Kayleigh Kim, a 15-year-old Herndon native, will compete in the junior portion of the 2020 Menuhin Competition, the world’s leading international competition for young violinists, this May.
Kim was chosen to be one of 22 junior competitors from around the world, representing 18 nationalities and 16 countries, to visit Richmond for the world-class competition, which has only been held in the United States once before.
We caught up with Kim about the competition and all that goes along with it—passion, excitement and worldwide connections.
When did you start playing the violin?
I ﬁrst picked up the violin when I was 5, but I really only played for a little just because I didn’t particularly enjoy it very much. It was kind of an on-and-off thing. Eventually I quit because I was focusing on short track speed skating. But eventually I decided to restart when I was 10, not really thinking too much about it, and I realized I actually did enjoy it.
What’s your favorite part about playing the violin?
It’s hard to pinpoint just one thing. I feel like through music, it’s so easy for me to make connections between things, and it’s a great way for me to be able to communicate certain ideas with people while I’m on stage. And just getting to meet a lot of people that share that same common interest with me, that’s always very exciting.
What are you looking forward to most about competing?
I think the main thing is the learning experience, because for me, this is my ﬁrst international-level competition. Then, also knowing I’m going to be getting critiques and comment sheets from some of the most amazing violinists in the world.
This post was originally published in our May 2020 print issue. For more cultural finds, subscribe to our newsletters.