Brad Kay

Violin, Viola Teacher

Brad Kay

SAA Member


Ballwin, MO
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Brad was born in Edwardsville, IL and began studying violin at the age of 5 at Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville Suzuki Program. While a member of the program, Brad had the opportunity to study with Holly Smardo (now member of the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra), Dr. Lenora Anop (Professor of Music and Director of Strings at SIUE), and John Kendall (internationally-renowned pedagogue and leader in bringing the Suzuki Method to the United States). He also spent many of summers studying at the American Suzuki Institute in Steven’s Point, WI.

Brad attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied instrumental performance and received his Bachelor of Arts in Music. During his time at the University of Illinois, Brad had the opportunity to study with the prodigious and world-famous performers and pedagogues Sherban Lupu and Stefan Milenkovich. He also performed as a member, as well as assistant principle and principle violin, of the University of Illinois Philharmonia and Symphony Orchestras under Drs. Louis Bergonzi and Donald Schleicher. In addition to his university education, Brad attended such summer festivals as Innsbrook Institute, where he received chamber music instruction from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s David Halen, among others.

Brad’s musical career has carried him across the United States and abroad, with featured performances in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, as well as Paris and Nice, France. He has had the opportunity to perform alongside instrumentalists such as the renowned pianist Ian Hobson, and under such celebrated conductors as Mexico’s Eduardo Diazmuños. He has been fortunate to be able to perform with the Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra under Dr. Allan Dennis, as well as the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, Eastern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and Milliken-Decatur Symphony Orchestra.

Brad has a deep desire to use his musical abilities and training to educate others, so that they too can experience the joys of playing music, can set and reach their own musical goals, and can lead richer, fuller lives. To this end, he has taken advantage of the pedagogical courses offered during his undergraduate education at the University of Illinois, and avidly supplements his training with graduate pedagogy courses. Brad believes strongly in the merits of the Suzuki Method of instruction as a means of building a firm musical foundation in students’ lives, upon which they will be able to build and grow to any musical height. He looks forward to the opportunity to start new students, to work with students who currently play in a school orchestra and are looking for further instruction, or to guide intermediate and advanced students to reach their full potential.