“Judy Kang, a Canadian violinist and most likely the only musician to have worked with both Pierre Boulez and Lady Gaga, was featured in Brahms’s Violin Concerto. Ms. Kang, who drew whoops from the audience before playing a single note, offered a lean, focused sound, pinpoint intonation and expressively molded phrasing. Every line seemed to mean something personal in what amounted to an amorous serenade." - The New York Times
Globally recognized for her individuality as a violinist and established soloist and chamber musician in the classical world as well as in the world of pop, indie, jazz, and hip hop music, Judy Kang is quickly building a reputation as a gifted producer, composer, and collaborator with many living icons as well as some of the brightest artists of the future. To attempt to relegate Ms. Kang to a conventional mold would be to defy an artist born with a multi-dimensional gift. Her constant evolving artistry continues to establish her as an iconoclast and pioneer of twenty-first century violinists embodying the art of production, visuals, improvisation, arrangement, composition, and teaching.
Born and raised in Canada to a single mother, Ms. Kang’s unusual gift for music was recognized immediately when she picked up the violin at the age of four and instantly learned and memorized a piece at her first lesson. In just her first year of playing, she was performing in solo recitals and winning competitions. By age six, Ms. Kang made her solo debut with an orchestra and at age ten, she burst onto the classical music scene in a nationally acclaimed televised performance as soloist with the National Arts Center Orchestra. The Ottawa Citizen proclaimed, "If there was a star tonight, it was Judy Kang. Blessed with a gift for the violin that is exceptional, she moves about the instrument at her disposal with an ease that is awe-inspiring." A year later and with a fractured wrist at the time, Ms. Kang auditioned and subsequently accepted a full scholarship to attend the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music. At 17, she graduated with a bachelor in music as the youngest graduate in Curtis history. Shortly after graduation, Ms. Kang captured the grand prize as well as the "Best Interpretation” award at the CBC Competition for Young Performers, Canada's most highly regarded competition. At the age of 19, Ms. Kang was granted the Lily Foldes Scholarship from the Juilliard School where she earned her master’s degree with high honors. Additionally, Ms. Kang was the first recipient of the Artist Diploma from the Manhattan School of Music, which holds the distinction as the highest level of education, above all other programs.
Since her first solo appearance at age four in her native Edmonton, Canada, Ms. Kang has toured six continents across North and South America, Europe, the Soviet Union, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and the Caribbean Islands. She has performed with all the major orchestras and ensembles of Canada and those of US, Europe and Asia. Further, she performed in recital and chamber music to diverse audiences in prestigious venues including Tokyo Suntory Hall, Lincoln Center, Royal Festival Hall, Schubert Hall in Vienna as well as at the Metropolitan and Guggenheim Museums in New York among just to name a few. Ms. Kang made her critically acclaimed debut to a sold out audience in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall.
Having achieved a level of pop culture status as "Lady Gaga's violinist/nurse Judy," Ms. Kang was personally selected by the iconic sensation as her solo violinist on the "MonsterBall" world tour in 2010-11, the biggest selling debut tour in history. She performed in sold out venues for millions worldwide. In the midst of touring Europe, Ms. Kang flew to NYC for less than 30 hours to perform as soloist of Brahms' Violin Concerto at Stern Hall at Carnegie Hall, garnering rave reviews from the New York Times.
A member of the acoustic trio of Academy award winning film composer
and groundbreaker of electronic music, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Ms. Kang and Mr. Sakamoto have toured Europe and Asia in sold out shows and have released two albums on the Decca label to much celebration. As a producer and writer for diverse artists, Ms. Kang co-wrote, produced, and arranged a song for singer Antoniette Costa whose music video garnered over 65,000 views in the first 48 hours following its premiere.
Ms. Kang frequently collaborates with esteemed composers and has worked closely with Leon Kirchner, Richard Danielpour, Alexander Goehr, and Pierre Boulez. In response to her well-received performance and collaboration with Pierre Boulez and IRCAM, The New York times wrote, "violinist Judy Kang, who played with assurance and imagination, became the wizardly master of an entire sound environment." Having been exposed to all kinds of music from an early age, Ms. Kang continues to broaden her horizons and break through the constraints of traditional boundaries. This explains her work within the New York club scene having played to sold out audiences in venues such as Le Poisson Rouge, The Bitter End, Irving Plaza, Mercury Lounge, and Bowery Ballroom, among others. Further, Ms. Kang has collaborated with the likes of Lenny Kravitz and N’sYNC. She appeared on the Emmy award winning HBO special, Lady Gaga Presents: The MonsterBall World Tour Live from Madison Square Garden. Ms. Kang was also featured alongside Lady Gaga on American Idol playing the violin solo of her hit single, "Alejandro."
Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and U.S. President Bill Clinton are only a few of the numerous diplomats and leaders that Ms. Kang has performed for. She has collaborated extensively with distinguished members of the Guarneri and Emerson Quartets, Beaux Arts Trio, as well as artists such as Claude Frank, Miriam Fried and David Geringas, among many others. Ms. Kang has performed at major festivals such as Marlboro, Ravinia, Banff, Orford, Bargemusic, Manchester, Aspen, the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, Lenaudiere, and the Pablo Casals Festival, as well as at various jazz and pop festivals like Lollapalooza and the Festival Internacional Jazz Barcelona, to name a few. She was also featured in one of three chamber groups selected for the 60th Anniversary Disc from a live performance on Musicians from Marlboro.
Ms. Kang’s achievements have garnered her much media attention, frequently appearing on CNN and MTV as well as in myriad print publications. Her release of two critically acclaimed CDs have been nominated for the Opus award and the Gemini award in her native Canada. Further, Ms. Kang is frequently heard live and through broadcasts on national and international radio stations such as CBC (Canada), BBC (London) and on WQXR (New York).
Humbled and thankful to have received numerous and continuous support through scholarships and grants from numerous foundations, Ms. Kang won the 'Sylva Gelber' prize given to the most talented musician under 30. Further, and in recognition of her outstanding achievement and contribution to the arts, she is featured as an accomplished artist and inspiration in a book entitled “Korea and Canada: A Shared History.” The sole artist to be awarded the longest use of an instrument from the Canada Council Instrument Bank, Judy won the use the 1689 "Baumgartner" Stradivarius, through a generous donor.
Presently, Ms. Kang continues to defy constraints in her endeavor to achieve musical transcendence, evident in the release of her self-titled album on March 5, 2013; all of which was she wrote, produced and recorded herself. The album explores a multi-instrumental sonic template through the violin as well as through vocals, keys, synths, guitar, lyrics, rhythms, beats, noise and everything in between. Dubbed by critics as "Grimes with a Stradivarius," the record has already received praise and accolades from the press and artists alike who have characterized it as "diverse, unbelievably beautiful, and eclectic.”
CLICK HERE FOR JUDY'S PHOTO GALLERY
Judy Kang Facebook Fan Page