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Emil J. Kang - UNC-Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, NC, US

Emil J. Kang Emil J. Kang

Faculty | UNC-Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC, UNITED STATES

Executive Director for the Arts at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Biography

Emil J. Kang serves as Executive Director for the Arts at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a senior administrative post created in 2005 to help unify and elevate the performing arts at the University. In that year, Kang introduced, and currently serve as artistic and executive director of the University’s first major multi-disciplinary performing arts program, Carolina Performing Arts (CPA). In addition, Kang serves as Professor of the Practice in the Department of Music and has taught courses in performing arts management, artistic entrepreneurship, and the creative process. He currently teaches a course on ‘understanding the world through music.’

Prior to coming to Chapel Hill, Kang served as President and Executive Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) from 1999 to 2004. Kang has also held positions with the Seattle Symphony, the American Composers Orchestra, and served as an Orchestra Management Fellow with the League of American Orchestras.

In 2012, President Barack Obama nominated Kang to the National Council on the Arts for a six-year term confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Kang currently serves on the boards of EMCarts (NY) and the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts at the UNC School of the Arts. He also serves on the inaugural selection committee of the Institute of International Education's Artist Protection Fund. He has an active consulting practice and serves as a grant and peer reviewer across the country.

Kang has been a member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and completed the Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management program at Harvard Business School. Born in New York City, and trained in violin studies from a young age, he holds a degree in Economics from the University of Rochester in New York.

Industry Expertise (10)

Performing Arts Education/Learning Entertainment Music Non-Profit/Charitable Philanthropy Talent Management Program Development Travel and Tourism Architecture and Planning

Areas of Expertise (29)

Performing Arts University Administration Classical Music Jazz Dance Culture Non - Profit Organization Theater Music Performing Arts Issues Music Education Ballet Modern Dance Cultural Diplomacy Philanthrophy Grant Writing Symphony Orchestras Arts Management and Patronage Curation Artistic Entrepreneurship Arts in Higher Education Non-Profit Management Arts Administration Arts & Culture Arts Arts Advocacy Government Funding of the Arts World Music Commissioning Artists

Accomplishments (1)

National Council on the Arts (professional)

In 2012, President Barack Obama nominated Kang to the National Council on the Arts for a six-year term confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Education (2)

University of Rochester: Bachelor Degree, Economics

Harvard Business School: Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management Program, Executive Education

Affiliations (11)

  • Association of Performing Arts Presenters
  • International Society of the Performing Arts
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • Creative Capital
  • Major University Presenters
  • University of North Carolina School of the Arts
  • TEDxUNC
  • EMCArts
  • Institute of International Education
  • Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts
  • Wake Forest University Interdisciplinary Center

Media Appearances (2)

Elevating the Arts

WUNC The State of Things  radio

2015-08-31

Emil Kang bucked expectations when he decided to pursue a career in the arts. He was the first in his family born in the United States after his parents emigrated from Korea, and he was expected to capitalize on the new opportunity by studying medicine.

Instead, he took a job as a receptionist at a New York art gallery. He made connections with prominent American art institutions, like the National Endowment for the Arts, and eventually became the youngest person to lead the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at age 31, and the first Asian-American to lead a major symphony in the U.S.

When UNC-Chapel Hill recruited Kang to come to North Carolina in 2005 to lead the new Carolina Performing Arts organization, he was told one thing: elevate the arts at Carolina. He called in every favor he was owed, and today CPA is a brand that attracts talent from all over the world.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Kang about his life and work as an administrator of the arts.

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Carolina Performing Arts’ Emil Kang brings the global avant-garde to Chapel Hill through personal determination

Indy Week  print

2015-11-18

Excerpt:
Leaving Carolina Performing Arts' October presentation of Antigone—the critically divisive new production from avant-garde director Ivo van Hove, starring Juliette Binoche—I heard people complaining that the lights were too bright, the music too screechy. I heard them debating the efficacy of various contemporized roles. But I didn't hear anyone saying "meh."

This kind of heated, polarized response is music to the ears of Emil Kang, the director of UNC-Chapel Hill's performing arts organization for the last decade.

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Event Appearances (6)

Touring Projects at American Universities

Australian Performing Arts Market  Australia

How to Plan and Run an Arts Festival

Shanghai China International Arts Festival  Shanghai, China

International Arts Festivals and Urban Development

Tianjin Conservatory  Tianjin, China

Nacho Duato and Martha Graham

Works & Process  Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY

Leadership in the Arts

American Dance Festival  Durham, NC

Arts and Higher Education

A Conversation with John Mauceri and Emil Kang  Elon University, NC

Style

Availability

  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist
  • Host/MC

Courses (2)

Understanding the World Through Music

Kang serves as Professor of the Practice in the Department of Music and has taught courses in performing arts management, artistic entrepreneurship, the creative process. He currently teaches a class on ‘understanding the world through music.’

Independent Study Course

Music 296 is an Independent Study Course for Music majors.

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