TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Music Cube concert featuring Taiwanese-American cellist Kenneth Kuo (郭虔哲) will kick off at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum on Dec. 21.
The Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM), dubbed the "white cube" by art lovers because of its appearance, will host its first recital, the Music Cube concert, to mark of 36th anniversary. It will feature Kenneth Kuo (郭虔哲), a New York-based Taiwanese cellist who has performed throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
According to Kuo, TFAM architect Kao Erh-pan (高而潘) is a family friend who took introduced him to the museum. “When I stepped into the marble lobby, the extra high ceiling and the French windows caught my attention. It will be a perfect place to perform,” Kuo remarked.
The Sydney Morning Herald once regarded Kuo as a “cellist with great facility and confidence.” As the chef cellist and conductor in the concert, Kuo will lead 21 Taiwanese and international cellists, as well as a harpist, in 15 popular songs, including Pachelbel's "Canon in D," Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, and "Man In The Mirror" by Michael Jackson, Kuo said.
Kuo told Taiwan News that his cello has survived 319 years of history and that it is very likely that Bach heard it played. He said that when he bought the cello at an auction, no one considered it to be a good instrument, but upon noticing the marks left by repairs, he decided that “It must be a valuable piece, so people wanted to spend time on fixing it."
The cello is worth $NT$80 million (US$2.6 million).
Kuo with cello that he bought at an auction. (Courtesy of Kuo)
Not content to just be a cellist, Kuo has also established the Connecticut School of Music in Westport and Greenwich and a non-profit organization, the Connecticut Musical Arts Foundation, which funds music students as they pursue their careers. Additionally, his albums “The Memories of Boom Mi Pon” and “Splendid Adventure” have sold over 500,000 copies combined, and both were nominated for “Best Crossover Instrumental Album” at the Golden Music Awards.
Kuo expressed that he has rearranged every piece to ensure that the scale of the upcoming performance is suitable for the national level.
He promised a strong line-up that will include cellist Jo-Chan Lin (林若禪), who performed at the second European Games' torch-lighting ceremony, Taiwanese-American harpist Chia-Yuan Liang (梁嘉芫), winner of the 34th Artist International Award in New York, and France-based Romanian cellist Andrei Kivu, whose concerts have been broadcast live by BBC, ABC Australia, and New York Public Radio (WNYC).
Kuo pointed out that the concert's 15 listed songs were selected from his latest album, “Amazing Grace” (虔靜時刻), which is a cello ensemble spanning classical pieces, pop music, and movie soundtracks. “This record is a way I recorded the amazing grace and miracles happened in my life,” Kuo said.
Kuo said the inspiration for performing "Man In The Mirror" is from the cover of the album "Amazing Grace." (Courtesy of Kuo)