Final Notes

Graduate Harrison Kim dazzles audiences with his last clarinet recital at school


Nolan Zils

Class of 2022 alumnus Harrison Kim hits one last high note with a piece called “Blues” by Michele Mangani.

Nolan Zils and Ryan Walters

In front of an audience of 25 of his friends and family, recent graduate Harrison Kim gave a virtuosic clarinet solo recital Tuesday at the Performing Arts Center, his final performance before he leaves for college.

The Peninsula Symphony Young Music Competition winner dazzled the audience with pieces that were composed of artists from as early as the eighteenth century to present.

The performance, initially planned right after the school year but postponed due to COVID concerns, capped off a high school career in which he was in consideration for local competitive awards, including an invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall as a sophomore.

Kim will be attending Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. this fall under the teaching of professor Michael Wayne, considered one of the premiere clarinet instructors in the country. Wayne has been a member of both the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops orchestras since 2008.

“[He is] one of the best clarinet professors in the nation and I am beyond excited that I have the opportunity to work with him as an undergrad.” he said about his future instructor.

Kim opened the recital with “Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F minor, Op.73”, a near half-hour piece consisting of three movements that switched from frantic to more quiet tempos.

After intermission he played “Clarinet Sonata,” a song beginning and ending with brisk Allegros and a tender Romanza ballad in the middle. For his encore he performed “Blues”, a jazz piece by living composer Michele Mangani, with a beginning similar to the clarinet opening of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”. The piece maintained a soft swing rhythm until the clarinet belted out a shrill high note, Kim’s highest of the recital, at the end as Ku picked up tempo in a riff similar to Geshwin’s well known piece.

Band director Chris Nalls described the solo recital as “an important step in the training of a music professional,” and said that Kim has an exciting future ahead of him.

“Harrison will achieve great success as a performer and musician,” Nalls said. “My advice would be to be flexible and be open to opportunities and to keep working smart and diligently.”