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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 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, the American Musicological Society, and MoMA PS1, amongst others. She also recently returned from working as a piano coach and teacher on Madonna’s global “Celebration Tour.”

Kamilla has appeared on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio London; performed chamber music with artists such as Stephen Kovacevich, Karen Slack and the Ivalas, and Calidore String Quartets; and has collaborated with visual artists Jordan Söderberg Mills and Amale Freiha Khlat, filmmaker Patrick Hamm and choreographer Claudia Schreier. ​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 and teaching, 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.' During the pandemic, 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: May 2024

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