Kelly King, a native of Florence, SC, began her musical journey on piano at the age of 7, followed by a brief stint in voice lessons, and finally settling on viola. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of South Carolina, studying with Frits de Jonge. She then received her Master of Music degree and Artist Diploma from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, studying with Catharine Carroll and Masao Kawasaki. After graduating from Cincinnati Kelly spent a year in Chicago playing with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and teaching at the YOURS project, an El Sistema-inspired program.
Kelly has received numerous performance accolades and honors including three consecutive fellowships to attend the prestigious Aspen Music Festival and School. While in Aspen, Kelly was also picked to participate in a number of Spotlight Recitals. During her time at the University of Cincinnati, Kelly was awarded the Gee Viola Scholarship and a fellowship to attend the Opera Theater and Music Festival of Lucca, Italy. Kelly has also been a finalist in a number of professional auditions including Charleston Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, and Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Kelly has collaborated with world renown artists such as Anthony McGill, Chee Yun and Yo-Yo Ma. Conductors she has performed under include Robert Spano, Leonard Slatkin, David Zinman, Jaap van Zweden, and Esa Pekka Salonen. Kelly has also participated in masterclasses for Roberto Diaz, Heidi Castleman, and Victoria Chiang, among others.