Jeeyoon Kim, Pianist | Bio | Biography
Jeeyoon Kim, pianist
Classical pianist Jeeyoon Kim’s greatest passion is music and connection. Her insightful commentary from the stage at her concerts started with her wish to connect with an audience. She is much more than just a pianist who performs music and afterwards disappears from crowds.
“The more I have a deeper relationship with a piece, the more I want to bring others with me in that space. It is too beautiful to miss out. Music speaks for itself, but if there is a way to have more people appreciate music at a performance, even in that 1% of a chance, I would do it!”
Many of Jeeyoon’s fans love her performance style, bringing sensitive and sincere musical expressions and a personal approach to the audience through her music. Jeeyoon’s followers often comment that her concerts are more like ‘experiences’ than just a piano concert.
Jeeyoon considers herself a “foodie”. She grew up in Korea, which is considered a foodies’ dream country and remembers that meals in childhood were a central part of Korean culture and her family. She states “whether it is French cuisine or sushi, my favorite kind of meal is when I can feel the essence of a cook through their food. Music is a same thing; it may be Chopin, but perhaps there is something personal and unique about every performance as each musician brings that music through their windows.”
Jeeyoon began studying music when she was just 4 years old. Her parents have commented that she was always a happy musical child who loved to sing and be around music. After her study in Korea until her undergraduate studies majoring in piano performance, she came to United States. She received her Masters of Music and Doctorate of Music in Piano Performance from the Jacob School of Music at Indiana University, known as one of the leading musical programs in the world. Jeeyoon graduated with distinction as a top student. She describes her study at Indiana University as the “most nurturing and enriching musical dream that she did not want to wake up from”. She says “In Indiana, you can feel that the people are real, the music is real, and even a competition is real. But the difference here is that you realize that the competition is within yourself. You have to keep growing against you in the past.” Known as having four distinct seasons with beautiful blooming spring and colorful fall, Jeeyoon considers Indiana her second home in her heart.
Jeeyoon’s global performance appearances include FortePiano Salon Live Series, live broadcasting on Chicago’s classical music channel, WFMT, 98.7, Hilbert Circle Theatre in Indianapolis, Wheeler Concert Hall at the University of Evansville, GloVil Art Hall in Korea, Judson Park Auditorium in Cleveland, the Mozarteum Festival in Salzburg, Austria, the San Diego Symphony Chamber Music Series, and the La Jolla Music Society Series. She has collaborated with soloists including violinist Phillippe Quint, Cellist Johannes Moser and Violinist Ning Feng.
Susan Kitterman, former Artistic Director of New World Youth Symphony describes Jeeyoon’s artistry as ‘Absolutely phenomenal! What a sensitive and gifted pianist…’. Jazz Pianist, Gary Walter, commented ‘It would be criminal for the world not to hear Jeeyoon perform…’
In her other sphere of the musical world, she is known as “Dr. Kim”. As an accomplished pedagogue, she enjoys teaching, giving master classes and workshops to teachers at national and state music conferences. After her doctorate study in piano performance, she returned to Butler University for her Masters of Music, this time in Piano Pedagogy. “Everyone thought I was crazy to go back to school after earning a doctorate degree, but I simply wanted to learn more about how to connect with students through teaching, and wanted to be a better teacher, not just a performer. Teaching is a very creative process.” She describes herself as a gardener, who cares about each of her bonsai trees (which are her students), to grow beautifully and healthy in music, maximizing their unique individuality.
In December of 2015, her new album, “10 More Minutes” was initiated by crowdfunding with Kickstarter, and it has been successfully funded by her followers and fans. The album is a collection of pieces that she has performed over the years at that moment of wanting “ten more minutes” of her performance by audiences at her live concerts. It will be nationally released at a celebration concert on December 11th, 2016 by Namus Classics and Jeeyoon will be scheduling a national tour with the new album in 2017.
“Twenty four hours a day isn't enough time for all of what I want to do with my life, but it is full of music and connection. That is what makes me feel alive. I wake up in the morning with music in my head and my morning practice, and go to bed after spending many hours of practicing. In between I swim, teach, perform, and appreciate beautiful food. Those long hours of daily practice have been a part of my life as long as I remember, and I don’t have a concept of that it is easy or hard, it is just how it is! I have always hoped that at some point, my music would be delivered to someone’s heart. I can’t think of better way of spending my life.” says Jeeyoon.