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Gloria Chien & Soovin Kim named recipients of CMS Award for Extraordinary Service

November 1, 2021
Joanna Rae Photography

CMS is pleased to present the seventh Chamber Music Award for Extraordinary Service to Chamber Music to Gloria Chien and Soovin Kim.

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center announced today that violinist Soovin Kim and pianist Gloria Chien have been named the recipients of the 2021 CMS Award for Extraordinary Service to Chamber Music. The award is to be presented on November 9 on stage at Alice Tully Hall, after the intermission of that evening’s concert, Chopin: Voice of the Poet.

“Even during the deepest and darkest days of the pandemic, we knew that this award should go next to those who were working tirelessly to keep the art form thriving in the face of tremendous odds,” said David Finckel and Wu Han, co-artistic directors of CMS. “It was not long after the shutdown that we became aware of this couple’s aggressive, unstoppable and truly inspired efforts to bring great music to people in times of intense need. As young artistic directors (and stellar performers) they have set an example not only as artists but citizens of the world, and for that, we should all be truly grateful.”

CMS musicians Gloria Chien and Soovin Kim are alumni of The Bowers Program, CMS’s development program for young artists. They epitomize the kind of leadership, expertise and passion that the program was designed to encourage, with careers as highly respected solo artists, busy chamber musicians (with CMS and independently), and artistic directors who launched their own series and are now at the helm of several different chamber music series and programs around the country. Together, they are artistic directors of Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival in Burlington, VT and Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, OR. Gloria is also artistic director of String Theory at the Hunter, a chamber music series at the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga TN.

Throughout the pandemic, they brought chamber music to the people of Burlington, Portland and Chattanooga by producing digital concerts, featuring both live performances and archival recordings; creating digital lecture series and educational programming; partnering with local public radio and television to extend the reach of programming; and offering many of these programs free to the public in an effort to help sustain them through the pandemic lockdown. “It is such a great honor to receive this award and to be in the company of such distinguished past honorees, including the founder and the former Artistic Directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center,” said Gloria Chien and Soovin Kim. “As artistic leaders, it is our responsibility to serve our communities, especially during this time of uncertainty."

The CMS Award for Extraordinary Service to Chamber Music was created by CMS to recognize and celebrate the work of those who have been responsible in significant ways for the thriving chamber music community of today. It is presented to individuals and institutions who have shown exceptional dedication to the art form of chamber music and have significantly changed the landscape of chamber music through their passionate commitment and exceptional vision. Read more about the award here.