Kim, Jin Hi
- Eldonna L. May
(b Incheon, South Korea, Feb 6, 1958). Composer and komungo performer of South Korean birth. She is internationally recognized as an innovative virtuoso on the komungo (a Korean fourth-century fretted-board zither) as well as for her cross-cultural compositions. She learned to play piano as a child, but followed her father’s encouragement to study Korean music. She was in the first class of students to be accepted to Korea’s National High School for Korean Traditional Music, and chose to pursue komungo, traditionally associated with male performers. She subsequently earned a bachelor’s degree in music at Seoul National University. After immigrating to the United States, she attended Mills College (MFA 1985). Her teachers have included john Adams , lou Harrison , terry Riley , and david Rosenboom .
An invitation in 1987 to improvise on komungo with avant-garde guitarist Henry Kaiser led to a decade of creative activity with the world’s leading jazz and avant-garde improvisers, including William Parker, Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman, Elliott Sharp, Derek Bailey, Eugene Chadbourne, James Newton, Joelle Leandre, Mark Dresser, Jane Ira Bloom, and Evan Parker. She designed the world’s first electric komungo and currently uses a model built by Joseph Yanuziello in ...