Charlie Parker’s Yardbird – Lyric Opera of Chicago
“Conductor Kelly Kuo and his small but superb orchestra are a seamless match for the singers in this work.”
-Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times
“Conductor Kelly Kuo led the 16-member chamber ensemble in a vital performance that sounded well-prepared and coordinated with the stage action.”
-Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review
“Lyric’s instrumentalists are pure perfection, and under the steady direction of Kelly Kuo, they weave their way through Schnyder’s dark, jazzy music.”
-Peter Thomas Ricci, In the Loop Magazine
“Yet there is grace in this tragedy – grace in the sound of Bird’s inimitable horn reflected through the prism of a 16-piece orchestra under the fluent leadership of Kelly Kuo.”
-Lawrence Johnson, Chicago on the Aisle
Rising Stars in Concert – Lyric Opera of Chicago
“Young American conductor Kelly Kuo seemed adept at making the constant shifting from one genre, era and set of techniques to another go smoothly.”
-Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun-Times
“…supported by the Lyric Opera Orchestra under Kelly Kuo, a most useful young conductor to have around on these occasions.”
-John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
Galileo Galilei - Cincinnati Opera
"In the pit, conductor Kelly Kuo led a nuanced performance of Glass' score...Kuo partnered seemlessly with the singers."
-Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer
"Kelly Kuo, in his Cincinnati Opera debut, led skillfully in the pit, with a chamber orchestra comprising... members of the Cincinnati Symphony. Balances between stage and pit were excellent.”
-Mary Ellyn Hutton, Music in Cincinnati
"The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's accompaniment from the pit seemed colorful and judiciously paced under the baton of Kelly Kuo."
-Jay Harvey, Jay Harvey Upstage
“Conductor Kelly Kuo…led an exciting performance and also kept pit and stage in balance.”
Macbeth – Anchorage Opera
“Top honors, however, should probably go to conductor Kelly Kuo. The sound… was full and taut as Kuo brought out the drama and lyricism. The orchestra played with robust enthusiasm and accuracy.”
-Mike Dunham, Anchorage Daily News
La traviata – Kentucky Opera
“Kuo led the Louisville Orchestra...with considerable verve, and no shortage of idiomatic delicacy…the sound was balanced and quite full.”
-Andrew Adler, The Courier-Journal
Così fan tutte – Madison Opera
“Madison Opera’s decadent production of Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte” lights up the Capitol Theater this weekend with a talented ensemble cast and fine orchestra conducted by Kelly Kuo. Kuo’s flowing, smooth conducting style fits the piece well.”
-Lindsay Christians, Wisconsin State Journal
"Conducting the score…from the harpsichord, another Madison newcomer, Kelly Kuo, ran a tight ship. And I loved his clever keyboard noodlings into which he slipped at least two quotations from other Mozart scores -- the "Rondo alla turca" and the Don Giovanni Serenade.
-John W. Barker, Isthmus: The Daily Page
Madama Butterfly – Eugene Opera
"The conductor Kelly Kuo drew lush and expressive playing from this group. Rarely have I heard this orchestra in such good form.
-Marilyn Farwell, The Register Guard
"Storm of Strings" - Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra
"Bravo to conductor Kelly Kuo, whose candidacy for Music Director of the CCO should be beyond question after last night’s music making. The young maestro’s...manner (on and off the podium) belies rock solid musicianship, not to mention a total dedication to eliciting the best sound from what should be his orchestra."
-Rafael de Acha, Scene and Heard International
"He is a leader of exceptional musical gifts, who has a clear technique on the podium and an impressive rapport with audiences. As has been the case all season, the musicians performed exceedingly well for him."
-Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer
Homage to the Past – Oregon Mozart Players
"Kuo has transformed this chamber group into...a band of professional, enthusiastic and superior musicians, playing confidently as one unit."
-John Farnworth, The Register Guard
“Tales from a Floating World” – Ballet Fantastique (Tan Dun: Crouching Tiger Concerto)
“Conductor Kelly Kuo led his orchestra through the challenging music with a steady hand and a positive aura. Overall, this collaboration between Ballet Fantastique and the Oregon Mozart Players was well-crafted and wonderfully realized.”
-Alison Kaufman, The Register Guard