Award-Winning Duo Iryna Krechkovsky and Kevin Loucks to Perform at The Grace First Concert Series

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Iryna Krechkovsky and Kevin Loucks

Iryna Krechkovsky and Kevin Loucks

The Grace First Concert Series is proud to welcome The Krechkovsky/Loucks Duo to the Grace First Sanctuary on Saturday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m.

The duo of Iryna Krechkovsky (violin) and Kevin Loucks (piano) bring exquisite artistry to their performances that has been lauded the world over. They share a musical connection that is mirrored in their marriage. But they will also bring something else with them to their concert at Grace First on February 22: a 1689 Baumgartner Stradivarius violin, on loan to Krechkovsky by the Canada Council for the Arts.

This early period Stradivari was acquired by Gordon Jeffrey from Robert Masters, the concertmaster of the Bath (England) Festival Orchestra during Yehudi Menuhin’s tenure as conductor. The instrument was used in many recordings made by the Orchestra under Menuhin’s direction. Étienne Périlhon of Paris owned it in the early 1950s, followed by P. Nicholson of Folkestone, England, in the early 1960s. In 1963, Mr. Fritz Baumgartner of Basel, Switzerland, acquired the violin. In 1986 Gordon Jeffrey, a great patron of music and scion of the family that founded London Life Insurance Company, bequeathed it to the University of Western Ontario, from which an anonymous donor purchased it in 1997.

Celebrated for her tone, emotionality and precision, Krechkovsky has been featured at such venues as Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York, Town Hall in Seattle, and The American Church in Paris, France. She was a top prize winner at the Sorantin International Competition (San Angelo, Texas), the Canadian Music Competition and the Kocian International Violin Competition (Czech Republic). She has performed as soloist with the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra (Ohio), the Toronto Sinfonietta, and the Lviv National Symphony Orchestra (Ukraine).

As a distinguished chamber artist, she has been invited to perform at the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, the Stony Brook Faculty Recital Series (New York) and The Banff Centre for the Arts. She is currently completing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Stony Brook University in New York. She was born in Ukraine, raised in Toronto and currently lives in Irvine with Louck.

Kevin Kwan Loucks has been called “impeccable” (La Presse, Montreal), “a shining talent” (Völser Zeitung, Italy), and a pianist of “exhilarating polish, unity and engagement” (The Orange County Register, California). Featured on National Public Radio’s Performance Today, he has earned ovations from Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, to Prösels Castle in Italy, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, and Lichtenstein Palace in Prague. In 2013 he and Krechkovsky launched Chamber Music | OC – an ambitious arts initiative that has garnered nationwide attention as one of the premiere classical music projects taking place in the country today (www.chambermusicoc.org).

Krechkovsky and Loucks were winners of the Winners of the 2012 Southern California Chamber Music Consortium’s Beverly Hills Auditions. Also in 2012 the Duo formed Trio Céleste with cellist Ross Gasworth and have since been appointed Artists-in-Residence at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine where they are also Directors of the Summer Academy for Chamber Music.

Krechkovsky and Loucks will be performing the following program:

  • Debussy: Sonata for Violin and Piano in G minor, L. 140
  • Saint-Saëns: Violin Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 75
  • Brahms: Sonatensatz (Scherzo for Violin and Piano) in C minor, Op. posth.
  • Gershwin/Heifetz: Selections from Porgy and Bess

The concert will be held in the sanctuary of Grace First Presbyterian Church, on Saturday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m. Grace First Presbyterian Church is located at 3955 Studebaker Rd. at the corner of Studebaker and Los Coyotes Diagonal in Long Beach. The phone number is 562-420-3393, and concert series website is www.gracefirst.org/concert-series. This concert is a free-will donation concert, with a requested donation of $15.

For more information about the concerts please contact Stan DeWitt, Minister of Music, at 562-420-3393, or stan@gracefirst.org.

The remainder of the concerts in the Concert Series are:

Rachel St. Marseille – Sat., Mar. 22, 7:30 p.m.
Ceora Winds – Sat., Apr. 26, 7:30 p.m.
Dewey Erney – Sun., May 18, 2:00 p.m.
Jason McNally – Sun., June 15, 4:00 p.m.

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