Annapolis Chamber Music Festival

Fearless musicians. Stories that sing.

Brian Bak, violin

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Korean-American violinist Brian Bak enjoys a career as a sought after performer and pedagogue. Mr. Bak has been featured as a soloist with the Tampa Bay Symphony, the Central Florida Philharmonic, the Sewanee Festival Orchestra, and the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, among others. In 2016, he was the winner of the Stony Brook University Concerto Competition and performed the Elgar Violin Concerto with Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra. A versatile instrumentalist, Mr. Bak is also an accomplished cellist, and has performed with the Florida Young Artists Orchestra and the Chicago Chamber Orchestra as a soloist on cello.

An avid chamber musician, Mr. Bak is a 2 time winner of the Ackerman Chamber Music Competition. He has studied chamber music intensively with Gilbert Kalish, members of the Tokyo Quartet, and the Emerson Quartet. As a founding member of both the Deka String Quartet and Trio de Novo, he has held chamber music residencies at the Banff Centre, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, and the New Music for Strings Festival in Aarhus, Denmark. In a recent performance at Merkin Hall, Trio de Novo was praised as "a talented group who performed with detailed intensity" and for playing with "exceptional poise." (Sequenza 21) Mr. Bak is also a frequent performer with highly acclaimed ensembles based in New York City, such as the New York Classical Players and Sejong Soloists. 

An experienced orchestral musician, Mr. Bak has held principal positions with the Juilliard Orchestra, the Juilliard Chamber Orchestra, the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra, and the Yale Philharmonia. He was a selected member of The Juilliard Orchestra's China Tour in 2008, and in 2011, he was appointed by Lorin Maazel to be the principal violinist of the Castleton Festival Orchestra for a series of critically acclaimed performances.

Mr. Bak is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Stony Brook University on full scholarship. He received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at The Juilliard School, where he was a recipient of the C.V. Starr scholarship, the Juilliard Merit Scholarship, and the Samsung scholarship. In 2013, he received the prestigious Artist Diploma from Yale University. Mr.Bak’s principal mentors and teachers have included Hyo Kang, David Chan, Philip Setzer, and Arnaud Sussmann.

Mr. Bak is currently a faculty member the New York Music School and chamber music coach for the NYMS Summer Intensive Program. Previously, he was a Teaching Artist at Yale University and a faculty member at Music & Art of Long Island, where he taught violin, viola, and cello. Mr. Bak is regularly invited to give master classes across the USA. Most recently, he was the featured guest artist for master classes for the Young Artists Orchestra of Las Vegas and at Arkansas State University.

Mr. Bak performs on a 2015 Samuel Zygmuntowicz violin.