PATHWAYS: KOH + KAHANE
Korean-American violist David Kang, is a recent graduate from the Thornton School of Music. Born in Los Angeles, he began his musical journey studying the violin at the age of 5.
He began his academic career at the Bob Cole Conservatory majoring in violin and eventually finished both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in viola at USC’s Thornton School of Music. This pivotal switch was made possible through the invaluable support and mentorship of Dr. Moni Simeonov and Midori Goto. David’s principal viola teachers were Che-Yen Chen and Yura Lee. Additionally, David has had the privilege of working with distinguished artists such as Nobuko Imai, Mai Motobuchi, Teng Li, Juan-Miguel Hernandez, Shunske Sato, and Jay Campbell, among others. As a soloist, David achieved a remarkable feat of being the first violist in history to receive the first prize at the annual Thornton Bach Competition in 2023. He has also received multiple undergraduate-level prizes for the Bach competition in previous years. Furthermore, he was featured as a soloist as a result of winning the annual LAKMA competition. David’s musical journey has also seen him invited to prestigious festivals such as the National Repertory Orchestra, Atlantic Music Festival, and Colorado College Music Festival. A dedicated orchestral musician, David has held the prestigious Principal Viola positions with the Thornton and Bob Cole Symphonies. He’s also been honored with invitations to serve as a guest Principal Viola with esteemed ensembles like the Colburn Orchestra and Atlantic Music Festival Orchestra. Additionally, he has performed with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Opera San Antonio. Throughout his career, he has had the honor of working with internationally acclaimed conductors, including Carl St. Clair, Esa-Pekka Salonen, James Conlon, James Judd, Jefferey Kahane, Jaime Martín, Teddy Abrams, and Karina Canellakis. Chamber music stands as one of David’s profound passions. As a chamber musician, he has shared the stage with a prestigious array of artists, including Yura Lee, Andrew Wang, Atar Arad, Michelle LaCourse, Phillip Ying, David Geber, David Requiro, Meta Weiss, David Ying, François Salque, and Steven Cohen. His exceptional string quartet skills earned him the first prize at the 2021 Ofeish String Quartet Competition, leading to an invitation as a resident artist at the Recontres Franco-Américaines de Musique de Chambre Festival with the Gateway Quartet. Additionally, Kang was a member of the highly regarded University String Quartet at the Bob Cole Conservatory in 2017 and has made appearances with the Zelter String Quartet.
His most influential chamber music mentors have been Yura Lee, Lina Bahn, and Marcy Rosen. David plays on a 1995 Clifford Roberts on generous loan from a private sponsor.