Works by UCSC music professor to be featured at Smithsonian

Compositions by Hi Kyung Kim to also be featured at Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and at UC Santa Cruz in April

Poster image courtesy: Bohnchang Koo
(Poster image courtesy of Bohnchang Koo)
UCSC professor of music Hi Kyung Kim
UCSC professor of music Hi Kyung Kim
The Borromeo String Quartet
The Borromeo String Quartet

Thousand Gates, a concert featuring two new works by UC Santa Cruz professor of music Hi Kyung Kim, is set to be performed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., on April 7.

The featured composition, Kim’s “Thousand Gates,” is a multicultural, collaborative piece that blends Korean folk music and Western classical music, augmented with images from famed Korean photographer Bohnchang Koo.

This presentation is a preview musical performance, offering a sneak preview of the images in the full collaborative production, which is planned to be presented next season.
“Thousand Gates” will be performed by the Ensemble Rituel--a group of artists that Kim said was formed specifically for this project.

The group includes four of Korea's acclaimed traditional musicians: Eun-Ha Park (Korean percussion), Soo-Neon Chung (Haegeum), Jeong-Seung Kim (Daegeum); and Borromeo String Quartet violinist Nicholas Kitchen and cellist Yeesun Kim, along with clarinetist John Sackett, and percussionist William Winant.

The concert will also include the world premiere of Hi Kyung Kim's “Han San,” commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University.

This piece will be performed by the renowned Borromeo String Quartet.

Described by the Boston Globe as "simply the best there is" the Borromeo is one of the most accomplished string quartets in the world, annually performing more than 100 concerts of classical and contemporary music across three continents.

“The sincerity and extraordinary artistic excellence of the Borromeo String Quartet was a great inspiration,” Kim noted.

The concert will additionally feature the late composer Andrew Imbrie's final work “Clarinet Quintet" which was commissioned by the Harvard Musical Association.

Kim--a former student of Imbrie's--had the privilege of completing his piece in 2009.

The “Clarinet Quintet” was written for two time Grammy award-winning clarinetist, Richard Stoltzman and the Borromeo Quartet, who will perform the work at the Smithsonian.

Kim noted that the concert is dedicated to Imbrie who passed away in 2007.  

“’Thousand Gates’ is all about Andrew Imbrie's life, much of his music will be used in the piece,” said Kim. “All the performers on the program have worked with Andrew and me…it’s a very meaningful piece,” she added.  

The same program will additionally be performed at the Asian Art Museum (Samsung Hall) in San Francisco on April 4, and at UC Santa Cruz as part of the Music Department's April in Santa Cruz Festival of Contemporary Music  on Friday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Center Recital Hall.

Kim earned her B.A. in composition from Seoul National University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from UC Berkeley.    

Her compositions have been performed by Yo-Yo Ma and the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, the San Francisco Symphony, Cabrillo Music Festival Orchestra, and Alexander String Quartet among others, and her work has been performed at music festivals worldwide.

Kim’s past projects include three major multi-media works, titled “Rituels,” for Korean Choreography, Korean Ensemble and Western Ensemble. These works were featured internationally at various venues, including the Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, and the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts in Seoul, Korea.

In 2010, Kim was one of five keynote speakers at the second UNESCO World Conference on Arts Education, the largest global event in the field, which took place in South Korea and featured nearly 2,000 representatives from 193 nations.

Kim recently finished a new piece titled “Isles of Light” (2013) for chamber ensemble.  The piece was commissioned by the Koussevitzky Music Foundation at the Library of Congress and was co-commissioned by the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota.


Tickets for the April 5 performance of Thousand Gates at UC Santa Cruz are $12 general, $10 seniors 62 and over, $8 students w/ ID, available at the UCSC Ticket Office (831-459-2159) and the Santa Cruz Civic box office (831-420-5260), online at, or at the door.