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KnoxVan presents Vitara Duo

What Could've Been

A Virtual, Free Performer Highlight  

KnoxVan is proud to present our next free, virtual performer's highlight in the Instrumental Measures Performer Highlight Series.

Our Talk-Back with the Duo 

During the talk-back with the Duo after their highlight release patrons learned about how the Duo got into music as children and how they met at UBC and started playing many types of music and have the ability to explore their love of improvisation.

They selected the playlist for this concert by choosing songs that they genuinely enjoy listening to and created their own arrangements for the highlight. They also wanted a chance to connect with their patronage during this time of lock-down and explore both the negative things that have happened such as cancelled events and missed friends and family members but also look on the bright side of things – such as the different opportunities that it has presented.

We know that this Duo is exceptionally talented and well deserving of success but in light of this lockdown Tiktok has provided Kurt with a wonderful opportunity – he has gained over a million likes and over 60 thousand followers! The Duo look forward to working on this success together in the fall and exploring opportunities on other platforms as well such as YouTube together.

About the Performance

When the coronavirus took over the world as a pandemic, many of our performances throughout the year including weddings, care centers, and holidays were affected. This performance is dedicated to the ones who’ve had a change of plans due to the pandemic but have made the most of it!

About Vitara Duo

The Vitara Duo is a piano and violin duo made up of Kurt Chen, violin, and Anican Yu, piano. They have an innate talent for improvisation and performing by ear, which means that this group can play almost any requested song given fair notice ahead of time to prepare without the need to arrange sheet music! The duo has also received accolades for their numerous videos on social media showcasing improvisation and their arrangements. Their strengths lie in repertoire consisting of jazz, ballads, and pop songs. The Vitara Duo members have experience performing at weddings, concert series, receptions, company events, and formals. Throughout the summer of 2019 and the year 2020, the pair have been playing together on many occasions all throughout the Vancouver area. Their versatility allows them to play anywhere (as long as there’s an outlet for the electronic piano)!

Kurt Chen (Violinist)

Kurt Chen is a third-year at the UBC School of Music. His interest in violin emerged at the age of four and began learning under Mo Yeung, followed by Siu Feng Wei, Evelyn Creaser-Rumley, and Nicholas Wright. Currently, he studies with David Gillham at UBC. He has been a member of the Vancouver Academy of Music’s orchestras and the Chamber Music Institute. Kurt has had the opportunity to perform and share his passion in a variety of a locations. Most recently, Kurt travelled to Hong Kong to teach young musicians orchestral playing. He also was given the opportunity to attend the Banff International String Quartet Competition with the Kolden Quartet in August of 2016 to learn from talented musicians such as Barry Shiffman and the Dover Quartet.  

Anican Yu (Pianist)

Anican Yu always had an aptitude and passion for playing music and performing for others. He is a third-year at the UBC School of Music, studying with Terence Dawson. Throughout his musical career, he has challenged himself to reach higher standards and strive to meet his fullest potential in piano performance. He made his piano debut when won multiple music festivals in Prince George and participated in Provincial Festivals. He also performed at the 2015 Canada Winter Games with the band Bright City Heights. Anican’s playing style includes Classical, Jazz, and Modern music. He played at many weddings, events, and shows throughout his life by himself or with some of Canada's most exceptional musicians. In Zhengzhou, China, Anican advertised a Music School by performing in numerous shows and venues for the two months he spent over there. His performances inspired and encouraged young musicians to enroll in the school and learn music.

Our Community Partner

Our Community Partner for this highlight is proudly The Visual Space Gallery. The Visual Space Gallery is located on Dunbar Street and the gallery works with local and international artists of many mediums. The gallery also offers a gallery shop, event space and the opportunity for artists to rent the gallery for their own shows and exhibitions. Currently the exhibition A BRIGHT THREAD from two artists, Atty Gell & Jane Stanier, is hanging until August 15th. You can find more information on the show and the gallery on their website