Ning Kam was born in Singapore and began studying the violin at age six with her father, violinist and composer, Kam Kee Yong. In 1987 she received scholarships from the Lee and Shaw Foundations of Singapore to enter the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey, UK where she studied with Maurizio Fuks, Wen Zhou Li and the late Sidney Griller. In 1993 she entered the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia to study with Jaime Laredo and Yumi Scott and received her Bachelor Degree there. She then went on to study with Donald Weilerstein at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she received her Masters of Music Degree and an Artist Diploma.
In 1991, Ning won First Prize in the junior section of the Folkestone Menuhin International Violin Competition, she was a prizewinner at the Third International Pablo Sarasate Violin Competition in Pamplona in 1995, a finalist in the 2000 Henryk Szeryng Career Awards, culminating in winning Second Prize "Prix du Gouvernement Fédérale Belge Eugène Ysaye" at the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition of Belgium in 2001. Hailed by De Standaard as "manifestly the best violinist of the competition" she also won the Flemish Radio and Television Audience Prize there. The Strad Magazine praised her as a "strong artistic personality". Ms. Kam has also been honoured by the National Arts Council of Singapore with the Young Artist Award, presented in 2000 to a young artist of extraordinary talent. She has been featured on the documentary "Portrait of the Artist" on SBC, Singapore, and has been broadcast on SBC Radio Singapore as well as on CBC Radio Canada's "Music Around Us" Series at the Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto. In October 2002, Ning was invited to perform at the National Inauguration of the Esplanade Theatres on the Bay Concert Hall in Singapore, where she partnered Sarah Chang in Bach's double violin concerto with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lan Shui. This occasion was graced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore. She has also been invited to perform at the President's Command Performance in April 2009 which will be broadcast on national TV in Singapore.
Ning Kam has given many concerts in Europe, Singapore, Canada and the United States. She has performed at the Menuhin Music Festival in Gstaad, Switzerland. In 1988 she appeared on BBC's Blue Peter, where she played to a television audience of seven million. In that same year, she performed the Mendelssohn Concerto at the Royal Festival Hall, with the Wren Orchestra. Since then she has appeared with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, National Orchestra of Belgium, Royal Flanders Philharmonic, Flemish Radio Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. As an active chamber musician, she participated at the prestigious Ravinia Festival at the Steans Institute for Young Artists 2000.
Ning released her first CD in 1997, featuring the works of Enesco, Sarasate, her father, Kam Kee Yong as well as transcriptions by Heifetz. Most recent releases are a CD dedicated to the music of the Americas entitled "Transatlantic", and a recording, "Cicada", dedicated solely to the music of Kam Kee Yong. American Record Guide has praised "Transatlantic" as "energetic and virtuosic" as well as having "humour, lightness and strength". ClassicsToday.com has called Kam's playing "stunning" and "fiendish" and a 10/10 was given by the Belgian music magazine "Crescendo" for this original recording. Most recently, Ning released her debut recording with orchestra of the August De Boeck Violin Concerto with the Flemish Radio Orchestra conducted by Marc Soustrot, under the Etcetera label. As a chamber musician, Ning is also part of the Elessar Trio. Their recording of the music of Astor Piazzolla was released in 2008 on Illuminate Records and is available for online download. Other releases in 2008 also include the chamber music of Alexander Goehr on the Meridian Records label, where Ning performs as part of the Chiron Trio with pianist Daniel Becker and cellist, Thomas Carroll. Upcoming releases in 2009 will include a disc of the complete chamber music for violin and piano by Belgian composer, Marinus De Jong, on the Phaedra label.
Ning has performed in concerts all over the world with the Singapore Symphony, Luxembourg Philharmonic, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Bournemouth Symphony, Royal Flanders Philharmonic, Flemish Radio Orchestra, Flemish Symphony Orchestra, Brussels National Orchestra, Liege Philharmonic, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. As an artist who has great interest in championing contemporary music, Ning Kam gave the world-premiere of Claude Ledoux's "Frissons D'Aile", a concerto for violin and orchestra dedicated to Ning and commissioned by the Liege Philharmonic. In January 2005, she performed with pianist, Daniel Becker at London's Purcell Room in the Park Lane Group Series for Young Artists featuring contemporary music. This concert was reviewed by the London Times as "gutsy and electrifying". The Telegraph also described Ning as a violinist with "much flair plus a totally confident stage presence and an absolute command of the music" and that the performance had "thrilling energy and control". She has also been invited to broadcast on the BBC Radio 3 programme, "In Tune" in January 2005 and made her successful Wigmore Hall debut in May 2006 with British pianist, Carole Presland, as part of the Park Lane Group Series. Concerts in the 2007-2008 season included appearances with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Klassische Filharmonie Bonn, Flemish Radio Orchestra, as well as recitals in Taiwan, Belgium, the United Kingdom and the USA. Special projects include a Taiwan concert tour with percussionist, Francis Kam in ground-breaking violin and drums programme. The 2008-2009 season will include a USA tour with the Phoenix and Tucson Symphony Orchestras as well as recitals and chamber music as part of the Concerts du Midi series at the Musee Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, at Kings Place, London and at the Ulverston Festival, UK.
Ning plays on a c.1730 Guarneri Del Gesu which is on generous loan from Mr and Mrs Rin Kei Mei of Singapore.
The Telegraph a violinist with "much flair plus a totally confident stage presence and an absolute command of the music"
Name: Ning Kam
Location: London, UK
Contact: click here
"...electric energy..." Cathalena Burch, Arizona Daily Star, 17th November, 2008 at the Leo Rich Theatre, Tucson, USA
"...electrifying results..gutsy and communicative performance..." Geoff Brown, The Times, London, January 13, 2005 on the Park Lane Group Series at the Purcell Room
"Even more impressive was the Singaporean violinist Ning Kam...who had just as much flair, plus a totally confident stage presence and an absolute command of the music...thrilling energy and control." Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph, January 13, 2005 on the Park Lane Group Series at the Purcell Room
"....Ning Kam building and maintaining tension with powerful tone and a sure technique..." Erica Jeal, The Guardian, London,January 13, 2005 on the Park Lane Group Series at the Purcell Room
"...this petite young woman filled the hall with passion...truly a superb finish to a superb programme..." Richard E.Campbell on the Brahms Concerto with the Pine Bluff Symphony, Arkansas, November 3rd, 2003
"Singapore's most exciting violinist." Straits Times, Singapore, October 10th, 2002
"Violinist Ning Kam thrills Jepson Gala Concert crowd.....with a rousing interpretation of Tchaikovsky's violin concerto, Kam demonstrated exceptional technical facility and warmth of tone....a spontaneous standing ovation..." Sterling Adams, Savannah Onstage, March, 2002
"Ning Kam is a totally different type of personality who will illuminate the end of the evening and the contest with tawny and entrancing colours...superbly controlled...sometimes humourous and devilishly sensual...moving victory of the most genuine music" Michel Debrocq, Le Soir, Brussels, on the Queen Elisabeth Competition of Belgium, 2001
"The contest ended with the performance by Ning Kam...who was manifestly the best violinist of the entire contest. With a compelling Violin Sonata by Ravel, she presented herself with her clear line as the small Herge of her instrument.....Ning Kam is a very athletic violinist who never gets carried away by her phenomenal technique. She was one of the greatest musicians I saw on this stage. Her swinging, lively and yet controlled version of Eichberg was the most beautiful one of the series.....the heavy [Bartok] Second Violin Concerto was a complete success...Ning Kams performance is beyond words..." Peter Vermeersch, De Standaard, on the Queen Elisabeth Competition, 2001
"...Kam was able to achieve what few other finalists could: to communicate the respective styles of three strongly differentiated works. Her rendition of Eichberg's composition pulsated with vitality and joy and her Ravel Sonata created a tranquil, impressionistic painting awash with colour....she convinced the audience of her strong artistic personality in a strong and soulful rendition." The Strad, on the Queen Elisabeth Competition of Belgium, 2001