Sophomore violinist honored in local competition

Anthony Kim (10) won the Music Teachers’ Association of California San Diego Concerto Competition for his violin performance on Feb. 11, after more than a year of preparation.

Having played the violin for eight years and participated in many competitions, Kim has “a pretty long history of playing in front of audiences,” which he says lends itself well to his competitions.

“[Preparing for the competition] was a lot of consistency [and] daily practice,” Kim said. “It took a lot of effort to win this, and I knew I wanted it, so I put in the work, and I got it.”

Kim prepared a 15-minute concerto, which he performed in front of a live audience and a panel of three judges.

“[The judges] actually stopped me around seven minutes into my concerto, and the concerto is around 15 minutes. They were like ‘That’s all we need to hear, thank you,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, this is either really good or really bad,’” Kim said.

Additionally, according to Kim, five other people played the same piece as he did in a division of around 15-20 people, which is unprecedented and “makes it easy to compare skill levels,” Kim said.

That worked in his favor because Kim won first place in the highest division — made up of the oldest competitors in violin — alongside his sister, Elisha, a seventh grader at Carmel Valley Middle School, who won first in the division below him. Both were given the opportunity to play with the MiraCosta Symphony Orchestra as a result, which will take place on March 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the MiraCosta College Theatre.

“[Playing with the MiraCosta Symphony is going to be] a really amazing experience, so I really wanted to do [the competition],” Kim said.

Having played with other orchestras in San Diego, Kim said he is glad to play a more difficult piece with a larger orchestra.

Kim currently plays with the TPHS Orchestra, led by Director Amy Gelb.

“I’ve seen him be so committed to practicing and working hard and reacting well to setbacks,” Gelb said. “Earlier in the year he would practice out [near the music building] and I would get comments like, ‘Oh yeah, I hear the violin in the morning.’ That was all him.”

Recently, Kim was also awarded the Interlochen Orchestral Scholar Award, a full scholarship of $10,000 for the summer camp program at Interlochen, a prestigious arts boarding school in Michigan.

More than anything, Kim values the impact he can have on his community through his violin playing. He is involved with nonprofit organizations that allow him to teach music to children with autism spectrum disorder and play for schools in the community.

Community members can watch Kim and the TPHS music program perform their spring concert on March 12, at 7 p.m. in the TPHS Performing Arts Center.

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