With performances that are deeply personal and express a breadth of tradition, guitarist Kim Perlak has been recognized as an inspired voice in new American music. Her playing was praised by The Austin-American Statesman as, “thoughtful, enchanting, vivid…a songwriter’s circle without the lyrics,” and by another Austin reviewer as, “moving…the most patriotic thing I’ve experienced in many months.”
Kim’s versatile and inclusive approach to the instrument embraces new composition, scholarship, and public service. Her performances of new classical works and collaborations with jazz and traditional players have been featured on National Public Radio, at the Yale Guitar Extravaganza and the National Guitar Workshop, on CBS Sunday Morning, and in concert halls across the nation. Her work combining performance, American music history, and outreach has been funded through grants from The Carolina Institute for Leadership and Engagement in Music, The Center for African American Southern Music, and the Yale Alumni Ventures program. Kim is the founder of the concert series “Ben & I Play for Peace”, which raises funds for the Wounded Warrior Project and Wheelchairs for Iraqi Kids. In its first year, this project was honored by the PBS program “From the Top” as part of their Arts Leadership series and was officially recognized by the House of Representatives. Together, the 2011 & 2012 concerts in Austin, Denver, Seattle, and Sarasota raised $15,000.00 for these causes. In 2012, Kim was named the new Editor of Soundboard, the Journal for the Guitar Foundation of America.
Kim has served on the faculty, written curriculum, and directed programs for Concordia University-TX, The National Guitar Workshop, Austin Community College, and the Educational Outreach Program of the Austin Classical Guitar Society.
She holds degrees from The University of Texas at Austin (DMA ’08), Yale University School of Music (MM ’01), Stetson University (BM ’98). Kim’s primary guitar instructors were Suzanne Higgins, Stephen Robinson, Benjamin Verdery, and Adam Holzman.
Kim Perlak plays guitars by Thomas Humphrey and endorses uses D’Addario Strings.