The Paragon Trio is a newly formed chamber ensemble based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Consisting of Paul Hung (flute), Aidan Wong (clarinet), and Nicole Linaksita (piano), the ensemble seeks to explore and expand the little known repertoire for this unusual instrumentation through performing hidden gems and commissioning new works. After working as colleagues in various organizations and projects such as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, Music on Main, Postmodern Camerata and more, the group has come together and is excited to present this ensemble in innovative and eclectic ways.
Nicole Linaksita, Piano – Canadian pianist Nicole Linaksita has performed solo and chamber concerts in Canada, USA and Europe. A participant in national and international competitions, she was the Grand Prize winner as well as the winner of the prize for the best performance of the test piece written by Francois-Hugues Leclair for the CMC Stepping Stone Competition in 2019. In addition, she was the winner of the Westman Communications Group Q Country Star FM Third Prize Award at the 2019 Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition. Other prizes include First Place, Audience and Teacher’s Prizes at the 2011 Seattle International Piano Competition as well as semi-finalist for the 2015 and 2018 OSM Manulife Competition and 2013 Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition. She was chosen to be the representative for the Vancouver branch of the BCRMTA Provincial Competition, winning Best performance of a Canadian work for Butterflies and Bobcats by David L. McIntyre. She is also a two time national finalist for the Canadian Music Competition, and was selected to participate as one of 30 finalists in the CMC Stepping Stone Competitions in 2012 and 2016, placing among the top six in 2016. In 2017, she was a silver medalist in the Vancouver International Music Competition, and won first prize and audience choice for the BC Bösendorfer Piano Competition.
Nicole was the BC piano representative for the 2018 Canadian National Music Festival and won third prize in the piano class. Nicole has frequently performed the works of contemporary composers such as Carl Vine, John Psathas, Lowell Liebermann, Karen Tanaka, Randolph Peters, Nikolai Kapustin, Henri Dutilleux, Alexina Louie, Jean Coulthard, David Rakowski, Marc-André Hamelin, William Bolcom, T. Patrick Carrabré, and Derek Bermel. Her interest in new music has also led her to work with a number of composers, including Dorothy Chang and Yota Kobayashi. She premiered Kobayashi’s “Concrescence” for piano and electronics. More recently, she played with the Music on Main All-Star Band for their Vancouver premiere of Steve Reich’s “Music for 18 Musicians”, as well as for the Canadian premiere of John Luther Adams’ “Ten Thousand Birds”, directed by Vicky Chow. Nicole has been a part in the Sonic Boom Festival held by Vancouver Promusica since 2017 by playing piano for the mixed ensemble concerts as well as for the Student composers Masterclasses. She recently recorded works by John Oliver and Dorothy Chang with the Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra. Additionally, she frequently performs with the Postmodern Camerata, and Pacific Spirit United Church Choir and Orchestra. She has been invited multiple times to play with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra as an extra musician on the synth and piano.
Paul Hung, Flute – Born in Taiwan, Paul Hung entered the Langley Fine Arts School at the age of 13 and made his first concerto debut at the age of 16 at the Whistler Music Festival. He was then featured several times as the winner of the Vancouver Kiwanis competition and awarded the Tom Lee Music Scholarship for Excellence in Music Performance. He was a recipient of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Galaxie Rising Stars Award” and placed second in National Music Competitions 2008. Paul performed with the Vancouver Youth Orchestra as a result of attaining first place in the concerto competition in 2009. Soon after, he performed as a soloist with the Abbotsford Symphony and New Westminster Symphony as well as winning second place at UBC’s concerto competition. In May of 2011, Paul won a spot in the YouTube Symphony and performed with 100 other musicians around the world at the Sydney Opera House.
As an active soloist and chamber musician, Paul performed in music festivals such as the Banff music festival, Domaine Forget, MusicFest Canada, Performing Arts BC, Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival, Music on Main, New Music Festival Vancouver, Sonic Boom Festival, VSO New Music Festival, Talis Chamber Music Festival, Redshift Music Society, Health Arts Society and so on. Paul is also the founder of Vancouver based ensembles – Fireside Quintet and Elysian Trio. Paul plays frequently with Vancouver Symphony, Okanagan Symphony, and Kamloops Symphony and other professional chamber ensembles. He was also the acting principal flute at many of these orchestras/ensembles. In 2018, Paul was the featured soloist with the UBC Symphonic Wind Ensemble performing Joel Puckett’s Shadow of Sirius at the Chan Center for the Performing Arts.
Paul was a student of Lorna McGhee, the principal flutist of Pittsburgh symphony. He has also studied under Brenda Fedoruk, and then Christie Reside during his Master’s degree at UBC School of Music. He is currently a faculty of Vancouver Academy of Music.
Aiden Mulldoon Wong, Clarinet – A native of Vancouver, BC, Aidan Mulldoon Wong is an active freelance performer and emerging composer. He appears frequently with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra where he has played acting principal, second, and auxiliary clarinets, and held the position of section/bass clarinet for the VSO’s 2018/19 season. In the Summer of 2020, Aidan will be performing with the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra in Boulder, CO. He has performed with numerous ensembles including the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, the Vancouver Island Symphony, and is on substitute lists from coast-to-coast including the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and the New World Symphony. An avid chamber musician, Aidan has participated in the Talis Chamber Music Festival in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, and was a core member of the Hikari Wind Quintet, an ensemble specializing in the arrangement and performance of video game music presented in a classical format. As a soloist, Aidan has performed with the University of British Columbia Symphony Orchestra, where he gave the North American premiere of “II Concerto” by Oscar Navarro after ccompeting in the 2017 UBC Concerto Competition. His love of performing has led to many premieres of new works featuring or including the clarinet.
As a composer, Aidan’s style is inspired by the film and game score composers that piqued his childhood interest. His works have been read in the prestigious Jean Coulthard Readings hosted by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the annual UBC Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Wind Ensemble readings. Aidan’s pieces have been performed in concerts and recitals globally, with recent performances in Canada, the US, Europe, and Australia. He has composed scores for films entered in the BC Film Festival and for visual art animatics. Recently, Aidan was commissioned by the Vancouver-based Elysian Trio, set to tour throughout Western Canada and at the 2020 World Harp Congress. Other commissions include works for the UBC Centennial Committee and numerous solo works.
To find out more about the Paragon Trio please visit their website: paragontrio.com
About the Performance
The Knox Concert Series programme features three contrasting works, beginning with Florent Schmitt’s Sonatine en Trio. Just as in a sonata form, this piece unfolds in four movements: the first, a charming conversation between the instruments; the second, a waltz with an off-kilter and almost haunting feel; the third, a melancholy and wistful adagio; and the fourth, a rousing folk dance that ends with a flourish. Truly, each movement possesses its own quirky personality – akin to Schmitt himself.
L’arc en ciel is a newly composed piece by Cathy Kuo. On this work, Kuo says “This piece was written in the early summer of 2020, during my quarantine in Vancouver upon returning home from overseas. The global pandemic made such a huge impact on our lives. In addition to the travel ban in both countries, I was stuck in Taiwan for my contracted job during the spring, so I couldn’t immediately return to Canada where my son was alone in Vancouver. During that time of frustration and uncertainty, I took great solace in learning to be more patient and to always keep hope. Rainbows are a strong symbol of peace, hope, diversity, and God’s promise (in the Old Testament). It is my hope that L’arc en ciel will evoke a similar feeling of comfort to the listener, no matter what meaning they resonate with most.”
Of stark contrast to the previous pieces, Guillaume Connesson’s Techno-Parade seeks to emulate the raw energy and relentless sense of pulse of the Techno and EDM genres. The piece features many extended techniques throughout the ensemble – glissandi in the clarinet, quasi beatbox flute, prepared piano, and even scrubbing the piano’s strings with a brush. In using these peculiar sounds, Connesson treats each instrument like a machine, achieving a fascinating sound world that is decidedly atypical of this ensemble. At times robotic, mechanical, cacophonous, and aggressive, Techno-Parade is a riveting tour de force from start to finish.
KnoxVan Events Presents The Paragon Trio
An Instrumental Measures Musical Highlight
A Free Virtual Performance
Tuesday, November 10 2020 7:30PM – Video Release 8:00PM – Performer’s Talk-back
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