Programme Director, Macau International Music Festival (from 2020)
Born in Macao and educated as a pianist and a conductor at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, the Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory, Lio Kuokman is praised by the Philadelphia Inquirer as ‘a startling conducting talent’. He was the laureate of the third Svetlanov International Conducting Competition in Paris and has served as assistant conductor to music director Yannick Nézet-Seguin with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Programme Director of the Macao International Music Festival since January 2020, in the recent years Lio Kuokman has successfully collaborated with some of the leading orchestras across globe. Engagements over the past seasons in Europe, Northern America and Asia have included debuts and re-invitations with Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taiwan, Seoul Philharmonic, NHK, Tokyo Metropolitan, Hiroshima and Kyoto Symphony, Moscow Philharmonic, Russian National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille, Latvian National, Philadelphia Orchestra (regular series and at the Vail Festival) and Detroit Symphony among many others. Recent distinguished appearances include a celebration concert with Hong Kong Philharmonic in the presence of the President of China Xi Jinping. Lio Kuokman enjoys a special relationship with Sinfonia Varsovia whom he conducted in a number of concerts featuring Nelson Goerner, Nicholas Angelich, Nelson Freire and Anne Queffélec during the 38th Festival International de Piano de la Roque d’Anthéron, He also collaborated with Sinfonia Varsovia at the La Folle Journées Festival in Nantes, Japan and Warsaw.Read more
Equally sought after as an opera conductor, Lio has conducted various opera productions including La bohème, L’elisir d’amore, Pagliacci, Turandot, Il Trovatore, Rigoletto, Madama Butterfly, Carmen and was invited by Maestro Valery Gergiev to be the guest conductor at the Mariinsky theatre conducting Rimsky-Kosarkov’s The Maid of Pskov.
Lio Kuokman has studied with Otto-Werner Mueller and Hugh Wolff and attended master-classes with Sir Simon Rattle, Michael Tilson Thomas, James Levine, Christopher Eschenbach and Alan Gilbert. He is a founding member and President of the Macao Chamber Music Association. For his contributions to the development of arts and culture, Lio has received a Certificate of Commendation and Medal of Cultural Merit from both governments of Hong Kong and Macao.
“A startling conducting talent.”
“…At the helm was the gifted young conductor Lio Kuokman who handled the baton with a grace and ease that matched the aesthetic of the musical landscape he sought to craft. The performance was a swirling milieu of orchestral color that left the listener just this side of paradise. As dream-inspired as Coleridge’s original reverie, between Kuokman’s clear interpretation and the evocative playing of the orchestra, the constantly shifting orchestral landscape was awash with color and light.”