UTC’s Department of Music will present the piano duo recital “From Russia with Love,” featuring Drs. Chih-Long Hu and Sin-Hsing Tsai on Friday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m. The performance will take place in the Roland Hayes Concert Hall at the UTC Fine Arts Center, 752 Vine St. The program will include Anton Arensky’s Suite No. 1, Op. 15, Three Movements from Petrouchka by Igor Stravinsky, as arranged by Victor Babin, Dmitri Shostakovich’s Concertino, Op. 94, and Rachmaninoff’s Suite No. 2, Op. 17. Admission is free and open to the public.
“From Russia with Love” is a continuation of the Music Departments’ effort in presenting the work of various Russian composers to UTC students and the wider Chattanoogan community. The music presented is written in different times and under varying political climates. The two controversial composers, Stravinsky and Shostakovich, chose opposing paths for their career. While the former lived in exile in exchange for artistic freedom, the latter continued to write in Russia under censorship. The product of Stravinsky’s exile was the burlesque ballet Petrouchka, which will be performed in this dazzling and complex transcription for two pianos. Shostakovich’s Concertino, on the other hand, was written with the utmost simplicity and mass appeal, conforming to the demands of the ruling party. Alternatively, Arensky and Rachmaninoff were teacher and student, and both romantic in nature, hence the similarity between their two suites. Similar to Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff chose to live in exile. Thus, you can always hear a hint of nostalgia in this expatriate’s music.
Chih-Long Hu is currently associate professor of Piano at East Tennessee State University. A native of Taiwan, he is an active pianist and has performed extensively in Asia, Europe, and throughout North America appearing as a concerto soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. Hu’s performances have been broadcast in "Performance Today" through NPR stations across the country and televised in Taiwan, China and Japan. His recent CD album "Formosa Caprices" has received critical acclaims and was nominated as “Best Crossover Album” and Hu as “Best Performer” for the 2009 Golden Melody Award. Another CD of complete Etudes-tableaux by Rachmaninoff was released in 2010.
UC Foundation Professor of Music at UTC, Dr. Sin-Hsing Tsai is considered one of the best trained pianists of her generation. She teaches piano, piano pedagogy, and piano literature at UTC, and is actively involved in the community where she has presented several outreach concerts and workshops. She is a Steinway artist and her credentials include having received numerous awards and acknowledgements for her outstanding musical performances. Tsai is widely travelled and has collaborated with the finest musicians on both sides of the Atlantic. Furthermore, she is credited with several world premieres of contemporary compositions. She recently returned from concertizing and teaching in Thailand and can be heard on AUR’s label performing Immensity on the Loose by Jonathan McNair. Her other overseas activities include performances and master classes at Shanghai Conservatory of Music Pre-College Division and several universities in China, Korea, and Argentina.
For more information call the Music office at 425-4601 or, see the Music Department website at http://www.utc.edu/music/projects/performances.php.