Friday, August 19, 2011

Taiwanese pop/rock band F.I.R.World Tour 2011 Featured Cellist launches his debut album recital ‘A DOUBLE LIFE’ (1 Sept 11)

Who is the cellist who toured with Taiwanese pop-
rock band F.I.R. as their featured cellist in
collaborating with an Appalachian Dulcimer
player in country music?

He is none other than Mr Loke Hoe Kit!
He appears to be leading a "double life"
as a cellist with such a well-known
pop rock band FIR and his own pursuits
in the classical music realm.

His Double Life album recital will be launching
soon at Esplanade in September.

Check out the live performance of Wind Struck
performed at the Esplanade by cellist Loke Hoe Kit
feat. Jasmine Mok and Joel Na.
(pardon the poor sound quality)

More details on "A DOUBLE LIFE" album recital launch:


Young Singaporean cellist Loke Hoe Kit has been described in a Straits Times review as 'probably the most visible local cellist [from his generation] to emerge'. The 23-year-old, who studied at the prestigious Mannes College of Music in New York, will release his groundbreaking debut solo album this September. A launch concert will be held at the Esplanade Recital Studio on September 1st, 8pm, with tickets on sale through SISTIC from July 1st.

Already a seasoned performing artist, Hoe Kit’s main aim for his debut album is to attempt something a musician could never do in a live performance as a new artistic challenge. The entire album will feature works for two cellos accompanied by piano, with Hoe Kit overdubbing himself to play both cello parts. Such is rarely attempted in the classical music and perhaps never done before locally.

Entitled 'A Double Life', this album is a major undertaking for the young artist who has produced it himself, and is a milestone for the local music scene due to the unusual concept of the work

By taking on this novel, and seldom tackled, artistic challenge - to blend and interpret two cello parts together in rendering substantial classical works – Hoe Kit’s vision is to usher in a whole new perspective as a performing artist by creating a work of classical art possible only through harnessing modern recording technology.

The repertoire chosen for the album is also unusual. Adding to the theme of duality, there are only two works on the album, and they parallel each other despite having been composed centuries apart. One of the works chosen is George Frideric Handel’s Sonata for Two Cellos and Piano written in the 18th Century. This baroque work is a transcription of its original incarnation as a trio sonata for two violins and continuo.

The other work, the album's highlight, is a 20th century 'Suite for Two Cellos and Piano' by Italian-American composer Gian Carlo Menotti, but written in a neo-baroque style, giving a contemporary 'update' to the genre with harmonic dissonances and asymmetrical rhythms.

Despite the two centuries separating the composition of the two works, both works are similar in form, consisting of four movements, and the tempo and style of each of the four movements in one work mirrors those of the other.

Menotti, who recently passed away in 2007, was commissioned to write the Suite in 1973 for the 70th birthday celebrations of the legendary cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, two of whose prominent students, Nathaniel Rosen and Paul Tobias, were Hoe Kit's principal teachers. Rosen, who had introduced the Suite to Hoe Kit and guided him on it, had himself performed the work alongside its dedicatee in its early years.
Menotti's centenary is being commemorated this year, and his work will receive its Singapore premiere in Hoe Kit's launch concert on September 1st. The concert will feature Lin Juan as guest cellist, and pianist Nicholas Loh, who also accompanied Hoe Kit on the album. Nicholas was featured in the 2009 Singapore International Piano Festival at the Young Virtuoso Recital.

Hoe Kit started playing the cello at age 12, and made his concerto debut four years later playing Saint-Saens’ 1st Concerto. He left for the USA at 16 to study under esteemed cellists Nathaniel Rosen and Paul Tobias. In 2005, Hoe Kit was a finalist and the top cellist at the 4th Lynn Harrell Concerto Competition for piano and strings in Dallas. Emanuel Borok, the adjudicator and concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, wrote: ‘You are a wonderful cellist… I expect great things from you.’

Hoe Kit has since returned to give sold-out recitals at such venues as the Esplanade and The Arts House, and a Straits Times review described that his playing ‘moved with much eloquence and persuasion, distinguished with bold strokes and gestures…’ Lauded by Rosen as ‘a fine young cellist, Hoe Kit is a versatile artist who is active beyond his classical pursuits, having recently toured with Taiwanese pop/rock band F.I.R. as their featured cellist.

As no commercial recording label is likely to sponsor such an audacious and atypical project, Hoe Kit, spurred by his passion, chose to personally fund and produce the entire album. Noted recording engineer Sydney Tan was engaged to record this album.

Loke Hoe Kit’s official website:

Also check out Tessera (all ladies' progressive jazz band)
Late Nite Series concert on 26 Aug 11.

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