Brian Kay

Brian Kay

Brian Kay is a modern-day troubadour. He is an Artistic Leadership Fellow of Cleveland’s Baroque orchestra Apollo's Fire and in 2019, he won a GRAMMY® Award for his work on their Songs of Orpheus recording with tenor Karim Sulayman. He was featured on the soundtrack of Netflix's The Witcher series, playing lutes, ouds, other medieval plucks, and percussion. He has performed throughout the world at venues such as the National Concert Hall of Dublin, Belfast Castle (Ireland), Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Folger Theater. His live radio appearances include NPR, Baltimore's WYPR, Baltimore's 98ROCK, Boston's WGBH, and Cleveland's WCLV. He has recorded with record labels Avie and Sono Luminus and has appeared on a diverse array of album releases which include original, early music, folk, traditional sephardic, chamber and orchestral, as well as soundtracks for various films and documentaries. He is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, arranger, and a traditional and historical music specialist.   

His recent projects include Meditations, an album of original songs in a modern style with a nostalgic flare, "Play, Music!" a one-man Shakespeare show which combines traditional music and theater (performed live at the Folger Theater in DC), and he was one of three Apollo's Fire musicians chosen to collaborate with the UKs Early Folk Band. 

Brian was the first artist featured in EMAg’s column Early To Rise and was the first of three soloists to be featured in the Lute Society of America’s Emerging Artist Series. He is a core member of Twa Corbies and Apollo's Fire, and regularly performs with Hesperus, The Folger Consort, Early Music Access Project, Trio Sefardi and is a founding member of the early music improvisation group Divisio.

As a professor, Brian teaches at Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University. He has lectured on music and history at Yale University, The Peabody Conservatory, Johns Hopkins University, The Folger Theater, The Kennedy Center, and Baldwin-Wallace College. He was Artist in Residence at the Cushman School in Miami and has done outreach for elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and prisons across the country.