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Connecting Ideas and People Through the Violin

Kayleigh Kim holding her violin
Sixteen-year-old Kayleigh Kim is a junior competitor in Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021. In 2019, as part of her participation in the Heifetz International Music Institute, she performed a duet of the national anthem at Nats Stadium before more than 40,000 people. (Photo: Andrew Logan)

I think it is a very unique experience to be able to connect and communicate ideas with people without any words. It's just with this  inanimate object that is the violin.

Sixteen-year-old Virginia native Kayleigh Kim is a National Symphony Orchestra Youth Fellow. She was a student at the Heifetz International Music Institute and performed as part of their Holiday Homecoming Tour in December of 2019. While enrolled at the Heifetz Institute, she performed a duet of the national anthem at Nats Park in Washington D.C.

“It was a little nerve wracking, but at the same time is also really exciting,” said Kim. “We were on the Jumbotron.”

Kim has served as the concertmaster in the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra and also worked with famed violinist Hilary Hahn.

“She's just such a big name. Even just initially finding out I was going to be put in a master class with her was just crazy,” Kim said.

Being part of the National Symphony Orchestra Youth Fellowship has led Kim to want to explore other facets of classical music performances, such as conducting.

“I get to see how the conductors work with the orchestra, not just in performance, but also their thought process and what exactly they want from the orchestra, which I thought was really, really interesting,” she said. 

Kayleigh is a junior competitor in the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021, which has been postponed to May 2021. She’s enrolled in the Juilliard pre-college program.

Making Menuhin is a production of VPM. Andrew Logan recorded our interview with Kayleigh in Oak Hill, Virginia. The episode was produced by Ian Stewart, Sarah Schilling, Peter Solomon and Catherine Komp. If you liked what you heard, please rate and review Making Menuhin in your favorite podcast player.

Ian M. Stewart is the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.
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