Ron Korb is a Canadian flutist(flautist), composer, songwriter, and record producer, from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is also known as Dragon Flute (Traditional Chinese: 龍笛) in China, Thunder Blessing (Traditional Chinese: 雷恩寇伯 ; pinyin: lái-en-kò-búo) in Taiwan and Prince of Flutes (Japanese: furūto no kikōshi) in Japan
Korb is known for writing culturally diverse music and his mastery of a wide array of world music wind instruments. His work spans a range of genres including Classical, Jazz, Latin, Asian, Celtic music, and Middle Eastern. Many of his songs are program music based on stories themes that form concept albums. The concepts often come from his exploration of his multi-cultural ancestry and extensive travel experience.
Ron Korb started on the recorder in grade school and later joined an Irish fife and drum band in his teens. While attending the Royal Conservatory of Music, he won several local music competitions. He attended York University for a year to broaden his experience of playing jazz but later earned a scholarship to study classical flute at University of Toronto where he graduated with a degree in Music Performance. His primary teacher was Douglas Stewart but he also participated in master classes with Paula Robison, Robert Aitken in Shawnigan, Raymond Guiot in Domaine Forget and Michel Debost in Assisi, Italy. After graduating with honors from University, Korb discovered Chinese flutes (Chinese: 笛子, English:Dizi, pinyin: dÍ zÎ). The sound of the Asian bamboo flute intrigued him so much that he moved to Japan in the early '90s to study Japanese Gagaku court music, the traditional shinobue and ryūteki bamboo flutes with Akao Michiko. Since then he has travelled around the world collecting and studying indigenous flutes. He has a collection of more than 250 flutes.(2)
Ron Korb has released more than 30 solo albums in 20 countries on various record labels. He has also guested on recordings by many renowned artists such as Olivia Newton-John, Liona Boyd, Mychael Danna, Renaissance, Jim McCarty, Illusion, and the World Youth Day recording for Pope John Paul. Ron's talents have been employed in many major film and television scores. He has played on many Gemini, Genie and Cannes Film Festival award winning projects and even Academy Award nominated films by directors such as Ang Lee, Atom Egoyan, John Woo, and Mira Nair (for detailed list see IMDb, Internet Movie Database). In Robert Lepage's film Nô Ron played the nohkan on camera in the opening scene dressed in traditional kimono. Ron was also featured in the documentary called Stolen Memories.
Ron has had many collaborations with longtime friend Donald Quan. In 1990 they released Tear of the Sun which charted No. 1 in the Canadian New Age Music Top 40 and in 2001 they did the musical direction for Peter Gabriel's Tribute and Homage for Harbourfront Centre's "World Leaders". The musical talent they shared the stage with included Peter Gabriel, Jane Siberry, Tia Carrere, Arn Chorn-Pond, Jeff Martin, Andy Stochansky and Lorraine Segato. That same year they penned the song for the Toronto Olympic Bid which was performed by the Toronto Symphony, Samba Squad and Nathaniel Dett Chorale in Roy Thomson Hall.
In 2004 Ron Korb Live was released which was filmed in Victoriaville Quebec, directed by Pierre and François Lamoureux and became the first independent artist in Canada to release a full length DVD.
Other than writing the instrumental pieces for his albums he has also written songs for major Asian singers. His song for Alan Tam (Traditional Chinese:譚詠麟) achieved Double Platinum sales. Another song recorded by the "Godfather of Cantopop" Roman Tam (Traditional Chinese:羅文) won Best Original Composition at the RTHK awards (Radio Television Hong Kong), Hong Kong's equivalent of the Grammys. In 2008 Ron was asked to put together a book of flute and piano pieces for classical flute exams for the Australian Music Examinations Board Flute for Leisure syllabus. Ron has also composed music for film dance and theatre. In 2012, Ron Korb's new album Europa (officially released in 2013, won the Global Music Awards, California, in 4 categories including: Award of Excellence-Album, Composition (St. Johann), Album Art/Graphics (Designer: Jade Yeh); Award of Merit: Acoustic Instrumental Solo Performance (St. Johann).
Ron Korb has performed in five continents including venues and events such as: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the World Art Stage in Edinburgh, the Eusebius' church in Arnhem in the Netherlands, The Glastonbury Festival in England, Teatro Nacional de Panama, Heian Shrine in Kyoto, Zhong Shan Hall in Taiwan, The Shanghai International Music Festival, The Century Theatre in Beijing and Sun Yet Sen Memorial Hall in Guangzhou, China. Also he represented Canada at Expo 2005 in Nagoya, Japan. In addition, he has been an opening act for Cesária Évora and has toured in China and Canada with world music vocalist Dadawa (Chinese: 朱哲琴, pinyin: Zhu Zheqin)
In 2012, Ron Korb toured to Poland to give performances in Nowy Sacz,Krakow, the 11th Festival of Musical Virtuosity and Humour Fun & Classic. In 2013, He completed a 6-week Asia tour to five countries giving concerts, interview, lectures, and workshops. In the 2014 China Shanghai International Arts Festival, Ron Korb will represent Canada in the Canadian Culture Week Theme Festival, which also include Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, etc, and give concerts in the cities of Shanghai and Wuxi.
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