Acclaimed cellist Khari Joyner is quickly becoming sought after as one of the leading cellists of his generation. Dubbed by the New York Classical Review as one of the most exciting young musicians on the classical scene, he has a following nationally and abroad, and has made a number of accomplishments including teaching residencies and concert series for over one thousand students in Beijing, Shanghai, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, The Netherlands, and The Bahamas. His most recent accomplishments include the New York Premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s cello concerto Notes on Light with the AXIOM Ensemble, a solo debut with the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, performing the World Premiere of Carman Moore’s MADIBA for cello and orchestra under the direction of George Manahan, a private performance for President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, a performance of Britten’s Symphony for Cello and Orchestra as soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra, and the U.S. Premiere of the late Valentin Bibik’s Cello Concerto No. 2, with the New Juilliard Ensemble. In addition, he was recently awarded a 2017-2018 career grant from the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship for the Performing and Visual Arts.
Other recent accolades include winning First Places in the Juilliard Concerto Competition, 12th Annual Sphinx Competition Junior Division, and an appearance on the Radio Show “From the Top” in El Paso, TX, after winning $10,000 as a Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist. In 2008, he became the ASTA Competition Georgia State winner and in 2007, he won the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra (ASYO) Concerto Competition. He also served as Principal of the ASYO. Heralded by Atlanta Journal Constitution as “one of the most promising cellists in the country”, Joyner made his orchestral debut at 17, performing the Haydn C Major Concerto with the Atlanta Symphony under renowned conductor Robert Spano. He has also had numerous solo engagements with the Buffalo, New World, New Jersey, and Sphinx Symphonies performing the Elgar, Dvorak, and Boccherini Concertos. Joyner’s cello studies started at the age of eight, with instructors Bonnie Cohan and Martha Gerschefski, and his prodigious career was launched four years later in an unexpected way when he was asked to perform for the late Coretta Scott-King in a featured performance with his two older brothers in the KAJ trio.
As a fervent recitalist, Joyner recently gave his France debut at the L’Oratoire du Louvre in Paris and the Chateau du Fontainebleau, while studying on full scholarship at the Les Écoles d’Art Americaines du Fontainebleau performing works by Schnittke, Greif, Ravel, and Dutilleux. His China debut included chamber music recitals at the Shanghai Tower, and Keystone Academy in Beijing, among others. He has also given chamber music and solo premieres in Dinard, Brittany, as a member of Festival Daniou. Recitals in the Atlanta Metropolitan area have included the Emory University Upcoming Young Artist Series performing with pianist William Ransom, the Casual Classics Concert Series, the Annual Trumpet Awards Breakfast, Border’s Music Series, and a featured performer for the 2008 Maya Angelou Birthday Celebration. Moreover, he has been featured several times on radio station NPR, and has been a featured performer for WSBTV’s People to People Segment. Furthermore, Joyner is also an aficionado of chamber music. He has made guest appearances in the Ritz Chamber Players in Florida, Discover Melody Artists in Vancouver, Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia, Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival in North Carolina, and performs regularly with his brothers, violinists Amyr and Jarin, in the KAJ Trio. He was also featured on WQXR, for the Midday Masterpieces series, and at the Temple of Dendur concert Arvo Pärt at Eighty hosted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As a founding member of the Altezza Piano Trio, he has given performances at South Orange Performing Arts Center of New Jersey, The Harvard Club of New York City, Alice Tully Hall, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and has upcoming performances at the Suffolk Theater in Long Island.
A recently named C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow, Joyner is currently completing his candidacy in Juilliard’s prestigious Doctor of Musical Arts program. In addition, he was recently named a fellow of the Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund, sponsored by the Tokyo Foundation. He shares his studies with teachers Timothy Eddy and Joel Krosnick, and also serves as a Teaching Assistant for Mr. Krosnick. He performs in a variety of ensembles at school, and has been featured as soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra, New Juilliard Ensemble, and Juilliard Wind Ensemble- performing at Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Carnegie Hall. He also was featured as a soloist in both Juilliard’s FOCUS!2015 Festival, performing Dai Fukijura’s Dolphins, and FOCUS!2014 Festival, performing Schnittke’s Epilogue for Cello, Piano, and Recorded Sound, in the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre. Joyner also frequently participates in community engagement in the New York City and Atlanta metro area and has given concerts in venues such as the Hetrick-Martin Institute for LGBTQ Homeless Youth, Publicolor, and various churches and elementary schools. He has also performed benefit concerts in Las Vegas and Cleveland’s Judson Manor.
Passionate about cross-disciplinary projects, Joyner has collaborated with playwrights, dancers, and architects. Having been considered for the role of Nathaniel Ayers in the film The Soloist, Joyner performed at a private screening of the film’s Atlanta premiere. He is a former recipient of the Azira G. Hill Scholarship, and a former participant of the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation. Joyner was a featured performer for Hank Aaron’s 80th birthday celebration at the Smithsonian Museum in D.C., and Mr. Aaron’s 77th birthday celebration in NYC, with President William Clinton, Harry Belafonte, Governor Mario Cuomo, and Mayor David Dinkins, among others in attendance. A Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor, Joyner has since been a very avid supporter of the American Cancer Society, and a supporter of organizations working with Cancers and Blood Disorders. He has given performances for in-patients at the Hassenfield Center for Childhood Cancers and Blood Disorders, in Manhattan, and he has played at Emory’s Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where he was once a patient in 2008.
Joyner is also very passionate about his academic studies, and while studying in Juilliard’s Accelerated BM/MM program he pursued a concentration in Mathematics in an exchange program with Columbia University. Furthermore, he has held multiple positions in leadership roles, including his serving as a Fellow for the Perlman Music Program, and on campus at Juilliard as Teaching Assistant and Fellow for the College Division Music History and Music Theory Departments. He has also served as President of Juilliard’s Chess Club, and Diversity Representative for the Juilliard Student Council. An ardent enthusiast of classic American, European, and Japanese cars, Joyner enjoys going to various automobile meets and shows in his spare time. He is currently developing projects and a platform for musicians and automobile aficionados to share their passion both online and in person.