Kim Duk-Soo

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Buddhism, shamanism, tradition
Music (percussion)
Performing Arts (dance)
Asia, Eastern
Korea, South (Republic of Korea)
related artists:
created on:
July 7, 2003
last changed on:
Please note: This page has not been updated since October 11, 2005. We decided to keep it online because we think the information is still valuable.
information provided by:
Kim Duk-Soo
Kim Duk-Soo © Wahidur Rahman Khandkar Czhoton


Rhythm leads the way

Over the years and through his extensive work as a performing artist, teacher, and artistic director, Kim Duk Soo has been recognized as one of the fifty most influential figures in Korea over the last five decades.
Known as the child prodigy of the drums, Kim Duk-Soo has developed his fastastic music career to that of a performing artist, composer, teacher and artistic director.

One of the main reasons for his success is his belief that beating the rhythm will lead him to the Way, and what he has gained from that experience has been a source for the growth of the percussionist group, SamulNori, which he formed in 1978.

His most important goals have always been to create new music through the development of traditional Korean percussion music by research, as well as refining its methodology and pedagogy, and the training of the next generation of musicians.

When he founded SamulNori, his life took on new and complicated dimensions. There were four specific purposes in forming the group: to research more extensively the traditional music of Korea, to study the music and instruments (especially percussion instruments) of other traditions throughout the word, to create new music, and to provide educational opportunities for students and others to learn Korean percussion.

Author: Karin Bergquist


Born in 1952 in Taejon, his father, Kim Mun Hak, chose Kim Duk Soo out of eight other siblings to follow in his footsteps as a professional musician in the tradition of wandering artists troupe, Namsadang.

He graduated from the Korean Traditional Music and Performing Arts School in Seoul, where great masters such as Do Il Yang, Yong Yoon Nam, and Soon Gap Song, taught him the janggo, (hourglass drum), and k´kwaenggwari, (small gong), and attended one year of college before the demands of his professional life took over.

After have founded SamulNori in 1978 he has since traveled around the world performing on more than 3000 stages under the name of SamulNori.

In addition to his work as a performing artist, Kim Duk Soo has also created, managed and directed numerous productions involving not only music but also dance and theatre: Nanjang Festival (Berlin ´96) Seoul Drum Festival ´99, Younggo, Puri & Nori, etc.


Spirit of Nature - ôëÛÈ (Chung bae)

Published Audio,
(Nanjang Music : TE001-01)


Published Audio,
14. (Samsung Music : SCO-137NAN)

From the Earth, to the Sky

Published Audio,
(Samsung Music ; SCO-137stm 0047)


Published Audio,
(King Records ; syncd 114-115 ; 2cd)


At the age of seven, he was awarded the President´s Award in the National Folk Music Contest and was henceforth known as the child prodigy of the drums. This award marked the beginning of an amazing personal career that has taken him to almost every corner of the world.


This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the partner institutions.

Images of Asia

(08 August 03 - 26 September 03)

Asian Comments

(19 September 02 - 21 September 02)


Website of Kim Duk Soo and SamulNori