By Brittany Woolsey
11:19 AM PST, November 8, 2012
Audiences who attend performances by Iryna Krechkovsky and Kevin Kwan Loucks not only get to witness a musical partnership, but a partnership in life.
Krechkovsky, a violinist, and Loucks, a pianist, are married, which they say works to their advantage when playing music together.
"For a lot of our friends that are couples, criticism in music becomes personal criticism," Krechkovsky said. "I think that's why a lot of the times it doesn't work out. But we met working together, so we have a lot of respect for each other as musicians and people. I think we're very lucky to have one another and can do this together."
The Irvine-based couple will share their chemistry with an intimate Laguna Beach audience Nov. 15 as they perform to help preview and raise awareness for the Laguna Beach Music Festival, which takes place in February.
For the performance, Krechkovsky and Loucks will play pieces by Debussy, Brahms, Gershwin and Tchaikovsky.
The concert also will feature a nearly 400-year-old Stradivarius violin from 1689, valued at $5 million, which Krechkovsky won the opportunity to play for three years through a Canadian Council competition.
She said she won the use of the instrument by going through several stages for the competition, including sending a live CD to the judges, performing live in front of them, and finally being interviewed about how the instrument would advance her career.
Krechkovsky said she is excited to play the instrument for the Laguna Beach audience.
"If you have the abilities to express something through music, and you don't have the right tool to do that, you can never really have freedom because you're limited," she said.
Loucks added, "It's the equivalent of being a racecar driver. You've been driving pretty good cars, but then suddenly you get a top-of-the-line car and you think, 'This is going to change everything. I feel like I'm in total control.' It enhances what the person can already do and take them to a level that is really elite."
Prior to moving to Irvine this summer, the couple lived in New York, where they are finishing a doctorate program at Stony Brook University.
Loucks, who has performed in Laguna Beach before, said that the audiences in New York and Southern California are very different.
"People are spoiled in New York," he said. "On any given day, you have 10 concerts to choose from. People who aren't exposed to it appreciate it in a different way. People here are just so much more enthusiastic.
"We moved here because there's just so much potential. Orange County isn't saturated," Loucks continued. "There are a lot of musicians flooding the scene here. For classical music, it's very different."
Krechkovsky added, "Having had all the wonderful experiences that we had on the East Coast, like studying with wonderful teachers and collaborating with great artists, we wanted to bring that here and invite our friends to share their talents."
The couple are also in the process of starting a chamber music group, called Chamber Music OC, which will bring world-renowned classical musicians to Orange County to perform, give master classes and participate in outreach to those in need.
"We're really active and things have been pretty easy and encouraging for us," Loucks said.
If You Go
What: "Fall Salon" concert featuring Iryna Krechkovsky and Kevin Kwan Loucks
Where: Location will be announced upon ticket purchase
When: 6:30 p.m. Nov. 15
Information: (949) 715-9713 or Info@LagunaBeachMusicFestival.com