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Jonah Kim @ Phillips

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Charles T. Downey, Jonah Kim’s musical pedigree for naught in awkward Phillips Collection concert
Washington Post, February 28, 2012

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Cellist Jonah Kim has an impeccable musical pedigree: child prodigy, discovered by Janos Starker, studies at the Curtis Institute of Music, early success as a soloist with major orchestras. In a Sunday afternoon concert at the Phillips Collection, he showed plenty of ability to wring a tune from his instrument, but without some complementary skills in programming and interpretation, it is all for naught.

The first half of this recital was like one of those “Most Relaxing Classical Adagio” compilations: a series of musical confections usually performed as encores. Although three of David Popper’s schmaltzy miniatures and arrangements of Gabriel Faure’s song “Apres un reve” and one of Mendelssohn’s “Songs Without Words” should have been enough, the glucose level passed into dangerous territory with a vulgar version of Remo Giazotto’s infamous “Adagio,” passed off as the work of Tomaso Albinoni. Kim played it all with clean intonation and a rich, impassioned tone, high-octane because of an intense vibrato. Kim’s spontaneous introduction, the prelude from Bach’s cello suite in G, seemed to be an admission that the program was a little heavy on the sweets. [Continue reading]
Jonah Kim (cello) and Hanchien Lee (piano)
Phillips Collection

Anne Midgette, Cellist Jonah Kim at Terrace Theater (Washington Post, November 9, 2010)

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