Joanna Kim, an associate professor of music at the University of North Georgia (UNG), has been designated a Steinway Artist, joining the select ranks of concert artists and ensembles around the world to be designated as Steinway Artists in the company's 162-year-history.
"I am most grateful to join the distinguished international family of Steinway Artists. This prestigious designation indicates the high standards I've set through my artistic and professional career," Kim said. "Steinway Artists enjoy access to the resources of the company's worldwide network and receive assistance on every aspect related to performing on a piano. Having this support from the best piano maker in the world is very inspiring and it will promote my career even further as an international performing artist."
Steinway held a reception in her honor on Sunday, Aug. 30 at the company's showroom in Atlanta; in addition to UNG faculty and administrators, guests also included Seong-jin Kim, the consul general of Korea in Atlanta, and Ron Losby, president of Steinway USA. Joanna Kim also performed a solo recital before the reception.
Kim's application to the Steinway Artist program was funded through a 2013 Presidential Professional Engagement Award, one of 25 awards of up to $2,000 given by UNG President Bonita Jacobs for faculty to remain state-of-the-art in their disciplines, attend conferences or conduct research to support teaching or student success initiatives. In 2014, Kim also received a Presidential Professional Engagement Award to attend a classical music festival in Vienna, Austria, where she performed at Haydnsaal Hall, one of Europe's premiere performance halls.
The process of becoming a Steinway Artist requires an application listing the artist's achievements, including all performances, released CD recordings and reviews. Applicants must also submit recordings and a recommendation from another Steinway Artist or a Steinway dealer. The materials are screened by a panel of international artists in a review process that typically takes eight to 12 months.
"I am pleased that one of my faculty members has been named a Steinway Artist," said Andy David, head of the Department of Music at UNG. "This is one of the highest honors a professional pianist can receive, and the selection process is quite lengthy and rigorous."
Dr. Chris Jespersen, dean of UNG's College of Arts & Letters, also lauded Kim's accomplishment.
"Dr. Kim's recognition as a Steinway Artist is yet another example of the international accolades she has garnered throughout her illustrious career and reflects on the performance excellence she has so brilliantly and consistently achieved. All of us at UNG are proud of Dr. Kim," he said.
Kim has performed around the world, including in China, Korea, France, Australia and the United States. She was the winner of the Chopin Division of the McDonald's Young Artist Music Festival in Sydney, Australia, and winner of the National Young Artists' Competition in Seoul, Korea.
She has served as director of keyboard studies at UNG since 2006 and a nationally certified teacher of music in piano and a group piano teaching specialist since 2011. She has a bachelor's degree in music from West Virginia University and both master's and doctoral degrees in music from the University of Georgia. Kim also has served as music director for the Korean Presbyterian Church in Athens, Georgia, and has held voluntary leadership positions with several groups including the Atlanta Steinway Society, the Georgia Music Educators Association and the Georgia Music Teachers Association.