Violinist Suyoen Kim on Preparing for a Major Competition
Suyoen Kim will be adjudicating the 2nd edition of the Stuttgart International Violin Competition between February 19 - 26, 2024
Organized by the Guadagnini Foundation and the Stuttgart University of Music and Performing Arts, the Stuttgart International Violin Competition is open to international violinists 28 years of age and younger. Applications are open until July 31, 2023.
We wanted to get insight from future jury member Suyoen Kim on how to best prepare for a major competition:
"As an experienced juror and future jury member of the Stuttgart International Violin Competition, what tips would you give an applicant to most effectively plan out their competition/sponsorship/auditions schedule to give them the best chance at achieving all their goals?"
"I have participated in numerous competitions myself and I can still remember the feeling on stage very well.
I have never been a very brave or confident person, so it was quite stressful for me to step on a stage knowing, that I was being judged.
But looking back, I also can see, how it pushed me to overcome some of my fears and the intensity of preparations for a competition was something, I would now describe as one of the greatest benefits.
When you participate in a competition, whether you want to win a prize or you want to gain performance experience, never underestimate the power of mental preparation.
We all practice for technical ease and we try to find our own personal ways to develop our musical ideas. But in the moment of your performance, it might be so overwhelming, that you are not able to share all your hard work and emotions. This is very human and is part of being an artist, which we must learn to accept.
Nevertheless, it is also important to start early in your process to try to deal with it in the best possible way. For me, it took a great time and lots of struggles and now sometimes, I can feel more grateful for being on stage than feeling anxious.
In a more practical matter, I find it very helpful to play the program for friends or colleagues as often as possible in order to get a feeling for energy distribution and to get used to a certain amount of adrenaline. Breathing, bowings, vibrato, everything just feels different, when you are under pressure.
Also, finding your personal approach to sound and how to form it to your musical ideas, is very important and can show much more of who you are than technical perfection.
My wish for all violinists coming to the competition is, that you bring your own stories to share with us and to be true to yourself as an artist.
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Violinist Suyoen Kim was born in Münster in 1987 and received her first violin lessons at the age of five. Aged nine, she became Germany's youngest student to join Professor Helge Slaatto at the Musikhochschule Münster, where she graduated with a diploma. In 2010 and 2012 she pursued her postgraduate studies with Professor Ana Chumachenco at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich and at the Kronberg Academy.
During the period of her studies, she won the 1st prize at the International Joseph Joachim Violin Competition Hannover in 2006. In 2009 Suyoen Kim came 4th in the Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition in Brussels.
Suyoen Kim performs as a soloist with renowned orchestras and conductors and with numerous chamber music partners. She was a member of the Artemis Quartet until 2021, as the quartet has decided to stop its activities for the time being. In early 2018, Kim was appointed the first concertmaster of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin.
Suyoen Kim plays the "Lord Newlands" violin made by Antonio Stradivari in 1702, which is on kind loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.