Lynn Kuo (violin) captivated her audience in an April concert in Cobourg, and returns with pianist Marianna Humetska to perform some of the most well-loved music ever written.
"An unusual but enjoyable recital from a Toronto-based violinist"
Music will include Piazzolla and Frolov 'Porgy and Bess' Concert Fantasy from our LOVE CD
A fun trailer video link is below.
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Join violinist Lynn Kuo on a musical time-travelling adventure to 17th century Germany, 19th century France, 20th century Argentina, Croatia 1988, and California 2012.
With guest artists Shoshana Telner, piano; Jason Nett, guitar; Austin Hitchcock, horn
Heliconian Club, 35 Hazelton Avenue, Toronto
In demand as an interpreter of new music, Lynn has given numerous world premieres in both North America and Europe of acoustic and electroacoustic solo and chamber works written by international composers. These works have been written for her and various ensembles that have included the Les AMIS Ensemble, Duo Vita, and for the Kuo-Humetska duo with Ukrainian-Canadian pianist, Marianna Humetska. In 2012, Lynn, joined by pianist Marianna Humetska ; yangqin player Anna Guo, and Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings (directed by Kevin Mallon), gave the world premiere of Si Yi – The Four Arts, a commissioned work by Alice Ping Yee Ho.
Maintaining a busy performance schedule, Lynn regularly performs for Toronto's Les AMIS Concerts and has led the Les AMIS Ensemble in five European concert tours. Lynn continues to collaborate with leading artists, having performed solo and chamber works with such artists as the Fitzwilliam String Quartet, the Penderecki String Quartet, Ensemble Vivant, Christoph Eschenbach, the Gryphon Trio, and with other eminent artists at the University of Toronto New Music Festival, Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Music Biennale Zagreb Festival (Croatia), Kiev Music Fest, and Lviv “Contrasts” Festival (Ukraine).
Lynn’s performances have been broadcast on Canadian, Serbian, and Hungarian radio and television. In 2010, Lynn recorded music of Nino Rota for the NAXOS label, recording with pianist Mary Kenedi. With pianist, Marianna Humetska, Lynn also released their debut CD, LOVE: Innocence, Passion, Obsession in April 2014.
Based in Toronto, Lynn is the Assistant Concertmaster of the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, in addition to performing with the Canadian Opera Company and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Lynn has also performed as guest concertmaster of orchestras that have included the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Opera Hamilton, and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. Lynn has also served as adjudicator, guest artist, teacher, and lecturer at Canadian festivals and universities.
Having completed studies with Lorand Fenyves, Mayumi Seiler, Erika Raum, and post-doctoral studies with Burton Kaplan, Lynn holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Toronto, having dedicated her research to the subject of holistic health and injury prevention in orchestral string musicians.
All three soloists played with beautifully rounded phrasing, and marked dynamic contrasts, but if I had to say where Trio Benetri excels, what sets them apart from other trios, it is the strong mental line each of them showed in the cascading runs that took them down to the bottom range of their respective instruments. The audience loved the performance and could hardly wait to leap to its feet for a standing ovation. [Beethoven Triple Concerto with Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, September 20, 2014]
An unusual but enjoyable recital from a Toronto-based violinist...She has a natural way of sustaining a note across its entire length – even at the quietest end of the spectrum, as she displays vividly at the end of the third movement, which fades seamlessly into nothing.. Canadian composer Michael Pepa’s Fantaisie bohémienne of 2004 deftly combines folk material with a sometimes post-tonal idiom and Kuo is a passionate advocate....The other highlight, along with the Pepa, is Frolov’s Porgy and Bess Fantasy, with both musicians yielding naturally to the jazz idiom. Close your eyes and you can almost hear the clinking glasses through the cocktail-bar conversation.
LOVE CD review: Michael Pepa’s Fantaisie bohémienne lives up to its title, giving Kuo the opportunity to shine and to display a wide range of technical skills in a bravura, almost improvisatory gypsy-flavoured fantasia.
LOVE CD review: The main work on the CD is the always-popular César Franck Sonata in A Major, which is given a solid performance highlighted by Humetska’s expansive and passionate keyboard work. Astor Piazzolla’s Milonga en re is a short, haunting piece given a sensitive, tender reading here. Nino Rota’s Improvviso en re minore is another short but passionate offering. The final track is the Concert Fantasy on Themes from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Op.19 by the Russian violin virtuoso Igor Frolov, who died just last summer. It’s a colourful portrait that captures the range and passion of one of Gershwin’s most popular works, and gives Humetska in particular the chance once again to display the full power of her technical and interpretive skills.
"...the musicians were...stellar." "They included violinists: COC concertmaster Marie Berard, her assistant Benjamin Bowman and Lynn Kuo."
"And what better way to sample some of his non-commercial output than through this fine Naxos recording with music performed by some of Toronto's top musicians? Among the pieces presented here are the... Improvviso... admirably performed by Mary Kenedi, piano, Lynn Kuo, violin..." "This is a charming disc, its appeal not only in the high level of performance, but in the inherent contrasts found within the music." "This collection is a most welcome addition to the catalogue, and ample proof that there is much more to Nino Rota than what we've heard on the big screen during the last 45 years. Bravo to all performers involved for some fine music making."
‘Colours of Music’ Festival in Barrie, Ontario – September 25, 2007: "NEXUS presented the world premiere of ‘PHOENIX’ by Canadian composer, Elizabeth Raum. Scored for solo violin and five percussion, this lush composition overflows with romanticism and effectively merges the sonic worlds of strings and percussion. The solo violinist for this premiere performance was Lynn Kuo, a native of St. John’s, Newfoundland, whose virtuosity and musicianship were readily apparent throughout. "
“…we were both blown away by Lynn Kuo and her classical violin…” …“Ms. Kuo was a delight right from the start”…
”It was as though Ms. Kuo and her instrument became one…” “She (and the music) were mesmerizing, and accompanist Marianna Humetska only emphasized the imagery. So captivating…”
“Kuo's technique appears flawless, and she has the ability to extend a note from one end of her bow to its very tip, all the while maintaining a clear, strong tone. Beethoven was followed by Fantaisie bohemian [sic] by Canadian composer Michael Pepa.” “The high notes pierced the air with beautiful clarity, and the music was filled with tension that held your attention throughout, the trickling notes of the piano adding to the drama. At times the violin sounded like a flute, and Kuo's command of both the lower and higher octaves was very impressive.” “Intermission was followed by work from another Canadian composer, Winnipegger Sid Rabinovitch ]. … This contemporary number was very dramatic, showcasing the deft piano stylings of Ms. Humetska.”
"Technically she is a highly-endowed performer. She has mastered her instrument and can make it do just about anything she wants."
Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra; Kevin Mallon, conductor "The meat of the program was a pair of pieces by the Chinese-Canadian composer Alice Ping Yee Ho. Capriccio Ballo for violin, piano and strings is a longish work built upon the repetition and evolution of a few basic figures. It is a strong piece and would probably seem stronger still on a second hearing. It takes a few minutes to acquire the score's vocabulary. The soloists were violinist Lynn Kuo and pianist Marianna Humetska. Humetska's playing was especially important since the piano part is responsible for much of the music's pulse and motion. But everyone pulled together and rendered a persuasive account of the score. The other Ho piece was the world premiere of a Thirteen Strings commission, The Four Arts for violin, piano, Yangqin and strings. In four movements, it is a more immediately engaging piece than the Capriccio, and was undoubtedly the highlight of the evening."
"Her charm shone through in something as simple as a carefree twirl of her bow in anticipation of a difficult entry. In fact, both Yee and Kuo radiate a great degree of confidence and warmth on stage."
"I liked Humetska’s rolling storms and Kuo’s total commitment to the music..." "I never expected a made-in-Russia arrangement of Gershwin melodies to raise the roof in a classical concert, but that’s what happened. Igor Frolov’s (b.1937) Concert Fantasy on Themes from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Op. 19, for violin and piano,(1991) seemed to free the duo from their classical corsets and got the joint jumping. Maybe it was Lynn Kuo’s banjo sounding pizzicato on “I’ve Got Plenty of Nothing,” or Marianna’s bluesy “Summertime” riffs that made this part of the concert take off into the blue. But there it went. Or maybe it was the complete relaxation into love of “Porgy, I’s yo’ woman now.” That too. "
"Michael Parker's In Memoriam is a modern elegiac work which is eloquent in the extreme and brought out Kuo's finest playing of the evening, as she conveyed the sorrow and loss with deep throbbing notes and telling phrases."
"Schubert's Trout Quintet...displayed some fine lyricism from violinist Lynn Kuo..."
"...and the highlight of the concert appears: the world premiere of Michael Pepa’s “ISOMORPHE” for mezzo-soprano, violin, accordion, and ensemble (2008). The soloists are outstanding. Lynn Kuo’s violin is dramatic, both rousing and melancholy..."
"I am beyond thrilled by what you did with Dance Music. No wonder why it was a success--your performance was absolutely stunning! ... you have elevated this piece far beyond the source material. Every single interpretative choice you made is dead-on, musical, driven and created an exciting performance."
"Kuo has a rich full tone in the lowest octave and her bowing arm has considerable strength, qualities which became apparent in this work."
"A collaboration between Michael Pepa and Dennis Patrick led to the composition Squamish, whose name is adapted from the Coast Salish word ‘Sko-mish’, which translates to ‘Strong Wind’ or ‘Birthplace of the Winds’. It refers to the constant wind from the Pacific Ocean. The wind voice of the Great Spirit was played by violinist Lynn Kuo, creating a rainy atmosphere by means of bells."
"...a touchingly intense In Memoriam by Cornerbrook [sic] composer Michael Parker." "The ending, a series of long notes ascending to the highest pitches on the instrument, require a steady hand, a good ear and nerves of flint, and Kuo, as cool as a bird on a wire, played it flawlessly."
“Throughout the recital, Kuo demonstrated the kind of confidence and control a soloist needs." “She demonstrated throughout the recital an ability to draw rich draperies of tone from the lowest strings, surprising us with the roundness of her resonance, as well as an extraordinarily and meticulously clean technical command...”
“I found the violin playing of Lynn Kuo very expressive, her violin adding a vocal quality to the music. ”
"An unusual performance was from violinist Lynn Kuo, who performed the work «Squamish» for violin and electronics by Michael Pepa and Dennis Patrick (Canada). She then played the violin ... and pinched the strings, while in the background, speakers projected sounds characteristic of the city streets or rain."
"Both Kuo and Yee have garnered an impressive wealth of accolades... As a duo, they're dynamite."
"I can't imagine my Sonata being better played than it was with Lynn Kuo and Gregory Oh."
Violinist Lynn Kuo, pianist Marianna Humetska to join Thirteen Strings March 2 for concert including Corelli, Warlock, and a world premiere by Alice Ping Yee Ho February 29, 2012
Canadian Violinist and Ukrainian Pianist Give a Concert for Valentine's Day
Violinist Lynn Kuo, pianist Marianna Humetska to join Thirteen Strings March 2 for concert including Corelli, Warlock, and a world premiere by Alice Ping Yee Ho. "The concert will include ... two works by Hong Kong-born Canadian composer Alice Ping Yee Ho, whose music is described as combining “Chinese and classical influences in an intoxicating blend.” The concert will include her Capriccio Ballo, a double concerto that will feature the Toronto duo of violinist Lynn Kuo and pianist Marianna Humetska. Ho wrote the piece for the two musicians. Kuo and Humetska will also be featured in the premiere of Ho’s The Four Arts for violin, piano and strings, commissioned by Thirteen Strings and including Anna Guo on the Chinese hammered dulcimer known as the Yangqin." This piece is written especially for violinist Lynn Kuo, pianist Marianna Humetska, Yangqin player Anna Guo, commissioned by Ottawa Thirteen Strings with conductor Kevin Mallon—(Alice Ping Yee Ho)"
Click here to download Lynn Kuo's Electronic Press Kit (EPK)
Canadian violinist Lynn Kuo makes a surprise appearance with the Rajkó Band, Hungary's renowned 55-member gypsy orchestra and national treasure.
Hungarian television broadcast
Les AMIS European Tour 2009
Michael Pepa, Artistic Director
Marianna Humetska, piano
Penderecki Quartet: Jeremy Bell, Jerzy Kaplanek, violins; Christine Vlajk, viola; Simon Fryer, cello
Les AMIS Tour 2009
Michael Pepa, Artistic Director
Timisoara Filarmonica Banatul Hall; Timisoara, Romania
April 25, 2009
Sonata No. 2 in A minor
Partita No. 1 in B minor
Partita No. 2 in D minor
Partita No. 3 in E major
Caprice No. 8 (Élégie)
Sonata No. 4
Concerto in A minor
Concerto in D minor for violin and strings
Concerto No. 4 in D major, K.218
Concerto No. 5 in A major, K. 219
Metamorphose (2003) - WORLD PREMIERE
Musical Offering (2013) - WORLD PREMIERE
ISOMORPHE for violin, accordion, mezzo-soprano, and ensemble (2008) - WORLD PREMIERE
Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso
Piano Quartet in C minor, Op. 60
Piano Trio No. 1 in B major. Op. 8b
Piano Trio No. 3 in C minor, Op. 101
Horn Trio in E flat major, Op. 40
Trio: I. Gypsies (2009), III. Unorthodox Obsession (2012) for violin, cello, piano
Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 87
Bass Quintet in G major, Op. 77
Trio for violin, clarinet, piano (1994)
Duo for two violins (2010) - WORLD PREMIERE
Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 49
Duet No. 1 and No. 2 for violin and guitar
Moldovenesca for violin, clarinet, piano
Duo for Violynn and Winoncello (for violin and cello) (2009) - WORLD PREMIERE
Duo for violin and cello
Octet in F major, Op. 166
String Quartet No. 3 in F major, Op. 73
String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110
Piano Quintet, Op. 57
Tumblers for violin, marimba, and computer (1989)
Cuaderno del Ritmo for nine players and conductor (2000-1)