Hailed by The New York Times for her “inexhaustible virtuosity”, clarinetist Yoonah Kim is rapidly earning recognition as a young artist of uncommon musical depth and versatility.  A winner of the 2016 Concert Artists Guild International Competition—the first solo clarinetist to win CAG in nearly 30 years–this Korean-Canadian artist joins the ranks of prominent solo clarinetists discovered by CAG, including David Shifrin, Michael Collins, and David Krakauer.

Select highlights of Yoonah’s 2018-19 season include the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Maui Chamber Orchestra, and the World Premiere of a new concerto by Eric Nathan for Violin and Clarinet, with violinist Stefan Jackiw and the New York Classical Players, as well as chamber music at the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego.  Also this season are special performances of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time with Stefan Jackiw, cellist Jay Campbell and pianist Orion Weiss at Princeton University and the Crypt in New York City.

Prior to a busy summer 2018 season—featuring California’s Festival Napa Valley, Maine’s Bay Chamber Music Festival, and a tour of Greece at the invitation of composer Lowell Liebermann—Yoonah’s 2017-18 season had many high points.  Starting with her New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, she also gave debut recitals for Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts series, Washington Performing Arts’ Music in the Country series, Chamber Music Society of Little Rock and Union County Performing Arts Center (NJ).  She also appeared as concerto soloist with the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Chesapeake Youth Symphony (Maryland), and the DuPage Symphony Orchestra (Chicago).

In 2016, Yoonah became the first woman to win first prize at the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition, leading to her world premiere performance of Pocket Concerto by American composer Dag Gabrielsen at The Music for All National Festival in Indianapolis, presented by Yamaha.  Earlier that year, she was a featured soloist at Juilliard’s Focus Festival, performing Donald Martino’s A Set for Clarinet at Peter Jay Sharp Theater in New York City.

From 2016 to 2018, Yoonah was a member of Ensemble Connect (formerly Ensemble ACJW), a highly selective two-year fellowship program under the joint auspices of Carnegie Hall, The Weill Institute, and The Juilliard School.  With Ensemble Connect, she performed regularly at Carnegie Hall, often in collaboration with renowned conductors and guest artists.  One recent Zankel Hall performance was conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, and in December 2016, she performed in France at the Philharmonie de Paris, featuring soprano Natalie Dessay

As principal clarinetist of The Juilliard Orchestra and The Mannes Orchestra, Yoonah has performed at prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Symphony Space. Yoonah has also served as principal clarinetist of the New York Youth Symphony and the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra, with which she appeared in the internationally televised closing ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.  Also an active chamber musician, Yoonah tours regularly with the ensembles FOUNDERS and Frisson, and has appeared at chamber music festivals, including the Chautauqua Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, and The Banff Centre Music Festival.  She has been invited to participate in the prestigious Marlboro Music Festival beginning in summer 2019.

In addition to her appearances on stage, Yoonah is also committed to teaching.  Through her extensive educational outreach working with Ensemble Connect, she serves as an education ambassador for Carnegie Hall at New York City schools.  She is also currently on the faculty of New York School of Music and Art and maintains a small private studio in New York City.


Brahms: Clarinet Sonata, Op. 120, No. 2, Allegro appassionato

Stravinsky: Three Pieces For Clarinet Solo, II

Ravel: Pièce en forme de Habanera

Stravinsky: Three Pieces For Clarinet Solo, III

Donald Martino: A Set for Solo Clarinet, Adagio

Poulenc: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, FP 184, Allegro tristamente


  • See video J. Brahms Clarinet Sonata in E-flat major. Op. 120, No. 2

    J. Brahms Clarinet Sonata in E-flat major. Op. 120, No. 2

  • See video  Widmann Fantasie for Solo Clarinet

    Widmann Fantasie for Solo Clarinet


  • Quotes

    “…the alternating alarms and chirps, both chilling and playful, in “Abyss of the Birds,”

    a lengthy solo played with inexhaustible virtuosity by Ms. Kim.”

    -The New York Times

    “Kim’s performance of the third movement, “Abyss of birds,” for solo clarinet, explores instrumental possibilities I scarcely knew existed. Has a clarinetist ever held a note that long before, or with greater effect? At one point, I felt as though a sonorous note entered my right ear, transformed the grey matter in my brain, and exited in a blaze of fire through the left. This isn’t music: it’s chemical transformation.”

    Broad Street Review


    “…endless silken tone…Kim came through with a full and ringing clarinet sound.”

    —Albany Times Union


    “…rhythmic vivacity and…great sensitivity.”

    —The Strad


    “Yoonah Kim took all the score’s demands in stride, displaying great subtlety as she fined her clarinet-voice down to a thread… virtuoso performance”

    —Oberon’s Grove


    “She is one of the most dynamic, imaginative and exciting clarinet soloists performing before the public today.”

    Charles Neidich


    “Clarinetist Yoonah Kim…gave a colorful reading…filled with swagger…”

    The Observer, Sarasota, FL


  • Reviews


  • Orchestral Repertoire

    COPLAND Clarinet Concerto for Strings, Harp and Piano

    CORIGLIANO Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra (1977)

    DEBUSSY Premiere Rhapsody for Clarinet and Orchestra (1909-10)

    GOLIJOV The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind (1994)
    (for Klezmer Clarinet and String Orchestra)

    MOZART Clarinet Concerto in A major, K.622

    ERIC NATHAN Double Concerto for Violin, Clarinet and String Orchestra (2019)
    **written for Ms. Kim and Stefan Jackiw, violin

    ARTIE SHAW Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra

    Clarinet Concerto No. 4 in E minor, WoO 20

    J. STAMITZ Clarinet Concerto in B-flat Major

    WEBER Clarinet Concerto No 1 in F minor, Op. 73
    Clarinet Concerto No 2 in E-flat Major, Op. 74
    Clarinet Concertino in E-flat Major, Op. 26