lithe rather than obstreperous.”
    Gramophone, November 2013

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    30 Nov 12 Concert
    London Symphony Orchestra

    “The interplay between Kim and an LSO on peak form took us to the heart of the matter, with an acute sense of classical style rare in any pianist. Everything flowed effortlessly and yet had the ‘gift to be simple’ whilst never sounding bland.”
    Classical Source.com

    “Kim’s strong supple fingers and super-restrained use of the sustaining pedal pulled focus on brilliant articulation and though he didn’t go in for the kind of heightened poetry that can take this piece into the realms of the other worldly his strong singing tone was as honest as it was expressive.”
    The Arts Desk


Please note: this repertoire list is for reference only. The choice of repertoire for a particular project remains at the artist’s discretion.

Concerto No. 2
Concerto No. 3

Concerto No. 1
Concerto No. 2
Concerto No. 3
Concerto No. 4
Concerto No. 5
‘Triple’ Concerto

Concerto No. 1
Concerto No. 2

Concerto op. 13

Piano Concerto

Concerto No. 1
Concerto No. 2

Concerto in G minor

Concerto in A minor

Concerto No. 9 K. 271 in E flat
Concerto No.20 K. 466 in D minor
Concerto No. 21 K. 467 in C
Concerto No. 22 K. 482 in E flat
Concerto No. 23 K.488 in A
Concerto No. 24 K. 491 in C minor
Concerto No. 27 K. 595 in B flat

Concerto No. 1
Concerto No. 2
Concerto No. 3

Concerto No. 2
Concerto No. 3
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Concerto in G
Concerto for the left hand

Concerto No. 2

Concerto in A minor

Concerto No. 1

Konzertstücke in F minor



  • More info  
    Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1; Klavierstücke, Op. 118

    Label: Accentus

    Release Date: 29 Oct 20

    Johannes Brahms
    Piano Concerto No.1 in d minor, op.15
    Klavierstücke op.118

    Sunwook Kim – Piano
    Myung-Whun Chung – Conductor
    Staatskapelle Dresden

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    Brahms Piano Concertos

    Label: Hallé

    Release Date: 05 May 17

    Concerto No. 1 in D minor Op15
    Concerto No. 2 in B flat  Op.83

    The Hallé, conducted by Sir Mark Elder

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    Label: Accentus

    Release Date: 01 Mar 17

    Sonata No. 8  Op. 17 Pathétique
    Sonata No. 15 Op. 27 /2
    Sonata No. 23 Op. 57 Appassionata

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    Brahms- Franck

    Label: Accentus Music

    Release Date: 26 Feb 16

    Franck: Prelude, Choral et Fugue
    Brahms:Piano Sonata no. 3 in Fm op5

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    Label: Accentus Music

    Release Date: 30 Oct 15

    Sonata no. 21 op53 ‘Waldstein’
    Sonata no.29 op106 ‘Hammerklavier’

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    Label: Deutsche Grammophon

    Release Date: 01 Aug 14

    Piano Concerto (Premiere recording)
    Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Myung-Whun Chung

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    Label: Deutsche Grammophon

    Release Date: 01 Sep 14

    Piano Concerto no. 5 in Eb major, Op73
    Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Myung-Whun Chung