Dr. Kim teaches applied clarinet lessons and directs TTU Clarinet Ensembles. He is Artistic Director of the Annual TTU Clarinet Day and also serves as a faculty member of the Southeast Chamber Music Institute at Tech. In addition, he is the principal clarinetist (Derryberry Chair) of Bryan Symhony Orchestra and performs with the Cumberland Quintet, both faculty ensembles-in-residence at Tennessee Tech University.
Korean-born clarinetist Wonkak Kim has captivated audiences around the globe with his “excellent breath control” (The Washington Post) and “exuberant musicianship” (Fanfare). Since his solo debut with Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic, playing Carl Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto, Kim has enjoyed a performance career spanning hundreds of venues on four continents, including Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Constitution Hall, Le Louvre in Paris, Izumi Hall in Osaka, Japan, the Seoul Arts Center as well as in London, Geneva, Philadelphia, Boston, Minneapolis, Ghent, Costa Rica, and Brazil. A laureate of the Presser Music Award, Kim received over a dozen international prizes and is frequently featured with orchestras/ensembles worldwide. A Naxos Recording Artist, his solo and chamber music recordings are regularly heard on National Public Radio (USA), Radio France, Swedish Radio, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and Korean Broadcasting System.
An avid chamber musician, Kim has been invited to OK Mozart, Norfolk, Banff, Osaka, and South Korea’s ISCM Pan Music festivals, working with Richard Stoltzman, Yo-Yo Ma, and members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Tokyo, Artis, Brentano and Hayden string quartets. Kim is a founding member of enhakē, the award-winning clarinet-violin-cello-piano quartet praised for its "music of the very highest quality" (Gramophone, UK). With enhakē, Kim has toured throughout the US and abroad, most notably at NYC's Weill Recital Hall and the Promising Artists of the 21st Century Series in Costa Rica under the auspices of the US Department of State. His latest CD with the group “Gulfstream” released on Naxos’s American Classics Series received BBC Music Magazine’s Music US Choice and MusicWeb International “CD of the Month.” A staunch advocate of new music, Kim regularly collaborates with Edward Knight, Libby Larsen, Peter Lieuwen, Peter Schickele and Ellen Zwilich, commissioning, premiereing or recording their new works.
Kim joined the music faculty at Tennessee Tech University in 2011, where he is the Assistant Professor of Clarinet. Kim is the principal clarinetist of the Bryan Symphony Orchestra and performs with the Cumberland Quintet, the faculty ensemble-in-residency of Tennessee Tech. Starting the 2012-13 Season, Kim was invited to be the principal clarinetist of the Albany Symphony Orchestra in GA. In the summer, he serves on the faculty at the Chapel Hill International Chamber Music Workshop and the Southeast Chamber Music Institute. Constantly in demand as a teacher-clinician, Kim is regularly invited to give master classes at universities and conservatories throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America. Kim held educational residencies in Escape2Create at Seaside Institute Florida, Tallahassee Youth Orchestras, and Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center.
Kim is a recipient of many awards: the Presser Music Award (2010), First Prize at the Mary Graham Lasley Competition (2010), First Prize at the Richard B. Salsbury Young Artist Competition (2008), and Grand Prize at the Washington Metropolitan Young Artist Competition (2007); Laureate of the 9th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition and Festa (2011), First Prize at the Yellow Springs International Competition (2009), Gold Medal at the International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition at Carnegie Hall (2008), Judges Special Prize at Plowman Competition (2008) as a member of enhakē; winner of the University of North Carolina and Florida State University Doctoral concerto competitions; invitations to the Concert Artist Guild and Munich ARD International competitions, among others. Additionally, Kim received fellowships and grants from the American Composers Forum, Chamber Music America/National Endowment for the Arts, Norfolk/Yale School of Music, and the Presser Music Foundation.
A native of South Korea, Dr. Wonkak Kim grew up in Seoul and Paris and moved to the United States at the age of 15. The same year, he began studying clarinet with Kenneth Lee, a disciple of the legendary pedagogue Leon Russianoff. Kim subsequently attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a distinguished scholarship, where he studied clarinet with Donald Oehler and earned degrees in Mathematics (BA) and Music (BM). He shortly began his career as a clarinetist under the mentorship of Dr. Frank Kowalsky, earning MM and DM degrees at Florida State University. Kim also studied with Janet Hilton, David Shifrin, Richard Stoltzman and Freddy Arteel.