Empire Wild

Ken Kubota, cello; Mitch Lyon, cello; Jiyong Kim, piano
Chamber Music

Empire Wild is a genre-bending crossover trio featuring Juilliard-trained classical musicians embodying the group’s shared love of musical exploration, fusing the sounds of pop, folk, Broadway, and more into their songwriting and composition. Empire Wild was selected as an Ambassador Prize winner in the 2020 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition.

The group’s debut EP Paper Seasons features all original songs, highlighting the trio’s unique sound and instrumentation. Based in New York City, Empire Wild has brought its signature mix of original music, inventive covers, and twists on the classical canon to audiences across the country.

Recently, the trio delighted audiences with its famous original songwriting and unique arrangements at venues across the country, including a stop at South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, a concert on the Harriman-Jewell Series in Kansas City, and a day at the Kaufman Music Center’s Musical Storefronts in Lincoln Center. In fall 2023, the trio embarked on a tour of the Midwest with over twenty performances across ten states along with educational workshops in Iowa and Ohio.

Individually, all three musicians are committed to community engagement and teaching. Together as an ensemble, Empire Wild feels that it is important to prioritize community-oriented work and bring creative musical outlets and opportunities to students of all backgrounds and skill levels. They have shared their unusual versatility with students through workshops at the University of Iowa, the Peabody Institute, and the Preucil School, among others. Equally at home in classrooms, intimate salons, and large concert halls, Empire Wild brings a sense of community to every performance.

Photo by Titilayo Ayangade

Artist headshot: Empire Wild
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