Born in Seoul, pianist ILIA KIM began her musical studies in her native country. Her precociousness as performer drew much attention from early on which led to the debut solo recital at the Recital Hall of the Sae Jong Arts Centre in Seoul, at the age of eleven. In 1983 and 1987 the City of Seoul awarded her the prestigious Mayor Award and a scholarship for studying abroad.
In 1989 she began to study at the Hochschule der Künste of Berlin with Laszlo Simon and Georg Sava and graduated with summa cum laude in 1994.
Subsequently, she has studied at the Mozarteum of Salzburg and the Hochschule für Musik und Theater of Hannover. From 1997 she studied with Piero Rattalino, Antonio Ballista and Franco Scala at the Accademia Pianistica of Imola where she graduated in 2000, also dedicating herself to the fortepiano under the guidance of Stefano Fiuzzi.
Ilia Kim enjoys concert activities in Korea, Germany, Austria, France, Sweden, Finland, Holland, Romania, Croatia, Italy, Portugal, Mexico, USA (Carnegie Hall), Brazil, China, also participating at prestigious festivals such as the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Holland Music Sessions, Festival delle Città di Portogruaro, Festival of Dubrovnik, Festival Pianistico Internazionale “Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli” of Brescia and Bergamo (2002, 2004, 2010 and 2012) and Tiroler Festspiele of Erl (2000-2005). In 2007 she played at Pavilhão Atlântico of Lisbon, in front of 9000 spectators.
She has played with various orchestras such as the Orchestra Haydn of Bolzano, I Pomeriggi Musicali of Milan, Orchestra Sinfonica of Rome, O.F.U.N.A.M. of Mexico City, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, Oriental Art Center Orchestra of Shanghai, Dortmunder Philharmoniker, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Crakow, the Symphony Orchestra of Teatro Nacional Claudio Santoro of Brasilia, Orquestra Sinfónica Portuguesa of Lisbon, Haifa Symphony Orchestra of Israel, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Seoul and KBS National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Korea, Philharmonic Orchestra “Enescu” of Bucharest, the National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Bucharest, the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra della Istituzione Sinfonica Abruzzese, E.A.O.S.S of Palermo, Orchestra Teatro Massimo “Bellini” of Catania, Orchestra Teatro Massimo of Palermo, the Orchestra Arena of Verona, Orchestra Sinfonica of San Remo; several of these concerts were broadcasted live by the national radios and televisions of Korea, Romania, Germany, Portugal, Mexico and Italy.
Since 1998 she has lived in Italy. She regularly appears at all the major centres of Italy, also performing thesis programmes such as “Mozart: the joy and the terror of life”, “Beethoven and the parody”, “Macrocosmos and microcosmos in Chopin”, “The slav culture in the piano”, “Wagner and Verdi”. In May 2015 she will appear again at Brescia and Bergamo International Piano Festival playing Diabelli Variations among other pieces for the theme “Barocco and Neo barocco”.
In October 2001 she took part in the world première of Azio Corghi’s “…malinconia, ninfa gentile” for voice, two pianos and string orchestra, performed in Catania with Andrea Bocelli and Sandro de Palma, under the baton of Donato Renzetti (recorded under the patronage of the President of the Italian Republic Senate).
Afterwards, the composer dedicated to Ilia Kim and Sandro de Palma the suite “ Di Bravura”. In July 2002, during the Tiroler Festspiele of Erl, she gave the world première of “Virginal Dream” by Giovanni Sollima.