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Concertmaster David Kim joins Eastern

At Eastern’s fall convocation on Aug. 29, David Kim, concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 1999, was given the title of artist in residence. With his new title, he can now present master classes to Eastern’s music students any time of the year.

Kim started to play the violin at the age of three. Backed by his mother, an avid pianist, he perfected his craft, fueled by his mother’s dream of training a master violinist.

In a phone interview, Kim explained how revolutionary his mother was in learning to play. In the early ’60s, she taught herself to play the violin in order to understand how to instruct. “She was just on a mission,” Kim said.

It wasn’t until Kim was eight years old and in New York City that he gained the same love his mother had. Under the tutelage of master violinist Dorothy DeLay, Kim came to adore his instrument.

The rest of Kim’s life is common knowledge; he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School and was the only American violinist to win a prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1986.

But what is generally unknown is the extent of his connection with Eastern. He was asked by Ron Matthews, head of the music department, to come to Eastern. Kim jumped at the opportunity.

“I feel a certain connection with Eastern,” Kim said. “That is something that is very rare in the music world and is very special.”

What is even more amazing about this master violinist is that he does not require – or accept – fees for the master classes he gives at Eastern. His reasoning? “I want to somehow give to such a wonderful school,” he said. “I’m happy to help anyway I can.”

And Eastern’s music department is happy to have him.

“He’s a remarkable player that seems to have the respect and admiration of everyone he meets,” Bryan Edgett, director of instrumental activities, said.

“He is a dedicated follower of Jesus and a world class, magnificent violinist,” Matthews said.

Acting on his new artist in residence title, Kim hopes to hold a master class at Eastern sometime before Thanksgiving.

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