“There is such a wealth of joy in performing chamber music,” said pianist Kevin Kwan Loucks. “It’s a different world from being in an orchestra: You have to blend in an orchestra, but you stand out in chamber music.”
His chamber music ensemble, Trio Céleste, formed in 2012, also includes violinist Iryna Krechkovsky (who is married to Loucks) and cellist Ross Gasworth.
The trio plans to perform Feb. 24 as part of an evening of chamber music at the Irvine Barclay Theatre titled “Notte Vivace,” which translates to “lively night.”
The concert will begin with Loucks accompanying the night’s guest performer, French violinist Philippe Graffin, on Debussy’s Violin Sonata.
Graffin will also perform a couple of rare, recently-rediscovered works, including a third version of Ernest Chausson’s Poème for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 25 (previously thought to only exist in two versions) and the North American premiere of an untitled, unaccompanied violin solo by Eugène Ysaÿe.
“Graffin gave the World Premiere [of Ysaÿe’s seventh sonata] in Japan last year,” said Loucks. “Ysaÿe’s [known for his] Six Sonatas for Solo Violin (Op. 27), and this one comes between Nos. 5 and 6. His unaccompanied violin solos are staples of the repertoire, along with Bach and Paganini.”
In the second half of the show, Loucks says Trio Céleste will play Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 66, which he calls “an incredibly virtuosic, exciting work.”
The concert is a showcase for students from the Young Artist Program at Chamber Music | OC, an arts initiative that Loucks and Krechkovsky co-founded to provide outreach with the community through chamber music.
Krechkovsky directs the Young Artist Program, a tuition-free, pre-college program which is in its first year at Chapman University.
Trio Céleste, the permanent ensemble-in-residence at Chamber Music | OC, designed the “Notte Vivace” night to give students the opportunity to perform alongside a notable musican like Graffin.
“[We want] to promote the art of chamber music through performance, education and community outreach,” Loucks said. “We live in Irvine and Anaheim Hills and the Young Artists Program is at Chapman University … We’ve got our finger on the pulse of chamber music in Orange County.”
IF YOU GO
What: “Notte Vivace,” featuring Trio Céleste (Iryna Krechkovsky, violin; Ross Gasworth, cello; Kevin Kwan Loucks, piano), violinist Philippe Graffin and members of the Chamber Music | OC’s Young Artist Program
When: 7 p.m. Sunday
Where: Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, UC Irvine
Cost: Tickets at $22 (student and senior discounts available)
Information: (949) 854-4646; thebarclay.org