‘I am not that violinist Jennifer Kim’

‘I am not that violinist Jennifer Kim’


norman lebrecht

May 14, 2015

Angry tweets are still buzzing about the violinist on the crashed Amtrak train who appeared to care more about the fate of her instrument than for the blood on the tracks.

Trouble is, Jennifer Kim is a common name and there are several violinists who got a terrible shock at being twitter-bombed. They are having to reassure friends and family that they have nothing to do with ‘that’ Jennifer Kim.

One, for instance, plays in a Minnesota youth orchestra, another teaches at UC Davis, a third studies viola at Peabody, a fourth is a member of the US national youth orchestra. And there are more, quite a few more, across the US music spectrum. These Jennifers are caught in crossfire and deserve our sympathy and support.

For the avoidance of confusion, the ‘Amtrak’ Jennifer Kim is a violinist in the Washington Opera orchestra and an alternate in the National Symphony Orchestra. She, too, deserves our professional and human solidarity for the unforseen consequences of her distressed reaction to the disaster. The public shaming must stop.

jennifer kim


  • T-ARAFANBOY says:

    I don’t know if she got her violin back, or will, but who knows, by not doing that maybe she would never get it back…
    Btw, seems that she’s not the only violinist of late, who has come under the crossfire of social network systems, tabloid press and shallow public sentiment.
    Hope everything works out for Jennifer.

  • JJC says:

    ‘That’ Jennifer Kim is as fine a colleague as one could wish for, a sweet and lovely lady of uncommon maturity.

    • Dave Lewis says:

      Except for the fact she cares more about her violin than the families of those who lost a love one and lacked the maturity not to make sure a comment. That refutes your comments completely. She deserves to be fired from both GMU and the NSO and until she makes a public apology should not be allowed to busk outside of Clarendon.

      • JJC says:

        I stand by what I said. I know her and you, presumably, do not and that is far more substantial than a snapshot off of social media in a moment of deep shock.

      • Dustin says:

        I think people should be allowed to say dumb things on the internet. We don’t have to agree with them. And I think trauma victims should have 10x more space to say ill-considered things. While narcissism will undoubtedly be cited in Jennifer’s tweet – I don’t think it’s unreasonable to wanted the instrument that is her livelihood back. We all say stupid things (just usually not on Twitter). Your outrage is better spent elsewhere.

  • Daniel Farber says:

    She has my sympathy, as does anyone who currently plays, even as an alternate, with the National Symphony.

  • Bassoons 4 Less says:

    “She, too, deserves our professional and human solidarity for the unforeseen consequences of her distressed reaction to the disaster. The public shaming must stop.”

    I don’t agree with the first part of this statement because it excuses her narcissistic behavior. But I agree with the second part since it can be interpreted that she deserved the public shaming she got yesterday — and she certainly did. She’s probably learned her lesson, she’ll probably find some humility now, and we can all move on. Well, aside from those who were injured or died in the crash. Which I’m guessing she’s finally aware of now.

  • Judah Rubin says:

    was her comment insensitive? yes
    and i think an apology should suffice

    however the punishment of online shamming on twitter and the internet is a horrible thing for anyone to go through and damagers her and punishes her far worse than the harm which she did but sending out that tweet

    for anybody who doesn’t understand the true harm of internet shaming please watch the following ted talk


    we must have room in our society for forgiveness and second chances…and if we don’t that we live in an immoral society