Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Gibson and Thomas Kotcheff.
Thomas Kotcheff and Sarah Gibson first met as graduate students at the University of Southern California. Both composers and pianists, their shared passion for bringing contemporary music to life inspired them to form their piano duo, HOCKET, in 2014. Dedicated to broadening the definition of the piano duo, HOCKET began commissioning works by today’s most sought after composers. These works are for all combinations of keyboard instruments: piano four-hands, two pianos, toy pianos, melodicas, and small percussion.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
HOCKET’s mission from the beginning has always been to share our passion for chamber music, commission new artists, collaborate with innovative creators and expand the definition of what it means to be a piano duo. There have been years where we’ve self-produced many of our concerts, performed upwards of 20 concerts a year, and times where it’s been slower. But, we’ve always kept our mission at the forefront of what we do. As long as we’re creating and sharing music with our audiences, the hard work pays off.
Can you give our readers some background on your music?
HOCKET is a cutting edge piano duo based in Los Angeles. Lauded as “brilliant” by Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times and as an “adventurous young ensemble” by The New Yorker, members Sarah Gibson and Thomas Kotcheff are both pianist-composers dedicated to commissioning and performing contemporary music. They have performed in some of the most exciting festivals and venues across the country including The Bang on Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA, MATA Festival in New York City, The Center for New Music in San Francisco, the Carlsbad Music Festival, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s “Noon to Midnight” Festival. Together, they have premiered over one hundred chamber and solo works and have collaborated with the premier, new music ensembles Eighth Blackbird and the Bang on a Can All-Stars. They have performed concerti with the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, USC Thornton Edge, Oberlin Sinfonietta, and Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra. HOCKET has received grants from the Presser Foundation and The Earle Brown Music Foundation and has been a selected artist in Firebird Ensemble’s Outstanding Young Artists Initiative and Eighth Blackbird’s Blackbird Creative Lab. HOCKET is a Piano Spheres core artist and a performing artist on the Schoenhut Piano Company Artist Roster.
We are most proud of the music we have commissioned and how it has expanded the repertoire for the traditional piano duo ensemble. We love working with composers and viewing the music from both sides of the music stand (as composer and performers). Growing up as pianists who loved new music, we always looked to ensembles who were changing the way classical music was viewed. We strive to inspire and develop classical music in ways that haven’t been done yet.
- Website: www.HOCKET.org
- Instagram: @HOCKETensemble
- Facebook: @HOCKET
- Twitter: @HOCKETensemble