Juliette Kang | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Juliette Kang

Juliette Kang. Violinist, b Edmonton 6 Sep 1975; B MUS (Curtis) 1991, MA (Juilliard) 1993. A child prodigy, Juliette Kang began violin lessons at age four and soon became a student of James Keene, concertmaster of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. She made her concerto debut in Montreal at age seven.

Juliette Kang

Juliette Kang. Violinist, b Edmonton 6 Sep 1975; B MUS (Curtis) 1991, MA (Juilliard) 1993. A child prodigy, Juliette Kang began violin lessons at age four and soon became a student of James Keene, concertmaster of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. She made her concerto debut in Montreal at age seven.

Prizes and Early Performances

In Canada, Kang won top prizes at the National Music Festival 1983-6. At age nine, she was accepted as a violin student on scholarship at the Curtis Institute and became a student of Jascha Brodsky. By age 11, Kang had garnered international attention, winning top prizes at the 1986 Beijing International Youth Violin Competition in China. In 1989, at age 13, Kang became the youngest artist to win the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York. She appeared as a soloist with the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, in December 1990, and in June 1991 she performed Bach's Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor with Pinchas Zukerman and the Orchestra of St. Luke's at the 30th Anniversary Young Concert Artists Gala. Kang began her master's at Juilliard in 1991 with renowned violin pedagogue Dorothy DeLay. In her first year at Juilliard, Kang won first prize in the 1992 Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition in Paris. In February 1992, she won first prize in the Philadelphia Orchestra Student Competition, a win that included a solo performance with the ensemble.

Kang performed her New York recital debut in March 1993 in the Young Concert Artists Series at the 92nd Street Y. She continued her studies at Juilliard for an additional two years after graduation and performed an average of 20 recitals per year. Kang received the Canada Council's Sylva Gelber Award in 1993, awarded annually to the most talented Canadian artist under 30. In 1994, Kang won the gold medal at the Indianapolis International Violin Competition, as well as prizes for best Bach performance and best performance of Witold Lutoslawski's Subito, the commissioned work of the event. In spring of 1994, Kang toured northern Canada with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and in October, returned to perform in their Master Series.

International Career

Kang has since performed with every major orchestra in Canada, including the Toronto, Montreal, and Edmonton symphony orchestras, as well as with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. Internationally, she has performed with the San Francisco, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Detroit, and Indianapolis orchestras, as well as with the Boston Pops, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, and the Orchestre National de France. From 1999 to 2000, Kang was the principal second violin with the Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra. From 2001 to 2003, she was a member of the first violin section with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, which she followed with a two-year stint as assistant concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Since 2005, Kang has held the position of first associate concertmaster with the Philadelphia Orchestra and plays second violin.

A distinguished recitalist, Kang is much in demand, her invitations including performances in Toronto's "Onstage at the Glenn Gould" series and at Carnegie Hall, the Frick Museum, Boston's Gardner Museum, and Paris' Théâtre Châtelet. Kang has made frequent appearances at festivals, including the Festival de Lanaudière, the Festival d'été International de Québec, Marlboro festivals, Spoleto USA, the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, and France's Colmar Festival. Kang has also given performances with her husband, cellist Tom Kraines, as part of the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, the Moab Music Festival, the Next Generation Festival, and the Portland Chamber Music Festival.


Kang's repertoire ranges from baroque to contemporary, including the works of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Wieniawski, Ravel, Poulenc, Marjan Mozetich, and Witold Lutoslawski. She has performed some of the most challenging repertoire for violin, including Beethoven's Violin Concerto, performed with the Reno Chamber Orchestra, and William Walton's Violin Concerto, performed with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

Critical Review

Kang has been praised internationally throughout her career. In a review of her debut recital in New York, the New York Times (13 Mar 1996) described her tone as "rich but never cloying." Referring to Kang's 1992 win at the Menuhin competition in Paris, Strad magazine wrote, "She has real personality as well as effortless technique and tremendous variety of sound." In 1996, Kang was listed in the New York Times as one of the 30 people under age 30 anticipated to change our culture.

Selected Discography

Debut Recording. Beethoven - Bach - Lutoslawski. 1994. Koch Discover International DICD 920241

Juliette Kang: Carnegie Hall Recital Debut. 1998. Samsung/Nices

Wieniawski/Schumann: Violin Concertos. 2000. CBC Records SMCD 5197

Mozetich. Affairs of the Heart. CBC Vancouver Orchestra, Mario Bernardi conductor. 2000. CBC Records SMCD 5200

Further Reading

Donate to The Canadian Encyclopedia this Giving Tuesday!

A donation to The Canadian Encyclopedia today will have an even greater impact due to a generous matching gift from an anonymous donor. Starting November 28 until December 5, 2023, all donations will be matched up to $10,000! All donations above $3 will receive a tax receipt. Thank you for your support of The Canadian Encyclopedia, a project of Historica Canada.