Biography

 Photo by Michelle Smith-Lewis

Photo by Michelle Smith-Lewis

Violinist  Michael Jinsoo Lim has been praised for playing with “delicious abandon” by Gramophone, described as “bewitching” and “masterful” by the Seattle Times, and hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a “conspicuously accomplished champion of contemporary music.” He is concertmaster and solo violinist of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra (“surely the best ballet band in America”—New York Times) and serves as artistic director and violinist of the Seattle-based ensemble Frequency. 

Recent solo appearances with Pacific Northwest Ballet include multiple performances of the Stravinsky Violin Concerto (in New York City and Seattle), Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 1 (Paris and Seattle), and Richard Einhorn’s electric violin piece, Maxwell’s Demon (Paris and Seattle). Upcoming highlights include the Bridge Records release of Lim’s world premiere recording of Andrew Waggoner’s Violin Concerto, a work written for Lim, and recorded with the Seattle Modern Orchestra under the direction of Julia Tai.

For twenty years, Lim toured and recorded with the Corigliano Quartet, a group he co-founded. With the quartet, he won the Grand Prize at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and the ASCAP/CMA Award for Adventurous Programming, and performed in the nation’s leading music centers, including Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, and the Kennedy Center. The quartet’s Naxos label CD was honored as one of The New Yorker’s Ten Best Classical Recordings of the Year.

As a theater artist, Lim appeared in director Nick Schwartz-Hall’s Tempo of Recollection, a show about composer Erwin Schulhoff, and served as music consultant for Seattle Repertory Theatre’s production of Opus, directed by Braden Abraham. Lim has performed onstage with Pacific Northwest Ballet in George Balanchine’s Duo Concertante, Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain, and Alexander Eckman’s Cacti.

Lim has recorded for Naxos, Sono Luminus, DreamWorks, Albany, Bridge, CRI, Bayer Records, RIAX and New Focus, He is the producer of three critically acclaimed albums by violist Melia Watras and co-producer on a fourth. In 2019, Lim and Watras will launch Planet M Records, a new artist-led, independent record label.

Lim earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Indiana University, where he studied with Josef Gingold, Mauricio Fuks and Yuval Yaron. He later studied chamber music at the Juilliard School and taught there as an assistant to the Juilliard String Quartet. He currently serves on the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts.