London-based pianist Kamilla Arku is a graduate of Yale University and the Royal Northern College of Music. Born in Switzerland to Liberian and Norwegian parents, Kamilla began to study the piano after moving to the U.S. at the age of 5. After graduating from the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology in Virginia, she earned her undergraduate degrees in both Music and French from Yale University, where she also studied with Elisabeth Parisot at the Yale School of Music and Elisabeth Sun-Perge in Paris, France. Kamilla completed her postgradute study at the RNCM, earning her Master's Degree in Piano Performance and Postgraduate Diploma in Accompaniment under the tutelage of Carole Presland and Paul Janes. She has also studied privately with Paul Roberts and Charles Owen.
Kamilla gave her London debut at the renowned 'Pianists of the World' series at St. Martin's-in-the-FIelds in 2013, and has performed as a soloist, chamber musician and accompanist at festivals and recitals in the UK and abroad. Recent highlights include recitals in Lisbon, London, Munich and Paris; interviews and performances on BBC Radio 3's 'In Tune' and on BBC Radio London; chamber music performances with Stephen Kovacevich, Alice Zawadzki and Leon Bosch; world and European premieres of works by Lainie Fefferman, Tara Creme and Virginia Seay; and collaborations with visual artists Jordan Söderberg Mills and Amale Freiha Khlat and filmmaker Patrick Hamm. She is especially passionate about introducing audiences to lesser-known and new composers, and regularly programmes music by female composers and composers from Africa and its diaspora.
Kamilla has taken part in prestigious programmes such as the Britten Pears Young Artists Programme, the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove, and the London Masterclasses. She has been awarded scholarships and prizes by the Lions Club, Herndon Arts Council, Northern Virginia Music Teacher's Association, the National Merit Program, the National Achievement Program, Yale University, the RNCM and the Britten Pears Foundation. Kamilla has also performed in solo and chamber music masterclasses with artists such as Norma Fischer, Rita Wagner, Charles Owen, Susan Tomes, Paul Roberts, Christian Gerhaher, Boris Berman, Clifton Matthews, Ralph Kirschbaum and Bernhard Greenhouse.
Kamilla is committed to volunteer efforts, and since 2008 has organised concerts and events in aid of Liberian children and education with her charity, Music for Liberia. Kamilla has twice had the honour of performing for the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and in 2012 the President thanked Kamilla and Music for Liberia's artists for their 'generosity and compassion to help us address a critical problem.' In recognition of her work with Music for Liberia, she was recently awarded a Jack Petchey Award for her service to young people. In 2020, Kamilla also launched the education initiative #EveryVoiceChallenge, a curated collection of piano music which promotes composers of colour to piano teachers and students.