Nathan Kwok - Cellist and 2019 Rising Star

Nathan Kwok began learning the cello when he was 9 years old  and his passion for the instrument has steadily increased over the years.  He and has been section leader in the Magee Secondary School Orchestra since 2016 and currently studies with Dr. Janelle Ragno.  Nathan’s musical accomplishments are many. In 2016, he was the principal cello and quartet soloist of the BC Music Educators Association Honour Orchestra. He was a member of the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra 2012-2016, and was cello co-principal of the Intermediate Orchestra 2015-2016. A chamber music enthusiast, he participated in the Quiring Chamber Music Camp and Quartet Fest West at the University of Victoria, and now plays in the chamber program at the Vancouver Academy of Music.

In addition to all these amazing achievements, Nathan says “My most important accomplishment to date is the RCM Grade 10 cello examination which I played last year, and for which I achieved First Class Honours with Distinction. This was my first RCM exam and it took a lot of focused, determined practice over an extended period of time to learn the repertoire, not to mention the scales, arpeggios and orchestral excerpts.  After much hard work, it was gratifying to be able to perform the full repertoire for the examiner.”  Although Nathan has performed with many different orchestras over the years he is looking forward to performing Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33, 1st movement and Coda with the Richmond Orchestra as, he notes, amateur musicians rarely have the opportunity to perform a concerto with an orchestra. Nathan’s goal is to “play the piece as Saint-Saëns wrote it --- with intricate interplay of sounds and colours between the cello and the orchestra”. He goes on to say that “to be able to perform with an orchestra will give me a fresh perspective on the concerto, as I will learn to look for all the different voices that make up the music. It will be ear-opening to hear different instruments from the orchestra playing with me, rather than just the sound of the piano.”

Saint-Saëns wrote the Cello Concerto no. 1 in A minor, Op. 33 in 1872 and it is considered by many composers to be the greatest cello concerto of all time.  The concerto is technically very demanding and Nathan has enjoyed overcoming the challenges of the piece through persistent and patient practice. His performance at the Rising Stars concert will be a memorable occasion.


Rising Stars 2019
Saturday, February 16, 2019
7:30 PM 9:30 PM
Fraserview MB Church
11295 Mellis Drive Richmond, BC, V6X 1L8

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Door Tickets:
Adult: $25.00
Senior: $20.00
Student: $20.00  
Child (under 13): $10.00

Online Tickets:
Adult: $20.00
Senior: $16.00
Student: $15.00  
Child (under 13): $8.00