Vivian Kukiel, Violin, 2022 Canadian Music Competition’s Stepping Stone

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Toronto’s Vivian Kukiel first appeared on our radar in 2018 when she won the Ilona Fehér International Violin Competition in Budapest, Hungary. Her comet re-­entered our skies in June when she won the Canadian Music Competition’s Stepping Stone final—“one of the most exciting but also nerve-racking experiences of my musical journey so far,” she said. “When (executive and artistic director) Marc David announced that I had won the whole competition, I was so overjoyed I think I went into a state of shock.”

One month earlier, Kukiel and the other three members of the Holt Quartet recorded Johannes Brahms’s Piano Quartet No. 1 during what sounds like a scene from Big Brother: “The four of us stayed at our pianist’s house for two weeks, cooking food for each other, watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and enjoying our nightly ritual of playing (the board game) Catan. And yes, we also rehearsed now and then, too.”

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Kukiel spent the summer in Blue Hill, Maine, where she was accepted into the Kneisel Hall young artist chamber music program. Performances so far have included Tania León’s Ethos for string quartet and piano and Schumann’s Piano Quartet in E-flat Major. This fall, she’ll return to the Colburn School in Los Angeles, where she studies with Martin Beaver, and continue to work on up-bow staccato (“my arch-nemesis,” she grumbled). One thing is certain: her future will include animals. “I have always wanted to work or help out at an animal shelter and I hope to be able to do that in the next couple of years.”

*reprinted with permission from cbc.ca/music/30-hot-canadian-classical-­musicians-under-30-2022-edition-1.6521874

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

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