AJ Hudson

Centennial, Colorado

Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance, 2026

Akira Jace (AJ) Hudson is a 20-year-old percussionist studying at the Peabody Institute under Robert Van Sice. During prior extensive private study with Steve Hearn, Hudson was a percussionist with Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra from 2020-2022, as well as a concerto soloist with the Denver Young Artists Orchestra, performing Jennifer Higdon’s “Percussion Concerto” in 2022. As a chamber musician, Hudson attended Yellow Barn’s Young Artist Program in 2023.

What inspired you to become a musician?
When listening to music as a little kid, I was always heavily drawn to the drum parts in songs. I can’t explain why!

Who are your all-time favorite composers and/or pieces? Why?
Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas and Paul Lanksy’s “Threads” for teaching me the foundation of how music operates.

What is an interesting fact about you and/or your instrument?
I am a Colorado native!

When taking a break from music-making, what is your favorite thing to do?
Eat a hefty meal with friends or family.

Why did you choose the NRO?
I chose the NRO because of the unique opportunity it presents to culminate the collective artistic potential of the country’s most driven musicians.