James Jihyun Kim


Hometown: Seoul, Korea

Alma maters: The Juilliard School, B.M.; Stony Brook University, M.M.; Yale School of Music, A.D.

Photos by Matt Dine


Awards/Competitions: Finalist (One of Five), Honorable Mention, 2013 IDRS Fernand Gillet-Hugo Fox International Oboe Competition

Appearances: Pablo Casals Music Festival, France; Norfolk Chamber Music Festival; Aspen Music Festival

What is your earliest memory of classical music? Taking violin lessons when I was very young and playing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

When did you realize you wanted to pursue music as a career? When I gave my first public performance on oboe when I was 15

What inspired you to audition for TŌN? My teacher and friends introduced me to TŌN. I heard about the program from them and I loved the idea that it is designed to educate exceptional orchestral musicians. Performing with great conductors and colleagues is always inspiring.

Who is your biggest inspiration? Albrecht Mayer, Principal oboist of Berlin Philharmonic

Which composer do you feel you connect with the most? J.S. Bach and Robert Schumann

What has been your favorite experience as a musician? It is always great to feel emotionally bonded with the audience on stage. Oboe parts usually have some beautiful solo lines which are always a pleasure to play for other people.

What is some advice you would give to your younger self? Do not quit playing piano even if you don’t want to practice. There will be times when you want to play more than one note at a time.

If you could play another instrument, what would it be? Piano

What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to and why? Maldives. It is such a beautiful paradise. It feels like time has stopped while I’m there. Gorgeous ocean and well-preserved nature. It’s just perfect for a vacation.