PYSO Philharmonic Conductor
Chris Kim is the Choi Family Endowed Director of Instrumental Activities and conductor of the Occidental Symphony Orchestra at Occidental College in Los Angeles.
The League of American Orchestras/ASCAP has recognized his advocacy of contemporary music by awarding him the Adventurous Programming Award six times between 2008-2014. The American Prize has recognized his work from 2014-2018 in multiple categories. He has premiered over 250 new works for orchestra. He has sought to program worthy, unknown repertoire with orchestras. In the 2016-2017 season, all concerts by the Cornell Symphony Orchestra featured works by women composers both present and past; Kristin Kuster, Gabriela Lena Frank, Jacqueline Jeeyoung Kim, Tonia Ko, Joan Tower, and Lili Boulanger. During the 2017-2018 season, Jazz-influenced works permeated the repertoire of the Cornell Symphony Orchestra; Duke Ellington, Gunther Schuller, Charlie Parker, and Wynton Marsalis. At Cornell University he directed the Chamber Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestra. The Cornell Chamber Orchestra was a featured ensemble at the College Orchestra Directors Association’s National Conference in 2012. The Cornell Orchestras have formed multiple collaborative relationships with the Royal Academy of Music in Dublin, Ireland, Conservatorio de Puerto Rico in San Juan, PR, and Sinfónica del Neuquén in Argentina, and have taken multiple visits to these sister cities. In January of 2019, Cornell Orchestras embarked on a tour to Taiwan to collaborate with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra as well as Engagement activities with five different student orchestras across the city of Taipei. Cornell Orchestra and Ithaca College Orchestras have jointly presented the Ithaca International Conducting Masterclasses for over a decade bringing conducting pedagogues such as Carl St. Clair, Larry Rachleff, and David Effron, Alexander Polischuk, and Gustav Meier to work with young conductors.
He has led opera productions at Ewha Woman’s University in South Korea in the production of Magic Flute as well as having been the music director of the Comic Opera Guild in Ann Arbor, MI where he conducted Franz Lehar’s Merry Widow, Mozart’s Magic Flute as well as Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera. He has appeared with orchestras in the US and abroad, including ensembles such as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Delta Festival Ballet, Symphoria, and Divertimento Ensemble of Milan, Italy. He has appeared in music festivals such as Kinhaven Music Center, Skaneateles Music Festival, and International Bartók Festival in Szombathely, Hungary. Each summer he is a part of the faculty at Cortona sessions for new music where he teaches conducting and helps premiere new works by composers from around the world.