Bow & Hammer

Creating 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 2018—2019 season marks the fifth year of their series IndustryNight, the third of Élevé, and the premiere of Chamber Sundays and the Coursed Concert. Additionally, they have held residencies at Banff Centre for the Creative Arts, and overseas at Orvieto Musica. Bow & Hammer’s ventures have connected them with artists/collaborators in France, Italy, New York, Los Angeles, Canada, Spain, Germany, and Australia. Looking forward, Bow & Hammer is working to tour Élevé and the Coursed Concert nationally, premiere a commission by composer Sebastian Huydts, and record a full-length album featuring Mozart, Ravel and Bartók.



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

Entrepreneur, activist, and musician, Elizabeth Newkirk encompasses thoughtfulness and artistry in all of her work, performances, and collaborations.  Inspired by the slow-food movement, she is dedicated to creating concerts that mirror the thoughtfulness and thoroughness of the food movement, creating connections and a camaraderie among other disciplines. 

Growing up on her family farm in Indiana, Newkirk came to Chicago to pursue studies in Piano Performance. She received her MM from Roosevelt University with a minor in Collaborative Piano where she studied with Ludmila Lazar, Dana Brown and Angela Yoffe. Receiving her BA from Columbia College, she studied under pianist/composer Sebastian Huydts and jazz with Dennis Luxion. Additionally, she has had the privilege to work with Mary Sauer, Cliff Colnot, and Sylvia Wang. When not in the thick of rehearsals or performance, Newkirk enjoys cooking, supporting her colleagues, and of course, running with her cattle dog, Lady.