Korean-born pianist and harpsichordist Heejin Kang, who moved to Hawaii at the age of six, has won several prestigious scholarships and awards in national competitions. She represented the State of Hawaii for three consecutive years in the Music Teachers’ National Association Competition, winning First Runner-up for Young Artist in the Southwest Division in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Dr. Kang was also named as the 2008 John Young Scholar, one of the most distinguished scholarships awarded by the University of Hawaii, for her excellence in both music and academics. In 2010, she received the honor of the Darius Milhaud Award from the Darius Milhaud Society, for “her extraordinary creativity with a high degree of musical sensitivity and expressiveness, and a strong love for and dedication to the musical arts as well as academic excellence” (Darius Milhaud Society). Recently, Dr. Kang has been selected as the 2012 recipient of the William Kurzban Prize in Piano by the Cleveland Institute of Music.
An active and versatile recitalist, Dr. Kang’s recent solo appearances nationwide have included the Hawaii Public Radio Concert Series, CIM Alumni Recital, PianoFest Concert Series, UH Music Scholarship Fundraising Alumni Guest Solo Recital, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Aloha International Piano Festival, American Association of University Women, Pacific Composers Project and Arts in Performance Master Series.
As a dynamic chamber musician, her latest collaborations include performances with Joel Smirnoff, a long-time first violinist of the Juilliard String Quartet and the president of CIM; Ignace Jang, concertmaster of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra; artists of HSO and former members of the Honolulu Symphony; and musicians from the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, Canton Symphony Orchestra, IRIS Orchestra, New World Symphony, Youngstown Symphony and Erie Philharmonic. Dr. Kang’s concerto engagement highlights include performances of Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto with the UH Symphony and the Iolani Concert Orchestra. Her 2013 season will include nationwide performance tours with her two duo ensembles, The Pianomo Duo with her pianist sister, and The Pianello (piano + cello).
In addition to her active performance schedule, Dr. Kang is an enthusiastic and dedicated music educator. She instructs music theory courses and piano at CIM , where she was appointed to the faculty in 2013. She also serves as the Coordinator of Group Theory for CIM Preparatory Division. In addition, Dr. Kang teaches music theory at Case Western Reserve University, and serves on the piano faculty at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Her past teaching posts have included the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Iolani School, Aurora School of Music, and numerous community schools throughout the United States where she has presented various lectures and master classes.
Dr. Kang earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from CIM under the direction of Paul Schenly and Kathryn Brown, with a dissertation entitled “Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons of Debussy’s Preludes, Book I: ‘Music That Begins Where the Expressive Power of the Word Ends.’ During this time, she was also invited to become an Artist Diploma Harpsichordist under the tutelage of Janina Ceaser, a renowned harpsichordist from the lineage of Wanda Landowska. Dr. Kang holds double bachelor’s degrees in music and broadcast journalism, as well as a Master of Music degree from UH at Manoa, studying extensively with Thomas Yee. She has also studied with Christine Suehisa, Peter Coraggio, Bichuan Li and Thomas Rosenkranz in Hawai‘i. She has had the opportunity to work with extraordinary musicians such as John Perry, Richard Goode, Jeffrey Siegel, Frank Heneghan, Deborah Clasquin, Jeffrey Biegel, Thomas Otten, and Inon Barnatan throughout the United States, Canada and Korea.
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