David Kim, violinist and concertmaster of The Philadelphia Orchestra, performed Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with the BJU Orchestra for a ticketed event Thursday in War Memorial Chapel.
All proceeds from ticket sales were dedicated to music scholarships for BJU music students.
Having such an accomplished artist perform live on BJU campus not only attracts attention from the community but also brings in money for music scholarships, according to Dr. Michael Moore, chair of the Division of Music. “It’s not every day that we have this opportunity,” he said.
Moore said the concert also inspires music students to continue their studies. “Our goal is to steward opportunities and resources to bring students to BJU who are committed to pursuing and sharing God’s beauty through music and musical excellence,” Moore said.
Katherine Taylor, second chair first violinist in the BJU orchestra and a senior music major, said the Gingery-Mack Music Scholarship she received from BJU solidified her decision that going to BJU was God’s will for her.
In addition to being a world class musician, Kim is a professing believer who dedicates his talents to Christ. Taylor said, “It’s so cool to see someone who’s so high up in their field with such a strong Christian testimony.”
[Kim] is just the most humble, gracious Christian brother and [a] wonderful artist,” Moore said.
This is the fourth year Kim has performed on campus and taught masterclasses at BJU.
Moore added that Kim has become a wonderful friend of his over the years that Kim has performed at BJU and worked with BJU students. “[It’s] pretty cool when you have a concertmaster of one of the greatest orchestras in the world partnering with you like this,” Moore said. “It’s a privilege that we don’t take for granted.”
Each year that Kim comes and performs at BJU, he teaches several masterclasses. Some of the BJU music majors and minors have the opportunity to have lessons with Kim.
Basically, Kim teaches a public lesson but with only three or four students. Students will play for him, and Kim gives comments on how they can improve.
MaryKatherine Brown, concertmaster of the BJU symphony and senior music major, has taken private lessons from Kim. “[Kim’s] amazing,” Brown said. “I can’t wait to have him back.”
Moore played the harpsichord in the concert and directed the famous piece Four Seasons, a collection of four small violin concertos that represent the four natural weather seasons.
“It’s picturesque, I think, in a word,” Moore said. “It’s groundbreaking from a compositional standpoint and historical standpoint.”
It is not often Moore plays in the orchestra himself. However, he said he enjoys the challenge of keeping his performing skills up. “Just the joy, purely the joy, of making music together with our students is something that I just value and consider a privilege,” Moore said.
Moore also said it is a great learning experience for BJU students to see an artist of Kim’s caliber come and interpret a classic piece such as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Moore emphasized the benefit of listening to music performed by a live artist.
“[You] can go back to [your] dorm and put [your] earbuds in, but that becomes a passive—typically a very passive—experience,” Moore said. “A live performance takes you to new places that you could never experience [by] just listening to a recording.”
Through opportunities such as this concert, students have the chance to learn more about their field of study. They also have the chance to recognize how valuable music is to God.
Brown pointed out the importance of music, saying that music is an integral part of who we are as image bearers of Christ. “As a musician you’re not necessarily there rendering a service,” Brown said. “You’re not there to sell yourself.”
Brown said playing music is giving a gift back to God and to others that He first gave to us. “All of our occupations, whether it’s writing or music or medicine or law, are all so important for the church,” Brown said.