“Haven Trio’s performance was flawless. The trio took listeners on a journey of powerful emotions. The trio performed Make Me a Willow Cabin by Lee Kesselman and Nattsanger by Abbie Betinis. Clarinetist Kimberly Cole Luevano has complete control of the tone colors she produces. Her dynamic limits, both soft and loud, are almost unimaginable. Her technical skills are vast but are always in service of the work’s expression. Soprano Lindsay Kesselman’s range and ability to create countless timbral variation is unmatched. Pianist Midori Koga also has complete control of her medium. She has the unique ability to change moods and aesthetics within a piece in a way that seems effortless. Together, these three musicians paint pictures as much as create music. One cannot imagine an emotion they did not express through their performance, leaving the audience breathless.”
“The combination of soprano, clarinet and piano is a most attractive one. The vaulting soundscapes give an urgent depiction of the human drama as it unfolds: an archetypal battle of man vs nature; the coalescence of spoken word (in a kind of reportage style); singing and instrumental interjection bringing home the significance of human loss, set against a backdrop of geological insignificance: “for the earth, it was just a twinge.” The results are poignant as they are rare, particularly in a world awash with conservative recordings of traditional works.”
“Fleur de Son’s recently released ‘Bright Angel’ is an album that does right by new music in this country. It champions important composers….through amazingly performed works that are strong and indicative of contemporary styles without sacrificing their reverence for tradition. ‘Bright Angel’ features three of today’s most fabulously gifted interpreters of contemporary music…their performances are exquisite as is their ensemble chemistry.”
“Clarinetist Kimberly Cole Luevano is a most skillful artist who answers Etezady’s call to virtuosity with perfect runs while pianist Midori Koga accompanies her with clear and accurate pianism….(Kesselman) has a fully-loaded palette of tone color that she blends with the exquisite playing of Cole Luevano. (She) and Midori Koga play all of the music on this Fleur de Son disc with exquisite tone colors….(Kesselman’s) singing is simply gorgeous.”
“Luevano erweist sich als sichere Interpretin, die ihrem Instrument sowohl eine breite Farbpalette als auch große dynamische Bandbreite entlockt. Ihr Spiel ist spannungsvoll. und die Pianist Midori Koga weiß dies bestens zu unterstützen. ohne dabei in die Rolle des reinen Begleitens zu fallen. Ihre Interpretationen sind kraftvoll und glänzendurch hervorragende Motivarbeit.”
Luevano proves herself to be an assured interpreter who elicits both a wide range of colors as well as large dynamic range from her instrument. Her playing is exciting, and the pianist Midori Koga knows how best to support this without falling into the role of mere accompaniment. Their interpretations are vibrant, vigorous and shine through superb motivic work.
Review of Bright Angel: “Luevano has great energy, a pleasant tone, and solid fingers. Koga is solid at the keyboard, granting each score the essential character and rhythmic integrity. Kesselman steals the show in the Betinis with exceptional color and clarity, superb diction, and profoundly heartfelt phrasing; her command of both traditional lyricism and Sprechstimme is breathtaking. Betinis is a beautiful work in its own right, full of expert craft and deeply stirring sentiment, and clarinetists and vocalists alike need to check out this important contribution to their repertoire.”
Review of Atonement: “Kesselman is captivating in her selections, rendering them with her gorgeous voice, crisp diction, and a compelling tragic character… vivid and haunting. Luevano… crafts a nice pianissimo line… has excellent fingers and plays the growls, squeals, and smears in the Chambers with great zest. Koga is terrific at the keyboard, filling her parts with superb touch, technique, and color.”
Review of Bright Angel: “Luevano’s playing is perfectly suited to this repertoire. Her tone is clear, focused and flexible, producing both warmth and grit as appropriate, and her technique sparkles. Koga draws from the piano a range of colors and styles so wide that one can hardly imagine it to be a single instrument, and Kesselman, who describes herself as a “new music soprano” brings the Norwegian text to life so convincingly that even those who do not speak Norwegian can almost understand the meaning… By any objective standard, this disc is a brilliant production at all levels.”
“Hawaiʻi Public Radio was honored to present the Honolulu premiere of Twinge in our Atherton Performing Arts Studio on January 21, 2017. This new music concert had all the elements we look to bring HPRʻs discerning audiences: the celebration of a creative work by a Hawaiʻi resident (the composer Jon Magnussen), inspiration from artists from beyond our shores (the Haven Trio), quality storytelling and social relevance (from the source material by Barry Bearak for the NY Times Magazine on the 2004 Indonesian tsunami). I found the performance deeply moving as well as technically thrilling, and others in the audience were evidently equally engaged, as the majority of them remained for the post-performance discussion with the composer, performers, and author.”
“Congratulations on the whole disc. It’s a knock-out.”.
“Wonderful playing….so much passion!”