If you’ve ever attended one of our events, you’ve probably met Music for Liberia Director, Kamilla Arku. Read on to find out more about Kamilla and her work for Music for Liberia and beyond:
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 recently performed in the African Concert Series (London), the Hastings International Piano Festival, and at Amerikahaus (Munich) as well as collaborated with choreographer Claudia Schreier for Works & Process at the Guggenheim (NYC). Upcoming projects include a recitals at the Royal Opera House and the International Florence Price Festival, and the recording of new works by Black women as a part of First Step, an initiative led by the English National Opera’s Allyson Devenish and Gwyneth Ann Rand.
Kamilla has appeared on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio London; performed chamber music with Stephen Kovacevich, Alice Zawadzki and Leon Bosch; and has collaborated with visual artists Jordan Söderberg Mills and Amale Freiha Khlat, as well as filmmaker Patrick Hamm. She is also an alumna of the International Musicians’ Seminar at Prussia Cove, the Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme, 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, Tara Creme and others.
In addition to performing, 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.' Most recently, 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.