Sunbin (Kevin) Kim

Works: Green for chamber orchestra. (2016) Fantasy Concerto for piano and orchestra. (2014) Rhapsody (in the shape of an ocean current) for piano and orchestra. (2012) Night sky. For percussion ensemble.(2016) Xuamas Gabra. For horn, percussion and piano.(2016) Red. For piano and string trio.(2016) Gong. For alto flute, marimba and piano.(2015) The Lone Queen. For horn, oboe, and piano.(2015) Serenade. For horn, oboe, and piano. (2014) Fantasy for cello and piano.(2013) Two Mirrors for flute, violin, viola and cello.(2012) Wisps for clarinet and piano (2010) Whirlwind for flute, clarinet and piano (2008) Daybreak for solo violin.(2017) Three Etudes for piano.(2013) Etudes for Piano.(2007) Elegy for Solo Piano(2006) Aphorisms: Sonata for Oboe(2005) Blue for two pianos and electronics.(2016)

Sunbin is a Korean- born composer based in New York. Sunbin Kim's compositions have been performed in concerts and festivals such as the Aspen Summer Music Festival and School, the Zodiac Music Festival (France,) Charlotte New Music Festival, BUTI Tanglewood Summer Music Festival, and the Uzmah/Upbeat International Summer Music Festival (Croatia.) An accomplished pianist, Sunbin performed his own "Fantasy Concerto" with the American Symphony Orchestra under Leon Botstein. His ensemble works have been performed widely In United States and Europe, receiving commissions from Iktus Percussion Ensemble, Smash Ensemble, the Da Capo Chamber Players, Palisades Virtuosi, and Engle Winds. He has received numerous awards including seven ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and the North/ South Consonance Award and commission. Sunbin was awarded Bachelor's degrees in music composition and physics from Bard College and is completing his Master of Music degree in composition at The Juilliard School. He will begin his DMA studies with Reiko Füting at the Manhattan School of Music in the fall. Sunbin Kim is a member of the American Composers Alliance.

If you are only moved by color relationships then you are missing the point. I am interested in the big emotions - tragedy, ecstasy, doom. - Mark Rothko



PDF score

Notes for Red for piano and string trio. (7 minutes.) Red was commissioned for the 2016 Zodiac Music Festival in Valdeblore, France. The title reflects my interest in the colour of sounds and the inner harmonies found in the spectra of musical tones. This piece is part of a series of pieces inspired by the colours of the visible spectrum, including Blue for 2 pianos and electronics, and Green for chamber orchestra. The opening sonority in E-flat, which lent the piece its name, is a vivid cinnabar red. This E-flat is the starting point to ever more distant and metallic “outer” harmonies. Red is also the colour of intensely felt, passionate emotion, of love, as well as that of rage. The presence of red in its different shades is present everywhere, even in the most dissonant moments. At the highest point, the scarlet E-flat returns brighter than ever. As it happens, Red was premiered on Bastille Day, July 14, 2016 – the same day that 84 people were killed hundreds injured in a truck attack in Nice, an hour north of Valdeblore in the Alps. All of us were terribly shaken by this horrible, tragic event. The title has taken on an entirely unanticipated meaning.


PDF score

Commissioned for the Aspen Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, 2015.


For piano. (Sunbin Kim performing.)

Night Sky

PDF score

Night Sky was commissioned by Iktus Percussion for the Charlotte New Music Festival. This was to be a piece for three percussionists with limited materials to write for –only four items for each of the three players, with only crotales being the available pitched instrument. Because my musical language is so centered around tonal colour, writing a piece without keyboard percussion presented an unique challenge. I decided to use large glass vases, tuned with water in the arrangement of a whole-tone scale, and three almglocken, to complement the crotales. These have a resonant quality on their own, such that a few sounded at the same time would create a complete chord. From this, I wrote a piece with those light, gamelan-like sounds as the main feature.