It is Chamber Music with a difference.

-Chicago Sun-Times


We create access points for the modern adult to experience Classical Music.

Bow & Hammer refers to Chicago-based violin & piano duo, formed by friends Kathryn Satoh and Elizabeth Newkirk, respectively. Just as their name addresses the core of their sound, their performances have been addressing the core of duo chamber music as “A New Niche” (Chamber Music of America Magazine) since they formed in 2012. Though they have a sweet tooth for compositions from the early 20th century (1917 to be exact), they use both modern and traditional repertoire to craft well-balanced programs that connoisseurs and newcomers alike can enjoy.

Bow & Hammer's productions include a colorful spectrum, recognizing that classical music can have different strokes for different folks. Some shows inspire cocktail menus with Ravel (a ‘Ravelation’, according to WFMT), while others preserve folk values of Bartok through Pakistani art installations (Chicago Sun Times). They even host audience-voted, brisket-fueled, dog friendly Battle of the Bands as one of their concert series! However it’s dressed, Bow & Hammer invites everyone into “another world--one of magic and story”, and maybe some fun too.

True to their foundation as collaborators, Bow & Hammer forges sometimes unconventional relationships. Chefs, retailers, farmers, and distillers are perhaps unorthodox but invaluable to their rapidly growing list of collaborators, curating “a space where one feels welcome to completely immerse themselves in the music and confront their innermost feelings.” Élevé and the Coursed Concert intertwine chamber music with other disciplines, mutually uplifting and inspiring each other’s creative output. IndustryNight and Chamber Sundays raise a toast to classical music in everyday life.

The 2019--2020 season features the recording of their first full-length album featuring works by Mozart, Ravel, and Bartók. Continuing in Chicago are new seasons of IndustryNight, Élevé, and the Coursed Concert. One of their classic concert offerings, Bow & Hammer in Concert, will be on the road sharing Bow & Hammer’s distinct programming, relatable narratives, and warm-hearted engagement with audiences they meet. Coming up, a regional Coursed Concert tour with celebrated chefs across the Midwest, the world premiere of Chicago composer Sebastian Huydts’s Sonata Op. 40, and a celebration of Bartók’s 140th birthday.


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kathryn (kit) satoh | bow | violin

Kathryn Satoh is impassioned by genuine and purposeful human connectivity, and uses these characteristics to drive her artistic career. A collaborator to the core, she sees chamber music as a timeless manifestation of social progress.

Trained as a vocalist and violinist, she has worked with theaters, opera companies, composers, poets, actors, and multi-disciplinary companies to premiere, preserve, or adapt works of diverse genres ranging from cabaret bar songs to large scale symphonic orchestral repertoire. 

Ms. Satoh holds two Bachelor of Music degrees with distinction from the University of Colorado in Violin and Voice Performance under the teaching of Lina Bahn (Corigliano Quartet) and Patrick Mason. In the rare spare moment, she loves to read/watch memoirs, eat home-cooked meals (made by herself or others; she is non-discriminant), be outdoors, and embark on adventures with friends.

elizabeth newkirk | hammer | piano

Intensely expressive with a fiery energy, Elizabeth Newkirk finds a profound home at the piano for artistry, activism, and dialogue. Inspired by the slow-food movement, she is dedicated to curating concerts that create connection and a camaraderie among disciplines.

Ms. Newkirk maintains a diverse background in solo and collaborative performances. Her passion for 20th century repertoire generate engagements that feature a variety of styles and genres including art song, opera/operetta, jazz, new works, and orchestral transcriptions.

She received her MM from Roosevelt University with a minor in Collaborative Piano, studying with Bartók expert Ludmila Lazar.  Her writing samples have explored Syzmanowski and folklore narrative, the differing perspectives of Americana from the music of Bernstein and Copland, and modern ideas for chamber music and the classical music world. 

When not at the piano, she’ll mostly likely be cooking, planning at trip, rearranging her apartment, or traversing with her two cattle dogs.