With performances that are deeply personal and express a breadth of tradition, guitarist Kim Perlak has been recognized as an inspired voice in American classical 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, education, 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 at Boston GuitarFest. Her recording for solo guitar, Common Ground, features the new compositions of five American composers. Her work combining performance, American music history, and outreach has been funded through grants from the Center for African American Southern Music and Yale Alumni Ventures. Kim’s collaborative guitar work with American veterans in the concert project “Ben & I Play for Peace” was honored by the PBS program “From the Top” as part of their Arts Leadership series, and was recognized by the U.S. House of Representatives. She currently serves on the board of the Boston Classical Guitar Society.
Kim is the assistant chair of the Guitar Department at the Berklee College of Music. At Berklee, her artistic work to bridge styles includes collaborations with faculty composers, and in duo playing with master improviser and slide guitarist David Tronzo. Kim’s curriculum development for the department produced the book Classical Technique for the Modern Guitarist, which was published by Berklee Press/Hal Leonard in 2016. Kim is the recipient of the 2016 Berklee Chair Recording Grant.
Kim holds degrees from The University of Texas at Austin (DMA ’08), Yale University School of Music (MM ’01), and Stetson University (BM ’98), and a certificate of completion from the Harvard University Management Development Program (2013).
Kim plays guitars by Thomas Humphrey and Kirk Sand and endorses D’Addario Strings.