Practice paid off for Judy Kang and for Lady Gaga, too
Star violin player's 'enormous' and 'unusual' talent was spotted when Kang was a kid
At that time, she was practicing her violin for four hours a day, while mixing in some time for playing sports and riding her bike.
However, the nine-year-old musical prodigy told CBC that if she had to choose, she would prioritize violin practice over playing catch.
Earlier that year, Kang — who first picked up the violin when she was four — had placed second in her age group at a national musical competition.
Kang's 'enormous' talent
The people who saw Kang play when she was young saw a major talent in the making.
"I'm not the only one," said Keene, referring to the potential he saw in his student.
The young virtuoso's mother, Victoria Kang, also saw the talent Judy exhibited.
Judy Kang's mom and teacher were right — she was already very good and she would continue to get better.
As a teenager, Kang would move to the U.S. to study at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music. She went on to study at The Julliard School in New York as well.
As an adult, she was achieving the dream she had since she was young, which she spelled out to CBC in that same 1988 interview — albeit with some alterations since she grew up.
"I want to be a violinist and professor and a doctor," the nine-year-old Kang told us.
A big gig
While in New York, Kang would learn that Lady Gaga was looking for violinists. She landed an audition and got the gig.
But there was one catch.
"I had to jump, literally, into playing electric violin," said Kang, who had to pick up the electrified instrument and be ready to play it on stage with the singer within a few weeks of that audition.
Lady Gaga fans will know, however, that Kang picked up the electric violin and played it just fine on the Monster Ball tour in 2010 and 2011, as well as on American Idol and an HBO special as well.
Kang has also played on stage with many other notable artists including Lenny Kravitz and the U.S. rock band Portgual. The Man, as shown above on this page.