Kym Purling is an Australian pianist, composer and conductor, who was found abandoned at 2–3 days of age during the Vietnam War. After spending the first several months of his life in two orphanages, he was later adopted at the age of nine months to Australia, becoming the first international adoption of any nationality in Australia.
Purling began formal musical training at age five or six and received his high school education at Westminster School, a reputable private school in Adelaide, South Australia. He later completed a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies at the University of Adelaide, South Australia, where he formed the first Kym Purling Trio. The trio received wide recognition all around Australia and also served as the rhythm section for many of Australia's leading jazz musicians and vocalists. During this time, still in his early 20's, Purling recorded his first albums, Trio Juice, Catherine Lambert & The Kym Purling Trio and Let's Swing!
In 1996, Purling served as an Ambassador for the Performing Arts between Australia and Vietnam. This was Purling's first return to his homeland since his adoption. During Purling's ambassadorship, he held sold-out concerts in concerts halls around Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, introducing jazz to the Vietnamese people. During the residency, Purling also taught many children, students and professional musicians and made recordings for educational purposes. He featured in many newspaper articles and radio interviews during the time he spent in Vietnam. Purling's work in Vietnam crossed many cultural and language barriers, proving that music is the universal language. He did not know any of the Vietnamese language before arriving there.
Purling returned to Australia and later moved to the United States where he currently resides. As a jazz pianist, composer, conductor, performer, recording artist, arranger and educator, Purling has performed and worked throughout Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, the United States, Canada, Japan, Brazil, France, the United Kingdom, Scotland and the Netherlands. He has opened concerts for Julio Iglesias, Harry Connick Jr., Sandra Bernhard, James Morrison, The Ray Brown Trio and Arturo Sandoval and has performed with The Mills Brothers, Buddy Greco, Kay Starr, Clint Holmes, David Cassidy and many other well-known artists. He recently performed on an hour-long national US television show with Natalie Cole.
Purling later located to New York City, and worked as a musical-director and conductor of touring Broadway shows and spent the following five years traveling around 49 U.S. states, Canada and Japan, with acclaimed Broadway shows Footloose, 42nd Street and Miss Saigon. He has made significant contributions in the worlds of jazz and musical theater.
Purling is currently musical director, conductor and pianist for world renowned vocal legend, Engelbert Humperdinck.
... Kym Purling Awards Year Category Title Result Notes 1996 Most Outstanding Pianist of the Year South Australian Music Industry Awards Winner ...