Violinist David Kim was named Concertmaster of The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1999. Prior to this position, he was the Senior Associate Concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony. Born in Carbondale, Illinois, he started playing the violin at the age of three, began studies with the famed pedagogue Dorothy DeLay at the age of eight, and later received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from The Juilliard School. As a 12-year old Mr. Kim appeared with Itzhak Perlman as the subject of "Prodigy", a WNEW-TV (New York) production. In 1986 he was the only American violinist to win a prize at the famed International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, where he was prominently featured in a documentary detailing the competition.
Mr. Kim performs extensively throughout the world both with The Philadelphia Orchestra and as guest soloist with numerous other orchestras. He has collaborated with many highly regarded conductors such as Christoph von Dohnanyi, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Peter Oundjian, and Wolfgang Sawallisch. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Kim founded and is artistic director of the Kingston Chamber Music Festival at the University of Rhode Island. In conjunction with the festival, Mr. Kim founded an annual outreach program that has taken him to elementary schools, performing and speaking about classical music in an effort to cultivate future audiences. To date, he has performed for well over 12,000 young people in the State of Rhode Island. In 2001, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Arts from the University of Rhode Island.
Mr. Kim resides in a suburb of Philadelphia with his wife Jane and daughters Natalie and Margaret. He and his family are active members of Renewal Presbyterian Church in West Philadelphia. He is an avid golfer, wine lover, and sports fan.
Gail Niwa's "brilliant insights" and "power, eloquence and striking sound color" have made her an audience favorite throughout the world. In 1991 Ms. Niwa created a sensation by becoming the first woman ever to win the Gold Medal at the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition. She was also awarded the Audience Prize and the Chamber Music Prize. Ms. Niwa has also won major prizes in the International Chopin Competition, the Mae Whitaker Competition and the Washington International Competition.
Ms. Niwa won high praise for her New York recital debut at Alice Tully Hall, and her recitals at Orchestra Hall in Chicago on the Allied Arts Piano Series and at the Ambassador Auditorium's Gold Medal Series in Pasadena. She also received outstanding reviews for her solo appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in February 1995, performing the Schumann Piano Concerto with Sir Georg Solti conducting. Ms. Niwa can be heard in the film Fantasia 2000 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Saint-Saens "Carnival of the Animals."