Violin Talent: Eliana Kim

On Saturday, April 29, Eliana Kim ’20 performed Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No. 3 Movement III with the Wallingford Symphony Orchestra (WSO) in the Chapel. It was one special day for her, as she had spent the entire school year rehearsing this piece.

Kim is a third form student from Seoul, South Korea. Currently, she is the co-principal violin player of the Choate Symphony Orchestra, and is planning to join the Arts Concentration program next year. In addition to her musical adventures at Choate, she goes to Juilliard every weekend to participate in the exclusive Juilliard Pre-College program, which consists of private lessons as well as orchestra and chamber rehearsals.

In December of 2016, Kim entered the WSO Mitchell String Competition and won first place, as well as the honor of performing a concerto with the WSO in the spring. She began practicing this piece in September, and only had three months of rehearsing before the competition. She remarked, “Preparing the Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto really helped me develop both musically and technically. There were many events for which I had to perform this piece, and the competition was one of them.”

Esi Dunyoh ’20, a friend who came to support Eliana, commented, “Overall, I thought the performance was really good. Eliana’s solo was amazing. The way she interacts with the orchestra is intriguing.”

Not only was the audience incredibly impressed with the performance, giving her a well-deserved, long standing ovation, but Kim was also pleased with her performance. She said, “I was really satisfied because I’ve been working on this piece since September with my private teacher in Juilliard. Compared to how much I practiced during this school year, I think this performance turned out very well. We only had two dress rehearsals right before the concert.”

Although Kim’s performance was one that many attended and were awed by, many of her friends and teachers were not there to support her. The long weekend had caused many of her peers to be unable to attend her recital. Kim remarked, “I liked how I had more time to practice because it was long weekend, but all my friends were back home so they were not able to watch my performance. I just wish there were more of my closest friends who had come to see me perform.”

Dunyoh commented, “Personally, I think it should have taken place maybe during some school meeting or another time during the week. I feel many students didn’t have the opportunity to come see the performance because they were away during this time. I really think this is something more students should be able to enjoy.”

Kim was incredibly satisfied with not only her performance, but also the reaction from the audience. The audience recognized and acknowledged her hard work and practice with a long standing ovation at the end of the performance. Hopefully when she performs in the future, it will not be over long weekend when many students are gone, but will take place during a time when more of the community will be able to attend.

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