Sngkn Kim (김승근), born in 1967 in Seoul, studied Korean traditional music at Seoul National University. After graduation he moved to Berlin in order to study composition with György Kurtag and Paul-Heinz Dittrich at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music (Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler). In the early 90s, the young composition student had a fateful encounter with eminent composer Isang Yun, who spent the last years of his life in Berlin. Since then, Kim has made an effort to preserve and promote the legacy of the world's most influential Korean composer. Back from Germany, he played a crucial role in the foundation of the Tongyeong International Music Festival (TIMF), which celebrated its tenth anniversary recently. Under Kim's management, the TIMF has become an Asian "music mecca". Thanks to various artist residencies and composition awards, the festival attracts high-ranking musicians and composers to the small, coastal town of Tongyeong. By offering workshops, concerts for children and a Fringe program in the picturesque harbor, TIMF appeals to a broad audience. In addition to his commitment to the TIMF, Sngkn Kim is a professor of composition at the Institute for Traditional Music at Seoul National University.
In his own compositions, which are performed internationally, Sngkn Kim skillfully combines traditional instruments and playing techniques with contemporary music. With his compositions, Kim contributes to the musical exchange between Korea, Germany and other countries; as a producer, arranger and director, he is involved in numerous concert projects. In 2006, he founded the "Korean Music Project" with the objective of expanding the scope and context of traditional Korean as well as Western contemporary repertoire. An ensemble consisting of young musicians, at home in both music genres, combines Korean musical tradition and New Music in contemporary performances. The project brings together composers and artists from Korea and all around the world.