While you can gripe all you want about the University of South Carolina's stranglehold on downtown real estate or the reverence paid to their various athletic events, it is important to recognize how important the university is to the cultural engine of this town, across all disciplines. The USC Symphony, and guest season opener violinist David Kim, are both prime examples of this phenomenon.
Kim, currently the concertmaster at the Philadelphia Orchestra, is one of the finest violinist in the country and frequently performs all around the world. He also, coincidentally, is sort of from Columbia. Kim's parents moved to Columbia when the young violinist was only 8 years old. As a child prodigy, he ended up flying to New York City every other week to take lessons from the legendary pedagogue Dorothy DeLay, but mostly spent his formative years enriching the Columbia art scene. The reason Kim ended up in Columbia, where he wasn't born? His parents both got jobs at USC. Although he would eventually jet off to earn multiple degrees from Julliard and be the lone American to place in the 1986 International Tchaikovsky Competition, he still considers Columbia, and we get to consider him ours.
For this opening performance (Thursday, Sept. 20th, 7pm, Koger Center for the Arts), Kim will be dazzling the audience with Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor,Op. 26, a well-known concerto perfect for demonstrating his talents. The orchestra will also perform the Symphony No. 4 in E minor by Johannes Brahms.
For more information on ticket sales for this event, got to http://capitoltickets.com/. For the full season, visit http://www.music.sc.edu/ea/orchestra/. For David Kim himself, go to http://davidkimviolin.com/. For even more bonus points, check out Kim's latest recording, The Lord Is My Shepherd, a collection of sacred works for violin and piano with pianist and composer Paul S. Jones, on Spotify.