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Earl Kim (1/06/1920 - 11/19/1998)

A pupil of Ernest Bloch, Schoenberg and Sessions, the American composer Earl Kim, a musician of Korean ancestry, taught at Princeton and then for some 30 years at Harvard. A composer of great originality, he drew on his own knowledge of Western music and on the oriental (including Korean folksong, Javanese gamelan and Whirling Dervishes). He compared his method of composition to a Japanese garden in which multiplicity is reflected in unity.

Orchestral and Vocal Music

Kim’s orchestral music includes a Violin Concerto, written in 1979 for Perlman, with the 1959 Dialogues for piano and orchestra characteristically juxtaposing contrasting elements. His many vocal settings include a version of Rilke’s Cornet for narrator and orchestra, a change from his earlier preoccupation with Samuel Beckett.


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