AGE 43 I LA HABRA, CALIFORNIA I UNITED STATES
Hyongsoon Kim took piano lessons—though not formally—through his law school days at Columbia University, and competed a good deal during his teenage years. For the last 20 years, piano has become a “luxury” to him, something to do when he’s not working (in litigation at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld) and with his family. He entered the Cliburn Amateur as a way to motivate him toward structured practice. But—he says, more importantly—he wants to show his 7-year-old son, who studies cello and piano, that “a love of music and practicing pays off for a lifetime,” outside of a career choice. He wants him “to understand the value of choosing classical music and spending the time to learn and understand it.” He calls piano his first love; it’s fitting, then, that he married a pianist, who is also his current teacher.