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Brian Kay

"Brian Kay moved effortlessly from classical poise to boisterous rumpus... His versatility seems limitless, with no drop in intensity from one style to the next. He is also a rare force: a singer equally strong as a player of plucked instruments. "

-Seen & Heard International


Brian Kay is a modern-day troubadour. He is the first Artistic Leadership Fellow of Apollo's Fire and in 2019, he won a Grammy Award for his work on their Songs of Orpheus recording. He has performed throughout the world at venues such as the National Concert Hall of Dublin, Belfast Castle (Ireland), Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center. His live radio appearances include NPR, Baltimore's WYPR, Baltimore's 98ROCK, Boston's WGBH, and Cleveland's WCLV. He has recorded with record labels Avie and Sono Luminus and has appeared on more than 10 album releases at the age of 33. He is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, arranger, traditional and historical music specialist, poet, painter, and avid proponent of meditation.  


His recent projects include “Meditations”, an album of original songs in a modern style with a nostalgic flare, "Play, Music!" a one-man Shakespeare show which combines traditional music and theater (performed live at the Folger Theater in DC), and he was one of three Apollo's Fire musicians chosen to collaborate with the UKs Early Folk Band. 


Brian was the first featured artist in EMAg’s column Early To Rise and was the first of three soloists to be featured in the Lute Society of America’s Emerging Artist Series. He is a core member of Twa Corbies and Apollo's Fire, and regularly performs with Hesperus, The Folger Consort, Early Music Access Project, Trio Sefardi and is a founding member of the early music improvisation group Divisio.


As a professor, Brian teaches at Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University. He has lectured on music and history at Yale University, The Peabody Conservatory, Johns Hopkins University, The Maltz Center, the Folger Theater, the Kennedy Center, and Baldwin-Wallace College. He was Artist in Residence at the Cushman School in Miami and has done outreach for elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and prisons across the country.

"Singing with a pure, centered sound and impeccable diction, he’s a natural-born storyteller. At times a the lead vocalist of a rock band, at times an art-song singer, and at others a shy poet, he had you hanging onto his every word."

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