Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen


Canadian hired as concertmaster

for TSO takes job in Hong Kong

DANIEL BUCKLEY Citizen Staff Writer

The musician hired as concertmaster for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra has accepted another position and will not be coming to Tucson.

In March, Dennis Kim was named to succeed retired TSO concertmaster John Ferrell.

But, through a combination of immigration problems and better offers, Kim is declining the post, it was announced yesterday.

Without telling TSO, Kim had continued auditioning with other orchestras after signing with Tucson.

A TSO union provision allows musicians to terminate their contracts if they get a higherpaying position with another orchestra, said Clyde Kunz, TSO executive director.

”He recognized that, continued auditioning and won a position that pays him considerably more,” Kunz said.

Kim will take a post with the violin section of the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

”It’s disappointing,” Kunz said. ”But one of the realities of life is that we are a part-time orchestra. As a result of that we pay a parttime salary, and it’s difficult for people to move here to take a parttime job without any other means of support.”

Even if Kim had delivered on his contract with TSO, his hiring would have been problematic. A Canadian citizen, Kim was in the country on a student visa, which will expire after he receives a master’s degree from Yale University this summer.

TSO applied for official work status for Kim, but its initial application to the Immigration and Naturalization Service was declined because its quota in that particular job category was filled, Kunz said.

”We were in the process of putting in a reapplication, but it was doubtful that Dennis was going to be allowed to play the first couple of concerts, even if it were awarded, because the certification would not be made until October at the earliest.”

Kim was to have been the soloist in Nikolai RimskyKorsakov’s ”Scheherazade” at the end of October.

Kunz and TSO music director George Hanson, who has been guest conducting in Germany and South Africa, have been in daily discussion about the concertmaster’s position since learning of Kim’s decision about a week ago.

At this point, there is no telling whether a replacement can be named by the orchestra’s Sept. 24 season premiere, Kunz said. Nor is there any commitment to choosing exclusively from the pool of four candidates who auditioned with Kim during the 1997-98 season.

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