CarnegieHall op­por­tu­nity ex­cites Chi­nese vi­o­lin­ist

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By CHENNAN chennan@chi­

Carnegie Hall is about a 25-minute walk from Wang Ji­azhi’s apart­ment. It’s a fa­vorite place to visit for the Chi­nese vi­o­lin­ist, who has watched recitals there many times.

OnMarch 28, the 26-yearold will per­form at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in front of nearly 300 peo­ple.

“It will be the first recital I give at the CarnegieHall, and means so much to me,” says Wang, who has per­formed as a cham­ber mu­si­cian at the venue. “When I re­hearse at Carnegie Hall, I would pic­ture how I per­form on­stage and be­come ner­vous fac­ing the empty seats. But when I per­form in front of au­di­ences, es­pe­cially a full house, I feel very com­fort­able and happy.”

Her par­ents played lots of clas­si­cal mu­sic at home, but Wang also ab­sorbed a va­ri­ety of mu­sic gen­res, such as pop and jazz, which have in­spired her mu­si­cal in­ter­pre­ta­tions.

Her solid tech­nique led to of­fers from four es­tab­lished mu­sic schools in 2008, in­clud­ing the Bei­jing-based Cen­tral Con­ser­va­tory of Mu­sic and three New York in­sti­tu­tions: the Juil­liard School, the Man­hat­tan School ofMu­sic and the Bard Col­lege Con­ser­va­tory of Mu­sic.

She chose to study at Bard with a full schol­ar­ship un­der Li, a vi­o­lin pro­fes­sor.

“She is a nat­u­ral and quick learner,” says Li. “Dif­fi­cult things on the vi­o­lin seem ef­fort­less for her, and she is also a very in­tel­li­gent and lyri­cal per­former.”

Is­raeli vi­o­lin­ist Sh­muel Ashke­nasi also taught Wang while she stud­ied at Bard. “I am very im­pressed by her play­ing, which was very spe­cial and dif­fer­ent from oth­ers, and her tech­nique is amaz­ingly clean and ac­cu­rate,” says the 76-year-old.

In 2014, Wang be­gan study­ing at theYale School of Mu­sic un­der vi­o­lin­ist and pro­fes­sor Ani Kavafia with a full schol­ar­ship.

Speak­ing about her mu­sic, Wang says that Chi­nese par­ents want their chil­dren to be­come suc­cess­ful as soloists, and the im­por­tance of cham­ber mu­sic is ig­nored.

But dur­ing her stud­ies in the US, she learned to play and en­joy mu­sic along with her class­mates.

In Jan­uary, she was one of the 80 over­seas Chi­nese mu­si­cians cho­sen to par­tic­i­pate in a tour ini­ti­ated by famed cel­list Yo-Yo Ma and his Silk Road En­sem­ble. That en­abled the young vi­o­lin­ist to test her abil­ity to im­pro­vise for the first time.

“My fingers were stiff and I was ner­vous. But the ex­pe­ri­ence re­ally in­spired me and it was fun,” says Wang, who toured Guangzhou, Taipei andHongKong with the Silk Road En­sem­ble.

On Tues­day, Wang re­leased her de­but al­bum, Romance, which has 10 ro­man­tic pieces, such as Claude De­bussy’s Clair De Lune, Ed­ward El­gar’s Sa­lut D’amour and Fritz Kreisler’s Mid­night Bells from the op­eretta Der Opern­ball.

In Au­gust, the vi­o­lin­ist will re­turn to China and launch a mu­sic fes­ti­val, which will fo­cus mainly on cham­ber mu­sic.

“We in­vite mu­si­cians from the older and younger gen­er­a­tions. I want to bring my mu­si­cian friends to the fes­ti­val ever year,” says Wang, who helped launch mu­sic fes­ti­vals in Venezuela and Colom­bia in 2013.

“Our goal is to show au­di­ences that clas­si­cal mu­sic is not bor­ing and it can be fun. It is re­ally amaz­ing to make mu­sic withmy friends.”


Wang Ji­azhi will hold her first recital at Carnegie Hall later in March.

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