Biography

LOKE HOE KIT cello

Described by The Straits Times as ‘probably the most
visible local cellist to emerge [from his generation]’,
Loke Hoe Kit has distinguished himself as one of
Singapore’s leading cellists. Loke started playing the
cello at the age of 12. Under the tutelage of Herminia
Ilano, Loke attained the Licentiate of the Royal Schools
of Music in cello performance. At 16, he was accepted
into the class of esteemed American cellist Nathaniel
Rosen – former assistant and protégé of the legendary
Gregor Piatigorsky. That same year, Loke made his
concerto debut playing Saint-Saëns’ 1st concerto with

the Braddell Heights Symphony Orchestra.

In the USA, Loke studied at the Mannes College of
Music, New York City, and the Southern Methodist
University, Dallas, where he received the Meadows
Artistic Scholarship Award. Besides working closely
with Rosen, Loke’s other principal teacher was the late
Paul Tobias, also a Piatigorsky pupil. Additionally,
Loke has worked with Alain Meunier, Fred Sherry and
Ann Setzer. At 17, he became the top-ranking cellist at
the 2005 Lynn Harrell Concerto Competition, organized
by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO), where his
performance of Bloch's Schelomo led an adjudicator,
DSO concertmaster Emanuel Borok,, to write: ‘You are
a wonderful cellist… I expect great things from you’.

Since his return, Loke has made numerous milestones
in Singapore’s concert scene. An advocate of
broadening the cello repertoire heard here, Loke has
given the Singapore premieres of such significant
works as Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 2 and Victor
Herbert’s Cello Concerto No. 2. In 2017, Loke gave his
solo recital at the Victoria Memorial Hall under the
auspices of the Young Virtuoso Recital Series,
becoming the first cellist presented by that prestigious
series. He has also given sold-out cello recitals at The
Esplanade arts centre and The Arts House.

As concerto soloist, Loke’s recent highlights include
appearances with the Korea Symphony Orchestra (in
Seoul), Braddell Heights Symphony Orchestra, and
MacPherson Philharmonic Orchestra, performing Lalo’s
Concerto, Saint-Saëns’ Concertos, and Brahms’
Double Concerto, and collaborating with such
international artists as conductor Mark Kadin (music
director, Krasnoyarsk Symphony) and violinist Ivan
Peev (ex-concertmaster, Sofia Philharmonic). Loke
also served as guest principal cellist of the Saigon
Philharmonic Orchestra, Vietnam.

In 2011, Loke released his debut album, ‘A Double
Life’, which innovatively features him overdubbing
himself in works for two cellos. The album was featured
as ‘CD of the Week’ on Symphony 92.4 FM. At the
album’s launch concert at The Esplanade, Hoe Kit
commemorated the centenary of composer Gian Carlo
Menotti by giving the Singapore premiere of Menotti’s
Suite for Two Cellos and Piano (a work featured in the
album). A versatile musician, Loke has also
established himself in the pop music scene playing
solo cello for celebrities like Stefanie Sun and F.I.R.,
with whom he toured. In addition to performing, Loke
has made intellectual contributions to the
understanding of Singapore’s musical heritage, in
particularly his research of Victoria Memorial Hall’s
history.

Loke plays on a 2003 cello by Fabrizio Di Pietrantonio,
Livorno, on generous loan from Dr Kee Kirk Chin. Loke
also owns a 1987 cello by Clifford Roberts,
Philadelphia, previously played by Nathaniel Rosen.