Photo credit: Minh Vu

Hong Kong-born pianist, violinist, and composer Vivian Kwok (b.2000) is known for her versatility and involvement with new music across Canada. As a performer, Vivian has premiered over 40 works and collaborated with no fewer than 20 composers. Her most recent achievements include prizes from the Vancouver International Music Competition (2023), the Canadian Music Competition (2023), the Piano Scholarship Competition (2023) by the Vancouver Westcoast Music Society, and the University of Toronto Winds Concerto Competition (2021). As a composer, she was named a winner of the Young Canadian Composer Awards (2022) by the SOCAN Foundation, as well as winner of the Edmonton Composers Competition (2022) by the Edmonton Pops Orchestra. Currently published by Éditions Plamondon, her music has been performed internationally by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, UofT Opera, Bedford Trio, Concreamus Chamber Choir, many emerging soloists, and herself. Vivian received her Bachelor of Music (Piano Performance and Composition) at the University of Toronto, studying with Jamie Parker and Abigail Richardson-Schulte. She is grateful to be awarded the W.O. Forsyth Graduating Scholarship in 2022. Vivian is currently pursuing her graduate studies in piano at the University of British Columbia, studying with Corey Hamm. 

At the forefront of contemporary music, Vivian has performed in many genres including opera, musical, film, solo, chamber, and large ensemble pieces. The composers she has worked with include students, researchers, and early career professionals who came from 4 different continents. She is a frequent participant at the soundSCAPE Composition and Performance Exchange, where she presented pieces both as a composer and performer at the music festival, hosted online and in Bobbio, Italy. She is also a member of the Green Room Sound Collective, a composer-performer collective based in Toronto. In Green Room, she is a core composer and performer who took part in Verge: Virtual Art Song Series, and the multi-media project The Gallery. Furthermore, she directed and presented the 2022 Green Room chamber music concert, Changing Landscapes, which included 5 world premieres for varied chamber ensembles. 

Vivian’s compositions are often inspired by her own background and literary works such as the poetry of Yi Nuo Cheng. Vivian and Yi Nuo’s partnership began with the choral piece “breathe,” and continued by “Venus,” which was commissioned by Abigail Sinclair and Ria Kim for their program, Feminine Endings, at the 2021 Banff Evolution: Classical Festival. In addition, Vivian has written, recorded, and produced her first album, sop, with Nicholas Yee, which is an accompanying soundscape to Yi Nuo’s book of the same title. An audiobook version of sop is currently in production and scheduled to be released soon.

A confident solo and chamber performer, Vivian’s stage presence is known to be energetic, dynamic, and captivating. In 2022, she performed Igor Stravinsky's Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments with the University of Toronto Wind Ensemble, appearing as a winner of the Winds Concerto Competition. As a violinist, she was featured as a soloist in the 2018 Just Strings - Meet Vivaldi concert, performing in Edmonton and Lacombe with the Alberta String Association, the Edmonton Classical Guitar Society, and Early Music Alberta. Beginning with the Wa Ying College Symphony Orchestra in Hong Kong, she has served in many orchestras both as a violinist and pianist, including the Edmonton Youth Orchestra, the University of Alberta Symphony Orchestra, Orbis Orchestra, the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Abreu Chamber Orchestra, the UBC Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and the UBC Symphony Orchestra, performing at countless venues such as Hong Kong Disneyland, the Winspear Centre, the University of Alberta Convocation Hall, the Edmonton Expo Centre, MacEwan University, the University of Toronto’s MacMillan Theatre, and the Chan Centre. She was also a woodwind and brass player during her time in the Dr. Donald Massey School Band and the M.E. LaZerte High School Band. She is thankful to her music teachers including Bai So Lee, Corey Hamm, Jennifer McFarlane, John McPherson, Jamie Parker, Kenneth Pearce, Abigail Richardson-Schulte, Martina Smazal, Vincent Tsui, Corey Whaley, and Halina Wrobel. 

Besides her performance and composition career, Vivian is an ardent collaborative pianist and volunteer who values giving back to her community. She is a sought-after musician who often appears with vocalists and instrumentalists in recitals and festivals across Canada. From 2016-2018, she was an accompanist at the Red Maple Music Association in Edmonton, fostering a community of Chinese music lovers through choral music making. During her studies in Toronto, she was a pianist at the Harmony School of Music and Dance, where she collaborated with ballet teachers and young dancers. A passionate educator, she was the director of the Music Club for young children at Toronto Community Alliance Church and currently maintains a private teaching studio. She is also a worship leader who served at North Edmonton Alliance Church, Toronto Community Alliance Church, and various youth camps, where she brings her faith and music together and encourages fellowship in her community.