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“…the alternating alarms and chirps, both chilling and playful, in “Abyss of the Birds,” a lengthy solo played with inexhaustible virtuosity by Ms. Kim.”

-The New York Times



from Johannes Brahms to Jörg Widmann

Hailed by The New York Times for her "inexhaustible virtuosity", clarinetist Yoonah Kim is rapidly earning recognition as a young artist of uncommon musical depth and versatility. Yoonah is a winner of the 2016 Concert Artists Guild International Competition.  The first solo clarinetist to win CAG in nearly 30 years, this Korean-Canadian artist joins the ranks of prominent solo clarinetists discovered by CAG, including David Shifrin, Michael Collins, and David Krakauer.


Recent performance highlights include Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with the Maui Chamber Orchestra, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in a new arrangement for solo clarinet and string orchestra by Texu Kim, and the World Premiere of a new concerto by Eric Nathan for Violin and Clarinet, with violinist Stefan Jackiw and the New York Classical Players.  Her recent chamber music appearances include performances of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time with Stefan Jackiw, cellist Jay Campbell and pianist Orion Weiss at Princeton University and the Crypt in New York City and also with the Junction Trio (Stefan Jackiw, Jay Campbell, and pianist Conrad Tao) at Rockefeller University. 


Yoonah recently made her New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, and has also given debut recitals for Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts series, Washington Performing Arts’ Music in the Country series, Chamber Music Society of Little Rock and Union County Performing Arts Center.  She also appeared as concerto soloist with the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Chesapeake Youth Symphony, and the DuPage Symphony Orchestra. 


In 2016, Yoonah became the first woman to win first prize at the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition, leading to her world premiere performance of Pocket Concerto by American composer Dag Gabrielsen at The Music for All National Festival in Indianapolis, presented by Yamaha.  Earlier that year, she was a featured soloist at Juilliard’s Focus Festival, performing Donald Martino’s A Set for Clarinet at Peter Jay Sharp Theater in New York City.


From 2016 to 2018, Yoonah was a member of Ensemble Connect (formerly Ensemble ACJW), a highly selective two-year fellowship program under the joint auspices of Carnegie Hall, The Weill Institute, and The Juilliard School.  With Ensemble Connect, she performed regularly at Carnegie Hall, often in collaboration with renowned conductors and guest artists.  Highlights include collaborations with Sir Simon Rattle at Zankel Hall, and with soprano Natalie Dessay at the Philharmonie de Paris.


Yoonah tours regularly with the ensembles FOUNDERS and Frisson, and has appeared at chamber music festivals, including the Marlboro Music Festival, Mainly Mozart Festival, Chautauqua Music Festival, California’s Festival Napa Valley, Maine’s Bay Chamber Music Festival, Bravo! Vail, Sarasota Music Festival, and The Banff Centre Music Festival and the Thessaloniki Festival in Greece.


In addition to her appearances on stage, Yoonah is also committed to teaching.  Through her extensive educational outreach working with Ensemble Connect, she served as an education ambassador for Carnegie Hall at New York City schools.  With a fellow colleague from Ensemble Connect, Yoonah co-founded Chime for Children, an initiative to bring joy and inspiration through interactive performances to children with limited exposure and access to music.  

She currently holds a faculty position at New York University's Steinhardt School. 


Born in Seoul and raised in British Columbia, Yoonah is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at The Juilliard School as the C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow. She holds a Master of Music degree from Juilliard and she holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Mannes College of Music at The New School, where she studied clarinet under Charles Neidich.



2022-2023 Season

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February 2022

Sara Couden, mezzo–soprano; Giorgio Consolati, flute; Ryan Roberts, oboe; Yoonah Kim, clarinet; Emilie-Anne Gendron & Ji Won Song, violin; Jordan Bak & Sally Chisholm, viola ; Yi Qun Xu, cello; William Langlie-Miletich, double bass

Prokofiev: Quintet, Op. 39

Stravinsky: Three Songs from Shakespeare




“…the alternating alarms and chirps, both chilling and playful, in “Abyss of the Birds,” a lengthy solo played with inexhaustible virtuosity by Ms. Kim.”


"Clarinetist Yoonah Kim...won the 2016 Concert Artists Guild International Competition — the first solo clarinetist to do so in nearly 30 years."


"...rhythmic vivacity and ... great sensitivity "


"Yoonah Kim took all the score's demands in stride, displaying great subtlety as she fined her clarinet-voice down to a thread... virtuoso performance"


"Kim’s performance of the third movement, “Abyss of birds,” for solo clarinet, explores instrumental possibilities I scarcely knew existed. Has a clarinetist ever held a note that long before, or with greater effect? At one point, I felt as though a sonorous note entered my right ear, transformed the grey matter in my brain, and exited in a blaze of fire through the left. This isn’t music: it’s chemical transformation."


"...endless silken tone... full and ringing clarinet sound"


"...captured the oscillating clarinet...with a clear, mysterious sound - managing to shade the lower register parts of the work with a dusty timbre... added  flair to the jazzy sections making them come to life..."


"Clarinetist Yoonah Kim ... gave a colorful reading of four sections from Stravinsky's 'L'Histoire du Soldat,' that was so filled with swagger, we hardly missed the narration."


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