September 2, 2015

Meet Ahrim Kim, new principal cellist of the RPO

Ahrim Kim
The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is pleased to welcome a new principal cellist to our ranks starting this season.

Ahrim Kim comes to the RPO fresh from an appointment as acting principal cellist for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. We caught up with Ahrim to learn more about her musical training and why she is looking forward to playing with the RPO!

You were born in Seoul, Korea, and started playing cello at the very young age of 6. How did you become interested in the cello at such a young age and what made you want to play professionally?

I started playing the piano first when I was 4 years old. My mom told me that she had listened to a lot of classical music when she was pregnant with me. So naturally I’ve always loved to sing and liked the soothing sound of the cello. I was particularly attracted to the fact that the cello is one of the closest instruments to the human voice.

In the 2014-15 season, you served as acting principal cellist for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and you also have played in the Grammy Award-winning Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (NYC). What do you think about being named principal cellist for the RPO?

I’m extremely excited and looking forward to playing with the RPO! I’m so honored to be named principal cellist of an orchestra with such a long tradition of amazing cellists.

Your husband, Robin Scott, was recently appointed first violin of The Ying Quartet, a Grammy Award-winning ensemble in residence at the Eastman School of Music. What are the two of you most looking forward to about coming to Rochester?

We’re thrilled that we will both be working in the same town. We’ve been waiting for this to happen since we got married four years ago. We are very blessed to be starting a new chapter in our lives together!

Looking ahead to this season at the RPO, what pieces are you really excited about playing?

I am personally looking forward to playing a few different pieces this season. Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet tells one of the most well-known stories in literature through music so vividly. I’ve never had the opportunity to play The Nutcracker—I heard the music so much growing up and have wanted to play it for years. I’m looking forward to Brahms’ Variations on a Theme of Haydn because it’s fascinating to see how one composer can take the theme of another composer and make it his own. As for Mozart 40, it looks easy on the page, but it’s very challenging to make Mozart sound amazing unless you have clear ideas about everything. The simplest pieces can be the hardest to make convincing. Also, it’s one of the most special pieces by Mozart because minor keys are rare!

What's your favorite music to listen to?
I love listening to any kind of music. The Beatles are one of my favorites, and it never gets old. I always find myself coming back to J. S. Bach, as his music is personally very therapeutic and close to my heart. 

Look for Ahrim Kim in the first chair cello seat this fall, and read more about her on!

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