Kim, Byong-kon, prominent Korean-born American composer, conductor, and teacher; b. Taegu, May 28, 1929. He studied with Heiden, Tibor Kozma, Wolfgang Vacano, Apel, and Kaufmann at Ind. Univ. in Blooming-ton (M.M., 1964; D.M.A., 1968), then was on the faculty of Calif. State Univ., Los Angeles (from 1968). He was a guest conductor with the Seoul Phil. (1978–84), the Osaka Phil. (1980), the Korea Phil. (1984), and the Taegu Sym. Orch. (1981, 1985). In 1986 he founded and became the first director of the Pacific Contemporary Music Center; also served as adviser to the Hong Kong-based Asian Youth Sym. Orch. He became a naturalized American citizen in 1974. His orch. compositions are boldly dramatic, making particularly effective use of brass and string instruments.
orch.:Nak-Dong-Kang, symphonic poem (1964); Sym. (1967); Son (1978); Symphony of 3 Metaphors (1983); Festival Symphony (1984); Choyop (1985). band:Essay for Brass and Percussion (1962); Seoul Fanfare (1986). chamber:Theme and Variations for Violin and Viola (1962); Suite for Clarinet, Flute, and Bassoon (1962); String Quartet (1964); Concertino for Percussion (1965); Epitaph for Flute, Cello, and Percussion (1985); The 7 last Words of Christ for Organ and Percussion (1986); Sinfonietta for 15 Strings and Harpsichord (1987); also works for solo instruments. vocal:Flower Seed, song cycle for High Voice (1964); A Sunday Hymn for Chorus (1965); i am a little church for Chorus and Organ (1970).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire