Kim breaks the mold in many ways, being also the first Asian and the first woman to conduct the prestigious choir. The 34-year-old conductor studied church music at Yonsei University in Seoul and at the College of Catholic Church Music and Musical Education in Regensburg, Germany, and is now doing a doctorate at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna.
The Vienna Boys’ Choir was established in 1498 and has counted the composers Joseph Haydn and Franz Schubert among its members. It consists of the Haydn, Mozart, Bruckner and Schubert choirs, and performs in the famous New Year’s concert by the Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna State Opera.
The Bruckner Choir gave a concert in Korea on Friday. Kim conducted her first concert as director in September at the Vienna Musikverein.
In a telephone interview with the Chosun Ilbo on Sunday, Kim said, “The role of director requires not only musical prowess in piano, choir, and conducting, but also leadership because you have to control 25 boys whenever and wherever. Because I have a lot of experience in group activities since I conducted and accompanied choirs, I’m confident I can lead the boys well.”
Kim conducted the Arnold Schoenberg Choir in the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland in 2010, and will tour Asia with the Mozart Choir next year. “I’d love to visit my homeland with the boys as soon as possible,” she said.