Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata at Aston Magna


David Hyun-Su Kim

(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Violinist Daniel Stepner and pianist David Hyun-Su Kim will perform works by Beethoven and Mozart, including the former’s Kreutzer Sonata, at Saint James Place in Great Barrington on Saturday, July 15, at 6pm, as part of Aston Magna Music Festival.

David Hyun-Su Kim, who will play fortepiano, is an acclaimed musician ?and winner of numerous academic and musical prizes. Hailed by Malcolm Bilson as a musician “who will doubtless make an important contribution to the musical life of this country,” pianist and fortepianist David Hyun-su Kim holds degrees from Harvard, Yale, and Cornell Universities, and a doctorate from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He has performed internationally, with past appearances throughout the United States, Canada, Austria, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, South Korea and Australia. Kim’s concerts have been praised as “emotionally expansive” and “idiomatically perfect,” and, after a 2013 performance in Maine, Camilla Cai wrote that “his interpretations are spectacular.” Café Momus’s Leah Harrison described a recent performance of Davidbündlertänze as “splendid and moving … His Florestan was elegantly calamitous, and his melodies representing Eusebius were like a dear friend whispering arcane truths to only you.”

Winner of numerous musical and academic prizes, including a Fulbright Fellowship to Germany, Kim was also awarded a Certificate of Distinction in Teaching from Harvard University for his teaching excellence in the fields of music history and theory. In addition, he has received the Donald Gibbons Memorial and Rose Hanus Scholarships, the James S. Marcus Grant (Harvard), the Charles Miller Award (Yale), both an NEC scholarship and a merit grant from the New England Conservatory, and the St. Botolph Emerging Artist Award. Recently David presented a lecture-recital on notation for the Midwest Historical Keyboard Society, as winner of the Bechtel Award. His past teachers include Malcolm Bilson, Robert Levin, Peter Frankl, James Webster, Bruce Brubaker, Christopher Hasty, Gerritt Zitterbart, Kevin Fitzgerald, and Stephen Prutsman, and he has performed in masterclass for such esteemed artists as Claude Frank, Boris Berman, Robert Ward, David Breitman and Andrew Willis.

In addition to his performance activities, Kim is also active as a scholar and in the summer of 2012 published “The Brahmsian Hairpin” in 19th-Century Music. In this article, he argues for a new understanding of hairpin notation, and points to the radically different interpretive practice suggested by the performances of Brahms’ closest students and colleagues.

Committed to music education, Kim has presented piano and fortepiano performance masterclasses and lectures at the Universities of Michigan, Wyoming, Ohio University, Colby College (ME), Connecticut College (CT), Bowdoin College, and the University of New Hampshire. He has been guest lecturer on 18th- and 19th-century notation, and the New England Conservatory Department of Music History recently invited him to lecture on improvisation. David has taught ear-training, history, theory, composition and keyboard skills at Harvard and Yale, and has maintained private teaching studios in Ithaca, New Haven, Boston, and Cambridge.

Kim matriculated at Cornell University in 1999 as a Presidential Research Scholar and National Merit Scholar in chemistry. The lab stool was quickly traded for the piano bench, however, and he graduated magna cum laude in music in 2003. After winning a Fulbright Scholarship, he traveled to Germany, studying piano at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, and making his orchestral debut in Vienna with the Mozart B-flat Piano Concerto, K. 456. Returning to the US, David earned master’s degrees in piano performance from the Yale School of Music and in historical performance from the Harvard Department of Music. He remained in Boston, earning his doctorate from the New England Conservatory last spring, and, in the fall of 2013, began a new post as a Professor of Theory and Piano at Whitman College.

Aside from all things music, Kim enjoys reading, card games, travel, hiking, and pointlessly supporting Arsenal Football Club.


Aston Magna artistic director and violinist Daniel Stepner

Born in 1946 in Milwaukee, Daniel Stepner grew up in Wisconsin, attending public schools in Janesville and Milwaukee. Both his parents were professional musicians and educators, and Stepner decided on a musical career at an early age. He did his undergraduate work at Northwestern University and graduate work at Yale, earning a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree. He also spent two summers at the Écoles d’Art Américaines in Fontainebleau, France, where he worked privately with Nadia Boulanger in musical analysis and violin repertoire. His principal teachers included Steven Staryk and Broadus Erle on violin, and Milton Weber and Gustav Meier in conducting. He also worked in composition with Alan Stout and Yehudi Wyner.

Since moving to Boston in 1975, he has been involved in many aspects of the Boston area’s musical life: as concertmaster, chamber player, recitalist, recording artist, conductor, concerto soloist, private teacher, theatrical musical director, chamber series organizer, children’s program coordinator, and chamber music coach. As a touring musician, he has played in eleven countries in Western Europe and in the former Soviet Union, and throughout Australia and the United States. He is featured on some sixty recordings of music from 1607-2012 (see discography).

He is presently artistic director of the Aston Magna Festival and Foundation. He is Professor Emeritus at Brandeis University, where he taught from 1987-2016. He also taught chamber music at Harvard University in conjunction with Robert Levin.

He was a founding member of the Boston Museum Trio, resident at the Museum of Fine Arts for thirty-five years, and for twenty-four years he was Concertmaster of the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra under Christopher Hogwood and Grant Llewellyn. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts with his wife, viola da gambist Laura Jeppesen. Their son Benjamin is a jazz pianist and composer.

A pre-concert talk takes place an hour before the program with Aston Magna artistic director Daniel Stepner. The concert is followed by a wine and cheese reception with the artists.

The Aston Magna Music Festival concerts runs on Saturdays in the Berkshires through July 22.







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