Born in Seoul, So-Ock Kim moved to London at the age of three. At 15, she was the youngest ever winner of the gold medal in the prestigious Shell/LSO Competition playing the Tchaikovsky Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra in the Barbican Hall. She was also the youngest winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society Emily Anderson Prize at 13 and, at 19, So-Ock was selected for the Young Artists Trust as a soloist and chamber musician.
So-Ock has given numerously critically acclaimed performances around the world comprehensively touring throughout Asia, Europe and the US, performing concertos and recitals at renowned international music festivals alongside the most acclaimed orchestras. Many of her performances have been broadcast on radio and television worldwide including the BBC, ABC, Radio France, RAI, KBS, Polish Radio and Classic FM.
She has performed as a soloist with conductors including Krzystof Penderecki, Vassily Petrenko, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Alain Altinoglu, Edward Gardner, Vassily Sinaisky, Howard Griffiths, and with orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Seoul Philharmonic, English Chamber, Sofia Philharmonic, Belgrade Philharmonic, Polish Radio, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Opera North, City of London Sinfonia, London Mozart Players, Britten Sinfonia, Suwon Philharmonic, Korean Chamber, Westdeutsche Sinfonia and KBS.
So-Ock has a keen interest in the performance of new works and has given several world premieres that have been recorded for Universal (France and Korea) and Naxos.
She received the Honourary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music award and also teaches at the Academy as a Professor of Violin.
So-Ock is the co-founder of the Beare’s International Violin Society alongside her husband, Steven Smith, and services as the Artistic Coordinator, connecting musicians with instruments from all over the world. As well as her work for the Society, So-Ock has been involved with J & A Beare’s partnerships with the Kronberg Academy as well as the inception of the Beare’s Premiere Music Festival alongside many other musical projects.