Local flutist Khoi Dinh to be featured in Kontrapunktus chamber music shows

Khoi Dinh of Huntington Beach is a member of the baroque chamber music group Kontrapunktus and a student at Juilliard.
Khoi Dinh is a member of the baroque chamber music group Kontrapunktus. He is a Huntington Beach resident and a student at Juilliard.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

The great pursuits of life rarely end up in one’s backyard.

For Huntington Beach resident Khoi Dinh, his musical journey has taken him far from his native Southern California — to the Big Apple, to Juilliard, where the 22-year-old is taking aim at a postgraduate degree.

Dinh is making a name for himself in classical music, a dream he has been chasing since early childhood. He began playing piano at the age of 4, before picking up the flute by the time he turned 8.

Of the two instruments, playing the flute resonated more with Dinh, who said he found delight in the sounds coming from the air within his body. The sensation made him feel more connected to the instrument.


It wasn’t until middle school that he had an opportunity to play with other musicians, which stoked the fires of his passion.

“I remember through my middle school, I received a scholarship to go to this summer band program,” Dinh said. “It was in Idyllwild, and that was my first time playing with other people. I think that experience really catapulted my interest in music because up until that point, I had just been practicing alone or sometimes with a pianist.”

That experience led to a desire for more. Dinh auditioned for other opportunities, playing his way onto the National Youth Orchestra.

“When I asked myself what I wanted to do with my life at the time, there was nothing else that came to mind except music,” said Dinh, identifying the experience as a turning point.

Flute player Khoi Dinh poses for a portrait at Central Park in Huntington Beach.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Dinh, who attended Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, later graduating with a bachelor’s degree in flute performance from UCLA, will now be bringing his talents home, at least for a little while.

He will be among the featured musicians in the nine-piece chamber music orchestral group known as Kontrapunktus. The baroque-style musical performances hit the stage for two Orange County shows later this month.

The chamber orchestra has two Orange County performances planned for their upcoming tour which will feature compositions of the baroque era.

Jan. 4, 2023

The Kontrapunktus production, “The Londoner: An English Baroque Salute,” will come to Laguna Presbyterian Church on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m., then to St. John’s Lutheran Church in Orange on Sunday, Jan. 21 at 4 p.m.

“I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity,” Dinh said. “I have not actually performed a baroque concerto with the actual orchestral accompaniment before, so I’m really excited to do so. I’m also, of course, really excited to be performing in my native hometown of Southern California.”

A Kontrapunktus performance at St. John's Lutheran Church in Orange last winter.
(Courtesy of Veronika Reinert)

Raymond Jacobs, executive director of Kontrapunktus, emphasized the importance of personalities that could work together, a concept that Dinh was also keen on.

Building relationships has helped bring the talent together, and it has also been key in growing an audience. Kontrapunktus first appeared in Laguna Beach in 2018, Jacobs said.

“They wanted to try something new, and it’s worked out,” Jacobs said. “They’ve been supporting now for four consecutive years, but it’s been gradually growing. I remember the first concert we had there was back in 2018. We probably had like two dozen people show on a Sunday afternoon.

“I was able to convince the cultural arts commission to give us a second chance because it was a matter of cultivating that relationship with the church to see if they could give us a better time to appeal to more people. … Last year, they were able to accommodate us by giving us a booking on a Saturday night, and we had a full house.”

Flute player Khoi Dinh is entering his first season with Kontrapunktus.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Audiences for the upcoming Kontrapunktus performances can expect to hear music from composers such as Carl Friedrich Abel, Charles Avison, William Boyce, George Frideric Handel and Henry Purcell.

“We typically perform numbers from less-known composers, or if it’s known composers, we typically play pieces from them that are not as commonly played,” Jacobs said. “I think [the audience members] really like that because it’s more of an eclectic mix of music they’re not going to be accustomed to hearing anywhere else.”

Kontrapunktus is led by concertmaster Cameron Alan-Lee and artistic director Osheen Manukyan (cellist). David Chang (second principal violin), Agatha Blevin (first violin), Wenlan Jackson (second violin), Nicholas Arredondo (double bass), Cassia Drake (viola) and Bogang Hwang (harpsichord) round out the chamber orchestra.

General admission is $24.95, with discounted tickets available for purchase at $19.95 for seniors, students and veterans. For more information, visit