Review: ‘From Prodigy to Professional’

From playing hooky from practice at music camp to playing a $1 million-violin, David Kim told his story. In utero, his mother had decided that he would be a boy and would be a world-class violinist. Her determination and his journey to becoming the concertmaster at the Philadelphia Orchestra intrigued participants at a recent fundraiser for Kennett Symphony.

His violin career began at the age of 3 with a 1/8 sized violin. The upside was that he had no chores and no homework. The downside was that he had to practice every day. From age 3 to 12, he only missed one day practice. His mother’s plan was to increase the amount of practice every day.

He was accepted by a famed pedagogue Dorothy DeLay at the Julliard School. By 11 years old, he was flying by himself from South Carolina, transferring in Charlotte, to New York on Saturdays to study with DeLay.

David Kim was accompanied by Jeffrey DeVault on piano at The Gables at Chadds Ford (Photo Credit: Vince Moro)

Kim’s easy manor set in the comfortable elegance of the Gables Restaurant created an opportunity to hear an exquisite performance and to support the Kennett Symphony. The program began with Stravinsky’s ‘Suite Italienne.’ Kim was accompanied by Jeffrey DeVault on piano. Kim described the piece as serious, humorous and “coquettish.”

The audience noticed that Kim didn’t turn music pages, but he did tap his foot on one of two buttons on the floor. He explained that he uses the AirTurn hands-free page turning system. One button moves pages on his iPad forward, and the other turns pages back. The only downside of the system, he explained, is if his iPad crashes during a performance.

Kim explained that giving up his mother’s dream of being a world class violinist led him to a satisfying life. Being the concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra, he gets to play a J. B. Guadagnini violin made in the 1750s and valued at $1.2 million. He lives with his wife and two daughters in the Philadelphia area. His daughters were at the performance.

Kim then played "Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus" P. Leibensperger’s version of "Amazing Grace." The piece maintains the underlying compelling melody with many flourishes that give freshness to the old-time tune.

After the final pieces, the audience gave Kim a standing ovation. The enthusiasm was so high, he was persuaded to perform an encore.

Elizabeth Moro, Chair of Kennett Symphony fundraiser. (Photo Credit Vince Moro)

The event chair was Elizabeth Moro who invited guests to go downstairs to the restaurant after the concert. The Gables donated part of all purchases to the Kennett Symphony.  Moro said “The fundraiser was successful in reaching our target. Attendance was just over 100 which made this a very intimate setting for those who were there." David Kim will be performing with the full Kennett Symphony in 2020.

Next concert for Kennett Symphony is at Longwood Gardens. "Symphony Under the Stars" will be held Aug. 17 at 7:30 p.m. For more information, click here.


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

About Emily Myers

Emily Myers has lived and worked in Chadds Ford for over thirty years.  She founded the parent company of Chadds Ford Live, Decision Design Research, Inc., in 1982. represents the confluence of Myers' long time, deep involvement in technology and community. Myers was a founding member of the Chadds Ford Business Association and currently serves on its board of directors.  Her hobbies include bridge, golf, photography and Tai Chi. She lives with her husband, Jim Lebedda, in Chadds Ford Township.



One Response to “Review: ‘From Prodigy to Professional’”

  1. Paul Merluzzi says:

    Emily, Thank you for capturing the essence of a wonderful afternoon of music and camaraderie among supporters and friends of the Kennett Symphony. I could not have been more pleased. Paul Merluzzi, President, The Kennett Symphony of Chester County.

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