One of many best violin gamers on the earth graced the stage within the Scott Room of the Scarsdale Library final weekend. Metropolitan Opera Orchestra violinist Yang Xu, accompanied by pianist and spouse Huizhong Shen and cellist Qianci Liu, captivated a packed room of residents of all ages.
The trio performed quite a lot of items with totally different tempos by Mendelssohn, Bruch, Massenet, Tchaikovsky, Wieniawski and Elgar. The extra Xu’s bow was transferring, the extra invigorating the sound, and when he moved it slowly throughout the strings a sense of calm stuffed the room.
“I wish to thank the library board for giving us this opportunity to have like an off-the-cuff get together,” Xu stated. “I informed the viewers to not get too into it being a classical live performance. I believe that drives lots of people away, not realizing the composer or the music. On this setting, it is informal they usually can convey youngsters and are available and benefit from the setting. I believe it is the perfect factor for a Sunday afternoon. I attempted to have an attention-grabbing program.”
Seeing the vary of ages from toddlers to senior residents was precisely what the performers had hoped for.
“I believe folks have totally different takes from it,” Shen stated. “The children will see that they like this instrument or [that] one or they like a chunk that is quick or sluggish. For a special age, possibly the older folks may have a special life expertise that pertains to a few of this music.”
Xu and Shen moved to Scarsdale in March this 12 months and have been honored to share their skills with their new group.
After dwelling 14 years within the metropolis simply 5 minutes away from Lincoln Heart, the place Xu rehearses and performs, Xu and Shen moved to Scarsdale with their kids, who’re 2 and 5, simply in time for the older one to start out college. Xu stated the transfer was value giving up his fast commute from him.
“It is sort of overwhelming as a result of with the Metropolitan Opera we carry out 260 concert events a 12 months and never solely the opera alone, however we play at Carnegie Corridor and in addition some chamber music,” Xu stated. “Now we have a tour to Europe and Asia through the summertime. Shifting out of the town I really feel somewhat bit totally different. I nonetheless go right down to rehearse and carry out, however driving again house it is so quiet and it is such a pleasant city with nice environment and nice colleges, so we really feel fairly lucky.”
Xu usually heads into the town to rehearse, returns house to spend time along with his youngsters after which goes again to Lincoln Heart to carry out.
Xu has been with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 2008. At an early age he was seen as a prodigy, profitable many awards as a youth. Xu studied on the Shanghai Conservatory of Music China, graduated from Oberlin Conservatory, earned a grasp’s diploma from Juilliard College and obtained a graduate certificates on the College of Southern California’s Thornton College of Music, finding out underneath different world-renowned musicians.
Xu has been a visitor concertmaster with the London Philharmonic, the Seattle Symphony and the China Nationwide Heart for the Performing Arts Orchestra, along with touring as a soloist with the China Nationwide Symphony in North America in 2013. He is performed worldwide to grateful audiences and performed on the Met Orchestra’s 2014 Grammy Award-winning full Wagner’s Ring cycle.
Shen grew up in China, the place she began taking part in piano at age 5, and moved to California after graduating from highschool. She graduated from USC Thornton College of Music and obtained a grasp’s diploma from Rutgers. She has collaborated with musicians from the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic and New York Metropolis Ballet and has performed at venues corresponding to Weill Corridor, Zankel Corridor, DiMenna Heart, Bovard Corridor and Newman Corridor.
Though Shen does not play professionally, she shares her love of music via instructing piano.
“Studying music is like studying a language — you must have the correct setting, you must be there and reside with it after which the youngsters will actually get pleasure from it,” Shen stated. “It does not matter if you are going to do it for a dwelling or not, even for the lifelong enjoyment it is crucial. We would like the youngsters uncovered to totally different genres of music. Dad and mom do not at all times know if the youngsters will prefer it or not, so this can be a nice alternative.”
Bringing music on to households is essential for Shen.
“Particularly for Scarsdale there’s a enormous curiosity in music,” she stated. “All of the mother and father need their youngsters to study some instrument. Right here we have now a terrific highschool orchestra and that begins in elementary college. There’s a terrific potential right here and the extra concert events, the extra music we are able to play and share, I believe it is good for the youngsters. It is somewhat bit far to attend an actual live performance at Carnegie Corridor or Lincoln Heart. If we had extra of this, the youngsters can be extra .”
In 2012, Shen and Xu performed a live performance tour in China. They stated they get pleasure from any alternative to observe and carry out collectively.
“It’s totally lucky for us that we have now time to rehearse collectively,” Xu stated. “We discovered time. The children go to high school or they go to mattress and we are able to go to the basement to rehearse. It is not that straightforward after getting youngsters, however we discover time. And we get buddies to play with us. It is the perfect factor.”
Met Orchestra members do a number of group service within the internal metropolis performing for college kids whose colleges usually haven’t got orchestra applications. The objective is to show them to a special kind of music. Xu finds it rewarding and needed to present an identical kind of expertise to these in his new hometown.
“Once we moved to the city we thought this can be a excellent spot and our youngsters are so lucky to have this nice college system and every of the elementary colleges has a terrific orchestra program and nice academics,” Xu stated. “We really feel very lucky to have our youngsters develop up in this type of setting and we like to present it again somewhat bit and play for our neighbors.”
Xu was “very shocked” by the turnout. Superior registration was required and the seats stuffed up so shortly that the library by no means correctly marketed the occasion.
“A lot of my buddies contacted me and stated they may not get a seat,” Xu stated. “It is a terrific shock for us. We hope to present extra concert events to extra residents on the town and get to know extra folks. Hopefully I also can convey some extra buddies [from] my orchestra and in addition the New York Philharmonic.”
A matter-and-answer interval adopted the efficiency, however the one query requested was, “When are you coming again?”
That was met with a smile and a nod. So hopefully quickly.