The Korean pianist Su Yeon Kim achieved international acclaim when she won the first prize at the Concours musical international de Montréal 2021 and the second prize at the International Mozart Competition 2020 in Salzburg. For her debut album on the Steinway & Sons label Su Yeon Kim displays her passion and gift for performing the music of Mozart with some of his most beloved piano works as well as a few rarities.
“Mozart’s music is full of life and power, encompassing the full spectrum of human emotions and transcending all eras and cultural boundaries. Compiling this album brought me waves of joy, and the feeling of personal connection to Mozart's spirit.”
— Su Yeon Kim
“A refined, probing artist… a thought-through, fully realized interpretation, the kind you’d expect from a veteran of the recital circuit.”
“Kim’s recording for Steinway & Sons of sonatas Nos. 9 and 12 is so light, well-balanced and insightful that it bodes very well indeed for a possible set of all 18 sonatas. Whether or not that is in the future, having these two available now is wonderful. Kim brings exuberance and a generally light touch to both these works – using a modern piano, yes, but holding back on the large and reverberant sound of which the instrument is capable. As a result, the sonatas attain a level of understated beauty that mingles well with their perfection of form, of which Kim is clearly quite cognizant.”
“The outer movements of the D major Sonata, K311, stand out for Kim's expert finger legato and a sense of air between phrases that's easier to hear than to explain. If anything, her reading of the F major Sonata, K332, better reveals the music underneath the surtace glitter. Many pianists, for instance, treat the Assai allegro finale as an exercise in ‘anything you can play I can play faster’. Not Kim, who makes virtuoso points through careful articulation, placement of accents. dynamic gradations and not short-changing the dramatically placed rests.”
“The South Korean pianist’s playing is a joy, and this album reveals her as a Mozartian through and through... a beautifully constructed programme, full of contrasts: serious, playful, extrovert, introspective, dancing, operatic.”
“Kim audibly relishes the way in which Mozart makes rhythm and harmony play tag with each other... In the two sonatas she displays her command of legato and evenness of trills and Alberti basses, orchestrating repeated figures and passages through instinctive variations of touch. She doesn't limit herself to a timid mezzo-forte in deference to 18th-century performance practice, opening the throttle on the Steinway when needs be, bringing rhetorical grandeur to the late G minor Allegro (K312) and the fantasia-like B minor Adagio (K540).”
— International Piano
“Precisely articulating its passages at light speed, she executes the ninth sonata's opening allegro breezily before imbuing her exquisite rendering of its andante with all of the requisite sensitivity it demands. Kim's fingers dance across the keyboard throughout the closing “Rondo-Allegro,” regal in one passage and effervescent in another. Her rendition of the twelfth, with its luminous allegros and lustrous adagio, is as endearing.”
“Distinguished by an incisive and very articulate approach, the pianist brings a breath of fresh air with her lively, airy interpretation, tinged with humor, a pearly and delicate touch but still full of strength, very virtuoso in fast passages... with the required sensitivity in the slow movements.”
— Ludwig van Montréal
“Even within the sonatas, Mozart gives us a variety of emotions, and Su Yeon Kim brings a deft touch to the keyboard that brings balance to the proceedings... As usual, Steinway & Sons has done an excellent job of capturing the sound of the piano.”
— Classical Candor
“Pianist Su Yeon Kim captured the hearts of visitors.”
— Hamburger Abendblatt
“Her tempos are well-selected and use of embellishment judicious and executed with finesse. The D major sonata is enthusiastically imbued with the con spirito marked in the first movement. The Andante con espressione is played tenderly, with lovely dynamic shadings. Kim’s playful interpretation of rubato lends to the Rondo finale’s appeal, as do the whirling dance rhythms and quick scalar passages.”
— Sequenza 21
Mozart Recital / Su Yeon Kim • STNS 30211
Release Date: 07/07/2023
Recorded October 12-13, 2022 at Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia.
Producer: Dan Merceruio
Engineer: Joshua Frey
Mixing and Mastering: Daniel Shores
Executive Producers: Eric Feidner, Jon Feidner
Art Direction: Jackie Fugere
Design: Cover to Cover Design, Anilda Carrasquillo
Cover Photo: Shirley Suarez
Artist Liaison: Rosalie Burrell
Production Assistant: Renée Oakford
Piano Technician: John Veitch
Piano: Steinway Model D #607799 (New York)
About the Artist
The Korean pianist Su Yeon Kim achieved international acclaim when she won the first prize at the Concours musical international de Montréal 2021 and the second prize at the International Mozart Competition 2020 in Salzburg. Her recent debut appearance with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal under Maestro Osmo Vänskä in October 2022 marks a turning point in her career, after giving concerts in numerous prestigious venues throughout the world, such as Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, NDR-Sendesaal Hannover, Herkulessaal Munich, Franz Liszt Hall Budapest, Teatro alla Scala Milan, Mozarteum Grand Hall Salzburg, Salle Cortot Paris, Kennedy Center Washington D.C., Canadian Opera Company Toronto, Hamarikyu Asahi Hall Tokyo and Seoul Arts Centre, among others.
Su Yeon Kim has performed as a soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic, Slovakia Philharmonic, Orchestra dell'Accademia Teatro alla Scala, Salzburg Orchestra Soloists, Mozarteum Orchestra and Krakow Philharmonic. Her long-standing desire to learn the art of conducting an orchestra from the keyboard became a reality when the Steinway Prizewinner Concerts network invited her to participate in Paris Play-Direct Academy of the Orchestre de chambre de Paris which culminated in a performance at Philharmonie de Paris.
In 2023, Su Yeon will regularly perform in Seoul as the Artist-in-Residence of Kumho Art Hall.
Born in Seoul in 1994, Su Yeon has studied with Choong-Mo Kang at the Korea National Institute for the Gifted in Arts, Eunok Kim and Eunju Heo. She moved to Salzburg at the age of 19 where she completed her studies under the tutelage of Pavel Gililov. In addition, she was mentored by Paul Gulda and received valuable inspiration from Alfred Brendel, Sir András Schiff and Robert Levin.
About Steinway & Sons label
The STEINWAY & SONS music label produces exceptional albums of solo piano music across all genres. The label — a division of STEINWAY & SONS, maker of the world’s finest pianos — is a perfect vessel for producing the finest quality recordings by some of the most talented pianists in the world.