Preparing Boys for Life

Michael Stairs Memorial Concert


David Kim: March 13, 7 p.m.

Save the date for the inaugural Michael Stairs Memorial Concert. The performance will be held 7-8 p.m., with a brief reception following.

Violinist David Kim was named Concertmaster of The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1999. Born in Carbondale, Illinois in 1963, he started playing the violin at the age of three, began studies with the famed pedagogue Dorothy DeLay at the age of eight, and later received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School.

Highlights of Kim’s 2018-19 season include serving on the faculty of the New York String Orchestra Seminar; appearing as soloist with The Philadelphia Orchestra; teaching/performance residencies and masterclasses at The University of Texas at Austin, Rice University, Manhattan School of Music, Bob Jones University, Rowan University, West Chester University, the Taipei (Taiwan) Academy and Festival, and continued appearances as concertmaster of the All-Star Orchestra on PBS stations across the USA and online at the Kahn Academy; a solo performance on a soon-to-be-released CD with the Westminster Choir; as well as recitals, speaking engagements, and appearances with orchestras across the United States.

Kim frequently appears as a guest with famed modern hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty at venues such as the  Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Carnegie Hall. He is the founder and Artistic Director of the annual David Kim Orchestral Institute of Cairn University in Philadelphia, where he is also a Professor of Violin Studies. Additionally, Kim serves as Distinguished Artist at the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University in Macon, GA.

Kim appears as soloist with The Philadelphia Orchestra each season as well as with numerous orchestras around the world. He also appears internationally at festivals such as Brevard, MasterWorks (USA), and Pacific (Japan). He frequently serves as an adjudicator at international violin competitions such as the Menuhin and Sarasate. 

Kim has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from Eastern University in suburban Philadelphia, the University of Rhode Island, and Dickinson College. His instruments are a J.B. Guadagnini from Milan, Italy ca. 1757 on loan from The Philadelphia Orchestra and a Michael Angelo Bergonzi from Cremona ca. 1754. 

About Michael Stairs

Michael Stairs taught music at The Haverford School from 1986 to 2012 and held the inaugural Grace and Mahlon Buck Chair in Music and the Performing Arts from 1998 to 2001.

He was also a world-class organist. A graduate of Westminster Choir College, Stairs earned an Artist’s Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music. In 1985, he was appointed by Riccardo Muti to be the principal organist for the Philadelphia Orchestra and delivered solo performances in Carnegie Hall and Suntory Hall (Tokyo). Stairs could also be heard as resident organist on the largest fully functioning pipe organ in the world, The Wanamaker Organ, at Macy’s in Philadelphia.

Read more about the life and legacy of Haverford School music teacher Michael Stairs >


If you are interested in learning more about this concert or making a pledge or gift to the Michael Stairs Concert Fund, please contact Jeff Day at 484-571-7052 or

About the Lecture Series

The Michael Stairs Memorial Concert brings a renowned musician to campus to perform in Centennial Hall and spend time in a master class with Haverford students. The event aims to celebrate music as an academic discipline as well as a source of inspiration and joy.

The Michael Stairs Memorial Concert Fund

Established in 2018 by alumni, parents and friends, the Michael Stairs Concert Fund honors Stairs' service to Haverford as an outstanding music teacher and director of the Glee Club and the Notables from 1986-2012. An accomplished organist, Stairs played for Bryn Mawr's Church of the Redeemer, the Wanamaker Grand Court at Macy's, and was appointed as organist of the Philadelphia Orchestra by Riccardo Muti in 1985. This fund is overseen by the chair of the Music Department and supports an annual concert by a performer or composer who evokes the inspiration and admiration of students, just as Stairs did.

Upcoming Lectures