Liberian-Norwegian pianist Kamilla Arku draws on her diverse background as inspiration for her work as a performer and educator. She gave her London debut recital at the renowned 'Pianists of the World' series at St. Martin's-in-the-Fields in 2013, and has since performed as a soloist and chamber musician in the UK, Europe and Africa.
She has recently performed for Chamber Music at Lincoln Center, the Royal Opera House, the African Concert Series, the Hastings International Piano Festival, the Intercultural Music Initiative, the International Florence Price Festival, and the American Musicological Society, as well as collaborated with choreographer Claudia Schreier for Works & Process at the Guggenheim. In the upcoming season, Kamilla looks forward to performing her diverse repertoire in North America, Europe and Africa.
Kamilla has appeared on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio London; performed chamber music with Stephen Kovacevich, the Calidore String Quartet and April Koyejo-Audiger; and has collaborated with visual artists Jordan Söderberg Mills and Amale Freiha Khlat, as well as filmmaker Patrick Hamm. She is also an alumna of the International Musicians’ Seminar at Prussia Cove, the Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme, the International Contemporary Ensemble’s Ensembe Evolution and the London Masterclasses. Kamilla is passionate about introducing audiences to lesser-known repertoire, and regularly programs music by female composers and composers of colour. She has also given world and European premieres of works by Lainie Fefferman, Shara Lunon, Tara Creme and others.
In addition to performing, Kamilla is committed to volunteer efforts, and is the founder and Director of Music for Liberia, a charity supporting young people in Liberia through music-based fundraising. For her nonprofit work, she was awarded a Jack Petchey Award for service to young people, and Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson commended her and Music for Liberia for their 'generosity and compassion to help us address a critical problem.' Most recently, Kamilla launched the education initiative #EveryVoiceChallenge, a curated collection of piano music which promotes composers of colour to educators and students.
Kamilla is a graduate of Yale University and the Royal Northern College of Music, and is currently a PhD student in Musicology at New York University. She was recently published in Women and Music: a Journal of Gender and Culture.
Last updated: June 2021
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