Nayoung Kim


Photo by Matt Dine


Winner, 2023 American Prize, solo instrumental performance; First Prize, 2022 New York International Music Competition; 2nd Prize, 2022 Chicago International Music Competition; First Prize, 2022 American Music Talent Competition; 2nd Prize, Italy Cremona International Music Competition; First Prize, 2022 International Royal Sound Music Competition, Montreal; First Prize and Special Awards, 2020 Quebec Classical Music Competition; Winner, University of Cincinnati Barber Violin Concerto Competition; Winner, Carnegie Hall gala concert audition


Carnegie Hall Gala winner concert, 2023; Aspen Music Festival and School ACA Fellowship, 2021;  West of Music Festival, Violin Fellowship, 2023; Grafenegg Austria Academy Orchestra violin fellowship

What is your earliest memory of classical music?

My mother was a piano teacher and she taught me how to play piano.

When did you realize you wanted to pursue music as a career?

My private violin teacher recommended me to be a professional musician.

How did you hear about TŌN? What inspired you to apply?

I heard about TŌN from a friend. I was inspired to apply because TŌN offers a lot of opportunity to improve my orchestra skills.

What do you think orchestra concerts should look like in the 21st Century?

We should always be thinking about how to attract people by playing classical music.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Violinist Kyung-Wha Chang

Which composer or genre of music do you feel you connect with the most?

Romantic music. When I play music from the Romantic era music, I find it truly delightful. 

What is your favorite piece of music, and why do you love it?

Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1. I like its mystery and melancholy.

What has been your favorite experience as a musician?

Playing music for the sick.

Favorite non-classical musician or band

Jazz pianist Bill Evans

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

Harp or cello

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?

If I were not a musician, I would like to be a spinning instructor.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us

I’m stronger than I look.

Piece of advice for a young classical musician

Please enjoy the music, don’t just focus on competition.