Er-Gene Kahng


Artistic Advisor, Violinist

Violinist Er-Gene Kahng has been a leading figure in reviving the works of African-American composer, Florence Price. Her recording of Price's two violin concerti has been released through Albany Records, and has been cited by The New Yorker, the New York Times, and NPR as an important contribution to American classical music. Er-Gene also served as Concertmaster with the Fort Smith Symphony in their recording of Florence Price’s Symphony no. 1 and Symphony no. 4, of which the latter work is a world premiere recording.

On her Handel sonatas :

"...she plays with a tone that's bright and focused, like that produced by a fine soprano voice which allows for no shrillness or stridency on top, no coarsening in the mid-range, and no quavering vibrato in any register.  She bows, as she breathes, with the rise and fall of the phrases; and as is experienced of any well-versed and musically sharp-witted player, she adds a number of her own perfectly judged, always tasteful embellishments.  Absolutely lovely playing...

"...a certain number of readers will automatically reject these performances because they're not on period instruments.  That will be their loss, for I can honestly say that I've never heard these sonatas played more compellingly, and if anyone can give the lie to the charge that the music is bland and dull, it's Kahng and Panayotova.  They invest each work with such spirit, uplift, and verve in the Allegros, such songful soulfulness in the Adagios that one really has to wonder if, for too long, Handel's violin and keyboard sonatas haven't been seriously and unfairly underrated.  Sometimes it takes artists like Kahng and Panayotova to challenge the status quo ante and to change minds.  They have certainly changed mine.... "

Er-Gene's Handel Violin Sonatas album is available here.

Er-Gene is Professor of Violin and Head of Strings at the University of Arkansas and is a former Wolfson Fellow at Cambridge University in Cambridge, UK.  She serves as Concertmaster of Fort Smith Symphony and Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra.