Chris Younghoon Kim is currently the Director of Orchestras at Cornell University as the Silver associate professor of music and served as the Director of Undergraduate Studies from 2010 until 2016. In addition to the orchestra, Chris teaches instrumental graduate conducting and advanced undergraduate conducting. Jointly with Xak Bjerken, Chris is a co-director of Ensemble X, which celebrated its 20th season. The League of American Orchestras/ASCAP has recognized his advocacy of contemporary music by awarding the Adventurous Programming Award six times between 2008-2014. The American Prize has recognized his work in 2014-2018 in multiple categories. He has premiered over 250 new works for orchestra. He has sought to program worthy, unknown repertoire with the Cornell Orchestras. In the 2016-2017 season, all concerts by the Cornell Symphony featured a work by a woman composer both present and past; Kristin Kuster, Gabriela Lena Frank, Jacqueline Keeyoung Kim, Tonia Ko, Joan Tower, and Lili Boulanger. During the 2017-2018 season, Jazz influenced works permeated the repertoire; Duke Ellington, Gunther Schuller, Charlie Parker, and Wynton Marsalis.
At Cornell University he directs the Chamber Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestra. The Cornell Chamber Orchestras was a featured ensemble at the CODA National Conference in 2012. The Cornell Orchestras have formed multiple collaborative relationships with the Royal Academy of Music in Dublin, Ireland, Conservatorio de Puerto Rico in San Juan, PR, Sinfónica del Neuquén in Argentina and have taken multiple visits to these sister cities. In January of 2019, Cornell Orchestras embarked on a tour to Taiwan to collaborate with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra as well as Engagement activities with five different student orchestras across the city of Taipei. Cornell Orchestra and Ithaca College Orchestras have jointly presented the Ithaca International Conducting Masterclasses for the past 9 years bringing conducting pedagogues such as Larry Rachleff, Carl St. Clair, David Effron, Alexander Polischuk, and Gustav Meier to work with young conductors.
He has appeared with orchestras in the US and abroad, including ensembles such as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Delta Festival Ballet, Symphoria, Divertimento Ensemble of Milan, Italy. He has appeared in music festivals such as Kinhaven Music Center, Skaneateles Music Festival, and International Bartók Festival in Szombathely, Hungary among others.