Violist Kim Kashkashian is a major practitioner of her instrument and a stalwart champion of contemporary music. A long list of European composers have written new works for her, including Arvo Pärt and György Kurtág.
Kashkashian was born in Detroit, Michigan, on August 31, 1952, into an Armenian immigrant family. Kashkashian's father was an amateur baritone singer who enjoyed singing Armenian folk songs. Kim started playing the violin at age eight but switched to the viola while attending Michigan's Interlochen Music Academy as a preteen. She attended the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, studying with Walter Trampler and Karen Tuttle, and going on to the New School of Music in Philadelphia for a master's degree. Kashkashian joined the faculty of that school in 1981 and also taught later in the '80s at the Mannes College of Music in ... Read Full Biography