Grammy winning cellist Jonah Kim and Queen Elisabeth Competition winner pianist Sean Kennard join forces for Blanco Performing Arts’ closing concert of the season on Sunday, June 3, at 3:00pm at the Uptown Blanco Ballroom. Kim’s previous performance in Blanco was an unforgettable experience: energetic, engaged, and emotional. He is joined for this concert Kennard, his longtime collaborator, a solo performer in his own right, and his musical equal. The Washington Post has called Kim “the next Yo-Yo Ma” and has praised Kennard’s “powerful and involved music making”. Music for this concert includes sonatas by Chopin and Franck.
Critically acclaimed cellist Jonah Kim made his solo debut with Wolfgang Sawallisch and the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2003. The same year, he also appeared with the National Symphony Orchestra where the Washington Post music critic Joseph McLellan called him simply, "the next Yo-Yo Ma." Mr. Kim has soloed with the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, New Philharmonia, Orquestra Sinfônica Nacional, Orchestra Filarmonica, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Symphony of the Americas and many others. He has played in prestigious venues such as New York City's Carnegie Hall and Merkin Hall, Wigmore Hall in London, California's Montalvo Arts Center, the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, the Kravis Center in Palm Beach, the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, the Phillips Collection and the John F. Kennedy Center in DC where Anne Midgette of the Washington Post praised, "Kim flirted with the line, shaped it, wrapped it around his fingers, pulled it out in a new dimension, all with practiced ease."
Also highly sought after internationally as a chamber musician, Mr. Kim has collaborated with world class artists on four continents. In a review of his Debussy cello sonata with Ensemble San Francisco at Alliance Français' French Festival 2015, San Francisco Classical Voice critic David Bratman exclaimed "this was an excellent performance, the best I’ve heard of this piece." Mr. Kim plays a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume made in 1845 as well as a 2016 copy of it by Haide Lin. His bow is by Jules Fétique from the workshop of Eugène Sartory in Paris circa 1904.
Sean Kennard has won top prizes in the Queen Elisabeth Competition (Belgium), the International Music Competition of Viña del Mar (Chile), the Vendome International Piano Competition (Portugal), the Sendai International Music Competition (Japan), the Hilton Head International Piano Competition (USA), the National Chopin Competition, the Iowa Piano Competition, the American Pianists Association, and the International Chopin Competition of the Pacific.
The Washington Post praised Kennard’s “powerful and involved music making,” describing him as “a strong luminous pianist.” His 2011 debut album received a rave review in American Record Guide, which pronounced it “a hidden gem,” attesting to its “perfect blend of lyricism and romantic passion,” “huge romantic sound, and bold melodic vision.” It proclaimed that he “plays the dickens out of the Stravinsky [Three Movements from Petrushka]” and “plays Chopin’s Preludes with more poise and vision than most pianists who have recorded them.” Fanfare affirmed the enthusiastic reception, naming the album “a very desirable disc” and citing “Kennard’s mastery of Chopin’s idiom,” its “impression of complete effortlessness” and “emotional responsiveness.” The review characterized his playing as “full of life and sparkle,” summing up: “while I wouldn't necessarily say that Kennard outclasses Ashkenazy, Rubinstein, Moravec, Ohlsson…in this repertoire, he surely equals them.” His most recent disc featuring sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti was released by Naxos in 2017.
Kennard has appeared as soloist with such orchestras as the Prague Radio Symphony, NHK Chamber Orchestra (Japan), Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Osaka Symphony Orchestra, Yamagata Symphony Orchestra, Sendai Philharmonic, Kyushu Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Belgique, Orchestre Royal de Chambre (Belgium), Chamber Orchestra of Frankfurt (Germany), Orchestre Philharmonique du Maroc (Morocco), Orquesta Sinfonica de Chile, Orquesta Filarmónica de Montevideo, Orquesta Sinfonica Regional (Uruguay), Sinfonia Perugina (Italy), Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional (Dominican Republic), New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and the orchestras of Charleston, Sioux City, Hilton Head, and Honolulu.
He has appeared in recital and chamber music in such venues as Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, Salle Cortot (Paris), Palais des Beaux-arts and Theatre Royal de la Monnaie (Brussels), Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon), Chopin Society (Warsaw), Teatro Caio Melisso (Spoleto), Sala dei Notari (Perugia), Tokyo Opera City Hall, Yomiuri Otemachi Hall (Tokyo), Yamaha Hall (Tokyo), Seoul Arts Center, Hong Kong City Hall, Mohamed V Theater (Morocco), and Teatro del Lago (Chile).
Recent and upcoming engagements include: solo appearances with the Prague Radio Symphony (Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 2), Dominican Republic’s National Symphony (Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1), Montevideo Philharmonic (Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini) and the Hawaii Symphony (Liszt’s Concerto in E-flat major), recitals and master classes in Japan, Uruguay, California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Nevada.
In addition to our patrons and audiences, Blanco Performing Arts' sponsors help make our excellent performances possible and bring these talented musicians to Blanco. Visit our sponsors and show them you support arts in the Hill Country.
The Uptown Blanco Ballroom is home to the Blanco Performing Arts concert series, located on the west side of the courthouse square in Blanco, Texas. Find directions and parking...
If you need a place to stay while you’re in our little burg, there are a number of options. We have hotels, numerous B&Bs, and beautiful riverside spots for those of you with RVs.
Blanco Performing Arts is incorporated as a non-profit entity, and is recognized as such under Section 501(3)(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.