Meet Eun Sun Kim

Conductor Eun Sun Kim holding her baton.

Many of our audience may not have heard Texu Kim’s work before. Why did you choose to begin with his piece, Spin Flip?

This piece is perfect for opening a concert – it immediately uplifts the audience. It’s also a bit of an inside joke. Texu Kim shares the same name as a legendary Korean ping-pong player. Growing up, he would often be asked if they were related, and this mistaken identity inspired his piece. I like Spin Flip because the instruments convey the driving energy – the give and take– of a ping-pong match, which is also reflected between the audience and performers.


Have you worked with Lucas and Arthur Jussen before? What it’s like to conduct two soloists at the same time?

I have conducted them before, in Lille, and it was this same piece! This is actually the first time in my career when I’ve repeated a program with the same soloist, so to have this happen with double soloists feels even more special.


Tchaikovsky’s music is well-loved, why do you think his Symphony No. 5 is an everlasting favourite?

It’s truly a masterpiece, and good pieces continue to resonate with different audiences over time. There are certain truths you can’t capture with logical verbal explanations, but you can express them in music. This is why I love the arts – their ability to convey things you otherwise couldn’t explain.


This will be your debut with the Philharmonia! How do you prepare for in your first rehearsal with an orchestra.

I always prepare in much the same way: following what the composer or score tells us to do and trying to understand their intentions. At the first rehearsal, I come with my interpretation, but I’m also listening to what the musicians are offering. I always enjoy this collaborative process, and I look forward to making music with the Philharmonia!


What are you looking forward to about coming to London to perform with the Philharmonia?

This is a very short trip, but I hope I have a chance to get my favorite fish and chips.


Which concert coming up in the Philharmonia’s London season would you most like to hear, and why?

I’d love to hear Jean-Guihen Queyras play on 28 April. He was on the faculty when I was studying in Stuttgart. In Germany, there are music college competitions for each of the different instruments. When I was a conducting student, it was the year of the cello competition. I conducted the student orchestra, and to prepare for all the different soloists, we got to rehearse with Herr Queyras. He played the Ligeti cello concerto and I enjoyed that collaboration. I’d love to see him perform again!


Eun Sun Kim joins us to conduct Texu Kim’s ‘Spin-Flip’, Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos, and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony on Thursday 21 March.

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