Congratulations Kendrick Fu on your first book completion!
Kendrick worked on each piece very carefully, and was patient with challenges. As I normally shuffle the order of pieces, he has been way into Suzuki book 2, but he just finished the last piece of Suzuki book 1 on October 31 (he even had a lesson before trick-or-treating). Congrats again and keep up your great work, Kendrick! We had fun afterwards with his little brother, in costume :)
This Sunday the 22nd, Hilltop Music Collective is to play a season opening concert at Second Congregational Church in Greenwich, CT.
The program is titled American Dreams in which I will be playing Bernstein's masterpiece, "Serenade after Plato's Symposium". This piece has been on my list of repertoire to work on, and even though I am only going to be playing the first movement this time, I am very very excited to perform it! Many thanks to my awesome pianist, Benjamin Steinhardt, for playing the complicated orchestra part!
I read "Symposium" in Japanese, trying to learn the background of this piece. Bernstein himself wrote that the piece is not truly based on the literature, but it is good to know the guideline. It was hard to understand it initially, without any knowledge of Ancient Greek culture but I got the idea.
Even before I had known that I was playing solo in this concert, I "met" a big statue of Mr. Bernstein while traveling in Japan. He founded Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, and this is in the park where a performing center and a home of PMF is also built in.
My amazing colleague from OPUSFEST 2013, Micha Haran posted a video of the Serenade on YouTube (please see below). Enjoy!
On the same program, I am excited to play Copland's Appalachian Spring for 13 instruments!
The concert is at Second Congregational Church (139 East Putnam Ave. Greenwich, CT), 3pm. Please stop by if you are around!
Before it’s going to be overdue...
Ian Shum finished the ABC’s of Violin book 3 on October 5! Congratulations!
This book introduces the third position which is a big and important step-up. Keep up the great work, Ian!
And the next day, Hisui Miyazaki had her very first book completion! Congratulations! She only started playing the violin in January and is already through most of Suzuki book 1, and currently working on a piece in book 2. She has a good dexterity with her left hand and is making a fast progress every week. You, too, keep up a great work, Hisui!
And news flash! My student, Rachel won the concertmaster of Young People's Symphony of Young Artists Philharmonic! Congratulations, Rachel!!
As the new school year starts, I'm welcoming back my students. There have been some book completions over the summer and recently, so let me share them first.
Ian Shum finished Leopold Auer's "Graded Course of Violin Playing" book 1 on July 13. Congrats! This thick book trains students with all kinds of rhythms and tone production. It always takes long to finish it but it's so worth it. As you have always been, keep up the great work, Ian!
Recently, Kai Uehara had his very first book completion on September 8. Happy and rewarding moment! Congratulations! He is also close to finishing Suzuki Book 1. Keep up the great work!
And here is my big congrats to someone who advanced in Young Artists Philharmonic. Alexandra Wynne, playing Handel's violin sonata, moved up to the middle level orchestra! We are excited to start the new journey.
I am planning to do a small concert in the fall, and a formal recital at the end of the year. I could potentially take a few more private students, so if anyone is interested, please use the contact form below.
Happy Fall! Another exciting season is starting. I'm first sharing Greenwich Petite Concert dates for the fall.
At Greenwich Library Children's Room, 10:30am-11:30am with an instrument petting zoo at the end. We welcome ages 0 and up. Always free and no registrations needed. Come join us!
I'm so proud of all of my students' achievements during the 2016-17 school year! The student recital and showcase were very successful and I had some of my young students perform in Petite Concerts in Greenwich, CT.
Congratulations to the following students for passing auditions for Young Artists Philharmonic this year!
And to Alexandra Klein, for winning the concertmaster position of Young People's Symphony for every concert, and for moving up to the flagship orchestra, Young Artists Philharmonic!
Ian Shum and Alexandra Klein performed chamber music at Young Artists Philharmonic gala in May. I hope that they found a new passion in chamber music.
At Petite Concerts, I had Kai Uehara, Ian Shum and Emma Cheuk perform. More young stars to perform next season!
Now, book completions! It's long been overdue but Piet Hopmann finished three books in June. Congratulations! He will be moving onto Suzuki Violin School Book 3 and ABC's of Violin Book 3 in the fall. Can't wait for him to come back from his vacation.
All students have been working hard, and once again, I'm very very proud of each one of them. I'm planning to provide more performance opportunities next season.
I'm posting a video of my performance of "Graceful Ghost" by Bolcom.
This was at Hilltop Chamber Music Concert at Second Congregation Church in Greenwich, CT.
Benjamin, the pianist, and I had a great time performing this piece and we would love to repeat this somewhere. I hope you'll enjoy the video as much as we had fun playing it!
Here is a long-overdue achievement list!
Alexandra Klein won a concertmaster seat of Stamford Young People's Symphony in the fall. Congratulations!
And some book completions --
Hana Sato's first book completion was "Early Start on the Violin" book 1. We did almost all pieces of this thick book and this is the book with which she started her studies. Congrats!
Tentaro Sato (Hana's brother) finished "Solos for Young Violinists" book 2 soon after Hana finished hers. Congrats to you, too!
Ian finished "ABC's of Violin" book 2 at a very good speed. He has also been appointed to the first stand of the second violin at Stamford Young String Ensemble this fall. Congrats on the double accomplishments!
I had a great opportunity to meet and work with Malaysian young musicians at a masterclass. They each played a portion of their piece and at the end, I gave a group lesson on bow strokes. Each musician showed diligent work they had been doing, and approached my suggestions carefully. They were quiet in general but were very eager to learn.
They took me out to a local food court afterwards and I got to enjoy noodles and pork dish that I had never had before. These are the cute violinists that I shared a table with :)
The director of the music school, Siew Ngan, has been involved in many charity works, and she has been donating lots of instruments to Orhestra of the Filipino Youth (so that's how I got the connection to do this master class).
It was so nice to meet them all. They made my stay really fun and comfortable, by giving me a ride, and a beautiful flower (so my hotel room felt more home) to mention the least. Thank you so much!!
In July, I visited Kuala Lumpur for Child Aid Asia Malaysia, as a visiting mentor of Orchestra of the Filipino Youth. OFY was to perform along with Malaysian musicians at Child Aid Asia concerts, and I to coach them and play with them.
It had been three years since I saw OFY members. Some of them had grown a foot and also as an orchestra, they had improved a lot! I did one sectional with violinists and violists, and they were so quick to absorb what I teach and within just less than an hour, they sounded like a more mature group.
The orchestra members became good friends. During breaks they exchanged phrases in their languages. While playing music it's easier to make bonds with each other, but they also had cultural exchanges.
They don't hesitate to show their passion for music, and they purely love and enjoy playing instruments. That reminded me the most important part of being a musician.
This photo is after the first performance. Many many thanks to everyone in the photo; the most wonderful staff of Ang Misyon (OFY), and my amazing colleagues, and last but not least, the members of the orchestra! OFY has been, and will always be my inspiration, and once again I learned a lot from your passion and love for music. Simply put, I LOVE OFY! Salamat from the bottom of my heart!