Violinist Paul Huang to headline National Symphony Orchestra concerts

11/24/2020 07:39 PM
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Violinist Paul Huang. CNA photo Nov. 24, 2020
Violinist Paul Huang. CNA photo Nov. 24, 2020

Taipei, Nov. 24 (CNA) Violinist Paul Huang (黃俊文), the youngest artist in residence at the National Symphony Orchestra, will headline four upcoming concerts, highlighting chamber music, the group said Tuesday.

"I'm honored to have the opportunity to work with the orchestra throughout the season and present to the Taiwanese audience music I love," said the 30-year-old Huang at a press conference in Taipei.

Huang, the first-prize winner at the 2009 Tibor Varga International Violin Competition Sion in Switzerland, will give his first performance in the orchestra's 2020-2021 season at the National Concert Hall in Taipei on Saturday.

He will play Johannes Brahms' "Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77" with the orchestra, a piece Lü Shao-chia (呂紹嘉), artistic advisor to the orchestra who will conduct the concert, described as "a more substantial chamber music piece."

People can see the interactions between musicians playing different instruments and not just focus on the soloist, Lü said.

Violinist Paul Huang (left) and National Symphony Orchestra Artistic Advisor Lü Shao-chia. CNA photo Nov. 24, 2020
Violinist Paul Huang (left) and National Symphony Orchestra Artistic Advisor Lü Shao-chia. CNA photo Nov. 24, 2020

This will be the first time in 11 years Huang has played the piece in public, after choosing it for his performance in the final of the 2009 competition.

"I decided not to play the piece after the competition, because I needed more time to understand Brahms, especially through his chamber music works," said Huang. "Being named as an artist in residence made me believe it's a good time to share the piece in Taiwan."

Lü said he originally didn't pair himself with Huang for any concerts this season, but returned to Taiwan for the concert because conductor Vassily Sinaisky was unable to make the trip.

Speaking about the upcoming concert on Saturday, Lü said the orchestra has been fortunate enough to be able to continue with its plan to play three ballet pieces by Igor Stravinsky to mark the 50th anniversary of the Russian composer's death in 2021.

Apart from "the Firebird" to be played at the Saturday concert, the orchestra performed "Petrushka" over the weekend and is scheduled to play "the Rite of Spring" in March, according to Lü.

Before Huang's guest performance in the first half of the concert and "the Firebird" in the second half, the orchestra will open the event with "Eight Russian Folk Songs, Op. 58," by another Russian composer Anatoly Liadov.

Paul Huang plays Fritz Kreisler's Recitative and Scherzo-Caprice for Solo Violin, Op. 6 during a press conference in Taipei.

Huang will then give three chamber music concerts, the first on Sunday at the Recital Hall in Taipei, then at the Miaobei Art Center in Miaoli County on Dec. 4 and at the Emsemble Hall in Yunlin County on Dec. 5.

The violinist said the concerts will focus on works by French composers, including Gabriel Fauré, Jean-Marie Leclair and César Franck.

The Sunday concert will open with French composer Camille Saint-Saens' "Fantasie for Violin and Harp, Op. 124," while the other two will start with a selection of works by late Taiwanese composer Tyzen Hsiao (蕭泰然).

Apart from the scheduled concerts, Huang said in his role as artist in residence, he hopes to focus on music education.

The musician, who is based in the United States, said he has already held classes with students at Taipei National University of the Arts and elementary school kids in Miaoli County.

(By Kay Liu)

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