Texu Kim (김택수) is “one of the most active and visible composers of his generation” (San Francisco Classical Voice), writing fun, sophisticated, and culturally connected music. Drawing on his affinity for humor, his background in science, and his fascination with everyday experiences, Kim’s work radiates positivity, offering “major-league cuteness” (Broadway World) while demonstrating “surprising scope.” (San Diego Story) As a Korean-American, Kim explores the localization of imported traditions, incorporating cross-cultural elements into his work in “impressive and special” ways so that “many orchestras and conductors around the world are taking an interest in [his] music.” (KPBS) By highlighting the interaction between folk culture and external influences, Kim creates meaningful depth while maintaining playfulness and exuberance that is listener-friendly and engaging.
An impressive roster of international ensembles has programmed Kim’s music, including the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, National Orchestra of Korea, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, New World Symphony, Portland Youth Philharmonic, Alarm Will Sound, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern, AsianArt Ensemble Berlin, Ensemble Reconsil Vienna, New York Classical Players, Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia, C4: Choral Composer-Conductor Collective, Verona Quartet, Red Clay Saxophone Quartet, Ensemble Mise-En, Eric Huebner, Blair McMillen, and Soyeon Kate Lee. In 2014-16, he served as the Composer-in-Residence of the Korean National Symphony Orchestra, and he currently directs its Composers’ Atelier program that commissions, mentors, and performs other Korean composers’ orchestral works.
An associate professor at San Diego State University, Kim has received awards and honors from the Barlow Prize, Civitella Ranieri Foundation, American Modern Ensemble, Copland House, SCI/ASCAP, Ilshin Composition Prize, and Isang Yun International Composition Prize, in addition to winning a Silver Medal in the 1998 International Chemistry Olympiad. Kim earned his D.M. from Indiana University and prior degrees from Seoul National University.