Executive Director for the Arts and Professor of the Practice 

Kang Web

Emil J. Kang serves as Executive Director for the Arts at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a senior administrative post created in 2005 to help unify and elevate the performing arts at the University. In that year, Kang introduced, and currently serve as artistic and executive director of the University’s first major multi-disciplinary performing arts program, Carolina Performing Arts (CPA). In addition, Kang serves as Professor of the Practice in the Department of Music and has taught courses in performing arts management, artistic entrepreneurship, the creative process. He currently teaches a class on ‘understanding the world through music.’

Prior to coming to Chapel Hill, Kang served as President and Executive Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) from 1999 to 2004. Kang has also held positions with the Seattle Symphony, the American Composers Orchestra, and served as an Orchestra Management Fellow with the League of American Orchestras.

In 2012, President Barack Obama nominated Kang to the National Council on the Arts. Kang’s nomination was confirmed by the United States Senate and he is currently serving a six year term, expiring in 2018.

Kang currently serves on the boards of EMCarts (NY) and the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts at the UNC School of the Arts.  He also serves on the selection committee of the Institute of International Education’s Artist Protection Fund. He has an active consulting practice and serves as a grant and peer reviewer across the country.

Kang has been a member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and completed the Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management program at Harvard Business School. Born in New York City, and trained in violin studies from a young age, he holds a degree in Economics from the University of Rochester in New York.


  • Office: Porthole Building
  • Email: emil_kang@unc.edu
  • Phone: 919-843-7775