Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Judy Kang's Dream Life - From Bach, Lalo & Glazunoz to Lady Gaga

Written By: Andy Fein, luthier at Fein Violins
Stefan Aune and Angela Newgren

"I live in a dream world." Judy Kang is an extraordinary Canadian violinist who has lived the dream life of many musicians. She first picked up the violin at age four. Shortly after, she was auditioning for solo performances and soon began appearing as a soloist with orchestras around the world. At age 11 she was accepted into the Curtis Institute of Music where she earned a Bachelor's degree in music on a full scholarship. At age 19, (two years after finishing her Bachelor's) she was awarded another scholarship and began work on a Master's degree from Julliard.

Judy Kang

Judy Kang has performed in many great places and for many great people. Her career as a violinist (solo and chamber) has taken her to Carnegie Hall (sold out show!), Tokyo Suntory Hall, Schubert Hall in Vienna, and many other famous venues. She has performed for Bill Clinton, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and other important leaders around the world.

She was also chosen by Lady Gaga to join Gaga's "Monster Ball Tour" (January 2010 to May 2011). Putting down her 1689 "Baumgartner" Stradivarius,  Judy Kang picked up a pink Mark Wood "Viper" electric violin for the tour.

Judy Kang
Her ability to transition from being a virtuoso soloist to accompanying a pop superstar like Lady Gaga identifies Kang as a great musician. Her repertoire varies and she is still able to awe the audience no matter what genre of music she plays. 

It wasn't magic that made this happen for Judy. The road to great improvisation is paved with hours of scales, chords, arpeggios, music theory and an open mind. Was Judy "Born This Way"?  Probably not. But great focus, great teachers and a love of the violin have opened doors beyond her imagining. If you play violin, many doors can also open for you. Get practicing!

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