Gloria Chien and Soovin Kim named Chamber Music Northwest’s new artistic director

Chamber Music Northwest is pleased to announce that it has selected Gloria Chien and Soovin Kim as its next artistic directors to succeed current Artistic Director David Shifrin after his final Summer Festival in 2020! A husband and wife team, both are internationally-renowned performers – Gloria a pianist, Soovin a violinist – and experienced music presenters. Gloria and Soovin are co-artistic directors of the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, founded by Soovin in 2008. Gloria is also the artistic director of the String Theory chamber music series in Chattanooga, TN – which she founded in 2009 – and has been director of the Chamber Music Institute of the Music@Menlo Festival since 2010.

Chamber Music Northwest Executive Director Peter Bilotta says “We are very pleased that the opportunity to lead Chamber Music Northwest drew interest from many of today’s top musical artists. From a field of exceptional musicians and artistic leaders, we are confident we’ve made the best choice for Chamber Music Northwest’s next chapter, and are thrilled to have Gloria and Soovin on our team.”

For more than two years, Chamber Music Northwest has conducted a thorough, international search for its new artistic director. Gloria and Soovin will assume the artistic director position after David Shifrin, Chamber Music Northwest’s artistic director for nearly 40 seasons, steps down after the 2020 Summer Festival.

“I have been honored to share my talents and artistic vision with Chamber Music Northwest audiences for the past 40 years and am proud of how Chamber Music Northwest has grown and evolved in that time” says David Shifrin. “I have collaborated with both Gloria and Soovin on many occasions. I am very proud to have performed at the first Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival and first season of String Theory in Chattanooga. I brought Gloria to Chamber Music Northwest as a Protégé Project artist and Soovin to the Chamber Music Society Two program at Lincoln Center. Gloria and Soovin have become an amazing force in service of the future of chamber music. I am confident they will bring the greatest music and finest musicians to Portland for years to come.”

“Under David’s leadership, Chamber Music Northwest has become one of the most important American chamber music institutions” says Soovin Kim. “Chamber Music Northwest’s vibrancy is closely tied to the artistic values of the Portland community. Gloria and I relish the idea of accepting the baton of leadership from David and nurturing those values while injecting a new energy and fresh perspective that will transform Portland well into the 21st century.”

Gloria and Soovin will perform under Shifrin’s artistic leadership at Chamber Music Northwest’s 2019 and 2020 Summer Festivals, and then succeed him as artistic directors in the fall of 2020. In the interim, they will begin their own artistic planning for their first Chamber Music Northwest Summer Festival in 2021.

About Gloria Chien

Taiwanese-American pianist Gloria Chien is becoming known not only for the “elegant ripples and shadings” (New York Times) of her nuanced playing but also as an educator and leader of arts organizations. The Boston Globe selected her as one of its Superior Pianists of the year, “… who appears to excel in everything…a wondrously rich palette of colors, which she mixes with dashing bravado and with an uncanny precision of calibration…Chien’s performance had it all, and it was fabulous.”

Gloria made her orchestral solo debut at the age of 16 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She is in demand as a collaborator for recitals, with string quartets, and at major chamber music festivals. She regularly performs in the United States at venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Jordan Hall, the Library of Congress, and the Phillips Collection, and abroad she has recently performed at the Dresden Chamber Music Festival, Seoul Arts Center, and the National Concert Hall in Taiwan. Gloria was part of the Bowers Program at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and continues to regularly perform as an artist-member of the Society.

Gloria Chien is the founder and artistic director of String Theory, a concert series launched in 2009 at the Hunter Museum of American Art in downtown Chattanooga. In 2010, Gloria was appointed director of the Chamber Music Institute at Music@Menlo. Most recently, in 2017, she was named co-artistic director of the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival in 2017, joining violinist and husband Soovin Kim.

Gloria began playing the piano at age five in her native Taiwan. She came to the United States in high school to study at Walnut Hill School for the Arts and at the New England Conservatory with Russell Sherman and Wha-Kyung Byun. Gloria is a former associate professor and current artist-in-residence at Lee University in Cleveland, TN. Gloria is a Steinway Artist.

About Soovin Kim

Korean-American violinist Soovin Kim enjoys one of the broadest musical careers as a recitalist, concerto soloist, chamber musician, presenter, and educator. His international concert career was launched after winning first prize at the Paganini International Competition when he was 20 years old. He subsequently was the recipient of such distinguished prizes as the Henryk Szeryng Career Award, the Avery Fisher Grant, and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award.

Soovin regularly performs an immense range of repertoire that includes solo Bach and Paganini works, Beethoven and Ives sonatas, Mozart and Vivaldi concertos without conductor, Bartok and Webern quartets, and new world-premiere works almost every season. He performed for 20 years as the 1st violinist of the Johannes String Quartet and recently formed the Chien-Kim-Watkins piano trio with Gloria Chien and cellist Paul Watkins.

Soovin Kim founded the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival in Burlington, Vermont in 2009. The festival has become known for its explorative programming and extensive work with living composers. Soovin and the LCCMF also created the ONE Strings program through which all 3rd through 5th grade students of the Integrated Arts Academy in Burlington study violin. The University of Vermont recognized Soovin’s work with an honorary doctorate in 2015.

Soovin Kim dedicates much of his time to his passion for teaching. He has been on the faculties of Stony Brook University and the Peabody Insititute, and now he teaches exclusively at the New England Conservatory in Boston.

About Chamber Music Northwest

Now in its 49th season, Chamber Music Northwest, led by Artistic Director David Shifrin, serves thousands of people in Oregon and SW Washington with exceptional chamber music through over 100 events annually, including its flagship five-week Summer festival, concerts in alternative venues, outreach activities, educational programs, broadcasts, and innovative collaborations with other arts groups. CMNW is the only chamber music festival of its kind in the Northwest and one of the most diverse classical music experiences in the nation, virtually unparalleled in comparable communities.