A Recital of Arias and Art Songs
MIJA KANG, soprano
JUDITH HANSEN, piano
GARY GRAY, clarinet
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2005
By 1980, when, at the invitation of legendary voice teacher Oren Brown, soprano Mija Kang came to New York to further her studies at Juilliard, she was already a celebrated artist in her native South Korea after graduating from Seoul National University. Even at that early stage of her career, Kang revealed extraordinary communicative powers befitting her considerable vocal gifts. Hence, she was soon performing at Alice Tully and Carnegie Recital Halls, and in several opera productions—as Mimi in Puccini's La Boheme (1896) and as Liu in that composer's Turandot (1926). Of one Lincoln Center performance, The New York Times enthused, "Ms. Kang has a bright, attractive voice and surprising versatility. She seemed equally at home in Vivaldi motets, Liszt, Rossini, De Falla, and Rodrigo ... [She has] a graceful stage presence ... and convincing dramatic gifts."
Mija Kang has somehow managed to combine an international performance and recording career with teaching. She has sung in all of the most prestigious venues in Korea, including Seoul's Sejong and Hoam Art Hall (and at the opening ceremony of the 1988 Olympiad), and many worldwide: the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Music Center and Zipper Hall in Los Angeles, and the Konzert Haus in Berlin, to name but a few. She has made several recordings, including a CD in which she is accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Sir Colin Davis. On leave from her permanent post at Kyungnam University in Korea, Kang is currently visiting professor of voice at UCLA.
In her Athenaeum recital, Professor Kang will present arias and songs by Bellini, Caccini, Dvorak, Grieg, Puccini, Schubert, and Weill, as well as several Korean art songs. Pianist Judith Hansen (UCLA) and clarinetist Gary Gray (principal of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra) will provide accompaniment. This recital is cosponsored by the Keck Center and the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies.