Born in Germany into a musical family, Clara-Jumi Kang began playing the violin at the age of three. Just one year later she enrolled at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mannheim – as the youngest student ever accepted – to study under Valery Gradov. She went on to study with Zakhar Bron at Musikhochschule Lübeck.
She had already made her debut with the Hamburger Symphoniker at the age of five. At the age of just seven she was accepted by the Juilliard School with a full scholarship to study under Dorothy Delay. At such a young age Clara had already performed with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Philharmonisches Orchester Kiel, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the KBS Symphony Orchestra and the Korean Chamber Ensemble. At the age of nine she recorded Beethoven’s Triple Concerto and a solo recital programme on CD for the TELDEC label.
At the age of sixteen Clara went on to study for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees with Nam-Yun Kim at the Korea National University of Arts (Seoul). During that period she won 3rd prize at the International Tibor Varga Violin Competition (Sion, Switzerland) in 2007, 1st prize at the Seoul International Music Competition in 2009, 2nd prize at the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover in 2009, 1st prize at the Sendai International Music Competition (Japan) in 2010 and more recently 1st prize at the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis in 2010, with five additional special prizes. From 2011 to 2013 she studied with Christoph Poppen at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München.
Clara has established herself as a soloist and has been invited to perform with the Dresdner Kapellsolisten, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Fe Symphony, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa and the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra.
Clara released her first solo album Modern Solo for Decca in 2011 including works by Ernst (Dernière rose de l'été), Schubert (Erlkönig) and Ysaÿe (solo sonatas). Her second recording for the label – of Brahms and Schumann’s violin sonatas with pianist Yeol-Eum Son – was released in 2016.
Highlights of the 2011–12 season included numerous concerts with orchestras and recitals in the USA, a recital at Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium), a recital tour of Korea and appearances throughout Asia. The 2013–14 season’s concerts included a tour of Korea with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra under Myung-Whun Chung, the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra (Suntory Hall), the KBS Symphony Orchestra under Yoel Levi, the Taipei Symphony Orchestra under Gilbert Varga and other appearances throughout the USA, Europe and Asia. Highlights of 2014 included concert tours with the Wiener Kammerorchester, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra under Yuri Temirkanov. In 2015 Clara-Jumi Kang won 4th prize at the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition.
Subsequently she appeared with the Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra under Gidon Kremer, the Moscow Virtuosi orchestra under Vladimir Spivakov, the Mariinsky Orchestra and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under Valery Gergiev, the New Japan Philharmonic under Hartmut Haenchen, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra under Lionel Bringuier, the Orchestre National de Belgique, the Berlin Baroque Soloists, the Macao Orchestra under Lü Jia and the Cologne Chamber Orchestra under Christoph Poppen to name but a few. Clara collaborates with such musicians as Kyung-Wha Chung, Myung-Wha Chung, Gidon Kremer, Cho Liang Lin, Jian Wang, Gautier Capuçon, Vadim Repin, Boris Berezovsky, Julian Rachlin, Misha Maisky, Boris Brovtsyn, Eldar Nebolsin and Maxim Rysanov. In 2016 and 2018 she has taken part in the Trans-Siberian Art Festival.
In 2012 Clara received the Daewon Music Award for her outstanding concert achievements internationally. She was named “Kumho Musician of the Year” in 2014.
Since 2011 Clara has resided in Munich. She currently plays on Antonio Stradivarius’ “ex-Strauss” 1708 violin, on generous loan from the Samsung Foundation of Culture (South Korea).
Information for November 2021