Modern Monologues: Violinist Patrick Yim

Date: February 21, 2023 (Tuesday)
Time: 7:30 PM
Venue: Main Hall, Shaw Auditorium, HKUST

Patrick Yim (United States) introduces the audience to the world of virtuosic contemporary solo violin repertoire. Professor of Violin at the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Yim has performed worldwide as a soloist and chamber musician, and will be joined on stage by two of the evening’s composers.




The event is free and open to the public.


  • Leilehua Lanzilotti: koʻu inoa (2017) — Asian premiere
  • Juri Seo: One (2020) — world premiere
  • John Liberatore: Between Light and Shade (2023) — world premiere
  • Ilari Kaila: Solitude (2021)
  • Timothy Page: Aerial Roots (2023) — live concert premiere
  • Takuma Itoh: A Melody from an Unknown Place (2020)


Praised for his "deeply expressive, finely nuanced playing" (The Strad Magazine) and  "superb performances" (Fanfare), Honolulu-born violinist Patrick Yim has performed throughout the world at venues including Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, Seoul Arts Center, Harpa Concert Hall, Severance Hall, Orchestra Hall, Teatro alla Scala, and the Musikverein. Yim made his solo debut with the Honolulu Symphony. He has performed chamber music with members of the Juilliard, Emerson, St. Lawrence, Pacifica, and Ying Quartets, and musicians from the Cleveland Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and on tour with the Cleveland Orchestra in the US and Europe.

Recent performances include a concert at Carnegie Hall with members of the Emerson Quartet, a collaboration with pipa virtuoso Wu Man in Lou Harrison’s Pipa Concerto, and a collaboration with Juilliard Quartet violinist Joel Smirnoff involving the premieres of two newly commissioned works. Yim has commissioned 35 works and performed them around the world as part of international music festivals, including Seoul International Computer Music Festival and the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival.

His debut CD, Memory, features world premiere recordings of works by Yao Chen, Michael-Thomas Foumai, Austin Yip, Kai-Young Chan, and Chen Yi. His second CD with pianist Kiu Tung Poon featuring violin and piano music of contemporary American composers was released on the Naxos label in September 2022. He is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music (BM, MM) and Stony Brook University (Doctor of Musical Arts).

Yim serves as Assistant Professor of Violin at the University of Notre Dame. Between 2017–2021, he was Professor of Violin at Hong Kong Baptist University. He has also taught violin and chamber music at Stony Brook University, the Cleveland Institute of Music, Sulzbach-Rosenberg International Music Festival, Rushmore Music Festival, Flatirons Chamber Music Festival, Har Paw ChamberFest, and the Interlochen Arts Camp, in addition to masterclasses at MIT, the Royal Academy of Music Aarhus, University of Colorado, University of Oklahoma, University of Hawaii, Central Michigan University, and many universities in Hong Kong.


Leilehua Lanzilotti (b. 1983) is a Kanaka Maoli musician from Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, dedicated to the arts of our time. A “leading composer-performer” (The New York Times), Lanzilotti’s “conceptually potent” work is characterized by explorations of timbre and an interest in translating everyday sounds to concert instruments using nontraditional techniques. Lanzilotti has composed words for ensembles such as the GRAMMY-winning Roomful of Teeth, Argus Quartet, and Chamber Music Hawaiʻi. Her works have been performed at international festivals such as Ars Electronica (Austria), Thailand International Composition Festival, and Dots+Loops in Australia. Lanzilotti is the recipient of a 2020 Native Launchpad Artist Award, a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Award, 2021 McKnight Visiting Composer Residency, and 2022 First Peoples Fund Artist in Business Leadership Fellow. As a recording artist, Lanzilotti has played on albums by artists such as Björk, Joan Osborne, Dai Fujikura, and David Lang. Lanzilotti’s upcoming solo performance projects include Wayfinder, a new viola concerto by Dai Fujikura inspired by Polynesian wayfinding.


Juri Seo (b. 1981) is a Korean-American composer and pianist based in New Jersey, where she works as Associate Professor of Music at Princeton University. She seeks to write music that encompasses extreme contrast through compositions that are unified and fluid, yet complex. She merges many of the fascinating aspects of music from the past century—in particular its expanded timbral palette and unorthodox approach to structure—with a deep love of functional tonality, counterpoint, and classical form. Her composition honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, Koussevitzky Commission from the Library of Congress, Goddard Lieberson Fellowship and Andrew Imbrie Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Copland House Residency Award, and the Otto Eckstein Fellowship from Tanglewood. She has received commissions from the Fromm Foundation, the Barlow Endowment, the Goethe Institut, and the Tanglewood Music Center. Her portrait albums Mostly Piano and Respiri were released by Innova Recordings. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she studied with Reynold Tharp, having also attended the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome, and Yonsei University, Seoul. She has been a composition fellow at the Tanglewood, Bang on a Can, and SoundSCAPE festivals, the Wellesley Composers Conference, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts.


John Liberatore is a composer, pianist, and one of the world’s few glass harmonica players. His music seeks poignancy through levity, ambiguity through transparency, and complexity within simple textures—“to feel pulled along at varying speeds in multiple directions, but always forward” (Cleveland Classical).

Over the past several years, his music has received hundreds of performances in venues around the world. He is the recipient of Fellowships from MacDowell (2017, 2020), Tanglewood, Yaddo, the Brush Creek Arts Foundation, the I-Park Artist’s Enclave, and the Millay Colony. Other notable distinctions include commissions from the Fromm Music Foundation and the American Opera Initiative, two ASCAP Morton Gould Awards, and the Brian Israel Prize. Through a 2012 Presser Music Award, he studied in Tokyo with Jo Kondo—a mentorship that made an indelible impression on his music.

He has collaborated as a composer and performer with Roomful of Teeth, percussionist Daniel Druckman, soprano Jamie Jordan, and several others. In 2018, Albany Records released Line Drawings, a portrait album of Liberatore’s chamber music. The album features his recording debut on the glass harmonica (alongside Druckman and Jordan), as well as pieces for The Mivos Quartet, pianist Ryan MacEvoy McCullough, Bent Frequency, and Duo Damiana. Other recordings of his work are available on Centaur, Innova, and Ravello record labels. A portrait album with Zohn Collective is forthcoming in 2023.

He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music (Ph.D., M.M.) and Syracuse University (B.M., summa cum laude).


Ilari Kaila is a Finnish-American composer whose music has been described with words such as “haunting”, “intriguing”, “engaging … soulful” (The New York Times), “nearly unbearable beauty… A modern masterpiece” (The WholeNote), “melodically euphoric” (Rondo Classic), “hypnotic… trancelike… fascinatingly colorful” (New York Music Daily), “I kept coming back to it… the music is so beautiful, and I want to experience it again and again” (Orchestergraben—5 Best New Music Albums of 2020), “magnificent and glistening” (Amfion), “powerfully resonating” (Helsingin Sanomat), “haunting” (The New Yorker), and “Kaila brings with him an exciting message of rebirth built upon classical foundations” (Percorsi Musicali—Best of 2020). His work has been presented by the MATA Festival in New York City, including the inaugural composer portrait concert in the “MATA Continued” series (“offering return engagements by some of its brightest discoveries” — Steve Smith, The New Yorker); as the Composer-in-Residence of the Chelsea Music Festival in New York and Taipei; at the American Music Festival in Albany; the Intimacy of Creativity in Hong Kong; the Metropolis Festival in Australia; the Banff Centre Summer Arts Festival in Canada; and the New York International Fringe Festival. Artists and ensembles Kaila has worked with include the Escher String Quartet, Aizuri Quartet, Tanglewood New Fromm Players, Alcott Trio, Kamus Quartet, Uusinta Ensemble, Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Emil Holmström, Melinda Masur, Rachel Cheung, Olli Mustonen, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Avanti Chamber Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, Kuopio Symphony Orchestra, Joensuu Symphony Orchestra, Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra, and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra’s chamber ensembles. An album of Kaila’s chamber music, recorded by the Aizuri Quartet and pianist Adrienne Kim, was released on the Innova Recordings label in March 2020.


Chicago-born composer, musician, and performance artist Timothy Page creates works that revolve around play with style and context, body, physical materials, and space. Page holds degrees from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, where he established himself as a composer and studied with Veli-Matti Puumala; and the University of Chicago, where he completed his PhD with mentors Augusta Read Thomas and Anthony Cheung. In 2019 he was appointed Lecturer in Music and Digital Arts at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Page is a founder and co-director of Dayjob Collective – a Helsinki-based interdisciplinary ensemble investigating meeting points between contemporary music and performance art. His works have been performed around the globe by ensembles such as Ensemble Dal Niente (US), Third Coast Percussion (US), Eighth Blackbird (US), Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (FI), Avanti! (FI), Uusinta (FI), Defunensemble (FI), Dayjob Collective (FI), S.E.M. Ensemble (US/CZ), Caput (IS), and Cikada (NO). 


Takuma Itoh spent his early childhood in Japan before moving to Northern California where he grew up.  His music has been described as "brashly youthful and fresh" (New York Times). Featured amongst one of "100 Composers Under 40" on NPR Music and WQXR, he has been the recipient of such awards and commissions as: the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Music Alive: New Partnerships grant with the Tucson Symphony, the Barlow Endowment, the Chamber Music America Classical Commission, the ASCAP/CBDNA Frederick Fennell Prize, six ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, the Leo Kaplan Award, the American Composers Orchestra Underwood New Music Readings, the Symphony in C Young Composer Competition, the New York Youth Symphony First Music, The New York Virtuoso Singers, Maui Arts & Cultural Center, and the Renée B Fisher Foundation.

Itoh's music has been performed by the Albany Symphony, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Ensemble Échappé, Ossia New Music, the New York Youth Symphony, Symphony in C, the Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra (Poland), the Shanghai Quartet, the St. Lawrence Quartet, the Cassatt Quartet, the Momenta Quartet, Invoke Quartet, Sara Davis Buechner, Jeffrey Jacob, Joseph Lin, Ignace Jang, Syzygy Ensemble (Australia), H2 Quartet, Kyo-Shin-An Arts, the Music from Copland House, the Varied Trio, Kojiro Umezaki, HUB New Music Ensemble, Duo Yumeno, Post-Haste Reed Duo, Pro Musica Nipponia, and Linda Chatterton. In addition, his works can be heard on Albany and Blue Griffin Records, and is published by Theodore Presser, Resolute Music, and Murphy Music Press. In 2015, Itoh scored the music for the short film Salesi directed by Garin Nugroho and Vilsoni Hereniko that was featured at the Honolulu Film Festival.

Itoh has been a fellow at the Mizzou International Composers Festival, Cabrillo Composer Workshop, Wellesley Composers Conference, Copland House CULTIVATE, Pacific Music Festival and the Aspen Music Festival. He holds degrees from Cornell University, University of Michigan, and Rice University. His past teachers include Steven Stucky, Roberto Sierra, William Bolcom, Bright Sheng, Shih-Hui Chen, Anthony Brandt, Pierre Jalbert, and Karim Al-Zand.

Since 2012, Itoh has been teaching at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa where he serves as an Associate Professor of Music.

Program notes

Leilehua Lanzilotti: koʻu inoa (2017) — Asian premiere
Described as "a homesick bariolage based on the anthem Hawaiʻi Aloha," koʻu inoa exists in several forms. Lanzilotti began composing the original solo viola work by playing the anthem in Germany to feel closer to home, taking time to explore the soothing melody, and feeling the resonant vibrations of home through the fingers on strings. Since its premiere in 2017, koʻu inoa has found continuing international life in solo violin and solo cello incarnations, often in the hands of fellow Hawaiʻi-born artists who also feel the homeward calling.

The work extensively uses bariolage, a string technique whereby notes rapidly alternate between fingered pitch and open strings, creating subtle shifts in timbre, an effect of creating different vowel sounds. Beginning with the cello, the bariolage alternates between the open C-string and its fingered octave. Immediately meditative and focused, the music embraces stasis, being rooted.

koʻu inoa translates from ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi to "my name is" and frames a perspective and statement to absorb the meaning of identity. Melody is the most substantial element to impart musical distinction and identity. A succession of pitches is the equivalent of letters to a name. Even when the rhythm is altered, the original melody lingers and is recognizable. This connection between pitch, melody, time, and personal identity is one of many metaphors at the heart of this music.

Gradually, Hawaiʻi Aloha (in the key of C-major) ebbs and flows from and through the texture, then recedes into an oceanic bariolage. The melody will even whisper when the winds exhale through the instrument without producing pitch. The anthem's presentation is not immediately recognizable. Lanzilotti removes the melody's rhythm, extracting just the pitch (not including repeated notes), and spaces them widely apart across the bariolage, a musical quilt of sorts; the tune sewn into the fabric. Lingering on each note, there is a comfort to be taken, a curated sonic pool to explore, feel, and embrace the meaning of these individual notes to the whole, at first far apart, then closer together.

For five minutes, koʻu inoa invites us to listen on three planes: to listen closely (focus on immediate changes), listen broadly (connect changes over time), and listen metaphorically (distill meaning from sound). If there is an allegory in music, this is a well-spring; Lanzilotti offers the awakened Hawaiian consciousness, a journey of one distantly far from home but connected with resounding clarity.

— Excerpted from program notes by Dr. Michael-Thomas Foumai, Director of Artistic Engagement and Composer-in-Residence, Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra, originally written for the orchestral premiere of koʻu inoa, April 2022

Juri Seo: One (2020) — world premiere
One comprises twelve vignettes of twelve months that are arranged in cyclic form. The performance may begin or end with the month in which the performance takes place, going through all twelve in order without breaks. The form should be conveyed to the listener ahead of performance (verbally, or as movement headings on the program). One was written in the summer of 2020 during the Coronavirus Pandemic in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. It was commissioned by and dedicated to the violinist Patrick Yim.

John Liberatore: Between Light and Shade (2023) — world premiere
This short virtuosic piece is the first in a series written for violinist Patrick Yim and drawing inspiration from Lu Hsun's Wild Grass. Patrick introduced me to this marvelous collection of aphoristic stories as a way for pairing my piece with other pieces in his repertoire. Reading the collection, I was particularly taken by the story The Shadow's Leave-Taking, in which the shadow (your shadow) says: "I shall leave you and sink into darkness. Yet darkness will swallow me up, and light also will cause me to vanish." I hesitate to assign a specific, programmatic relationship between my piece and this short story. Doing so seems antithetical to the text, with its layers of ambiguity and meaning. It would dispel the shadow, so to speak. Instead, I will say that the music and the text "fit" together in my imagination, in that mysterious way in which music interacts with the written word.

Ilari Kaila: Solitude (2021)
Dedicated to violinist Patrick Yim who commissioned the work at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, with funds from Hong Kong Baptist University. Premiered in an online recital at the Chung Chi College Chapel, and broadcast as part of the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s concert series on March 14, 2022, under social distancing measure imposed during Hong Kong’s first major outbreak.

Timothy Page: Aerial Roots (2023)
Aerial Roots is a solo concert piece for violin and electronic sounds taken from a multimedia work I am creating with Finnish violinist Eriikka Maalismaa. An online, site-specific version of this piece is featured in the virtual exhibition Electric Dreams, opened on August 25, 2022 and presented by the Computational Media and Arts Thrust (CMA) at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Guangzhou Campus. Among the sound sources for the work’s electronics are field recordings I gathered in Hong Kong in late February 2022, a historical moment in which silence following political upheaval coincided the with peak of the catastrophic fifth wave of the pandemic. It was possible, for example, to record the creaking of bamboo swaying lightly in the wind in the village of Wu Kau Tang, with nearly zero intrusion from the ambient urban soundscape. For me this period conjured images of Hong Kong returning to a state of nature. 

Takuma Itoh: A Melody from an Unknown Place (2020)
Commissioned by violinist Patrick Yim, and premiered in Hong Kong at the CUHK's Midday Oasis recital series in 2022.

Date: February 21, 2023 (Tuesday)
Time: 7:30 PM
Venue: Main Hall, Shaw Auditorium, HKUST