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FROM THE ARCHIVES — December 3, 2012 — Tonight, Ying Zhang (DMA ’15) performs Steven Bryant’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestral Winds and Percussion with conductor Robert M. Carnochan and The University of Texas Wind Symphony. Of the concerto, Bryant writes: “It is my first solo concerto (I have never before been particularly drawn to Concerti, or the traditional concerto form). Cast in two movements, the work displays more of my recent fascination with both serialized pitch usage and minimalist rhythmic patterns, while hopefully retaining the drama I strive to imbue in all of my music. The first movement explores a fairly strict serial treatment of a nine-tone pitch row (stated clearly in the first bar), punctuated by a few notable moments of triadic harmony (still melodically related to the row). The second movement exploits the natural harmonics of the Cello, and is thus necessarily in a bright D-major (veering toward A-major) tonality, full of life and joy.”


FROM THE ARCHIVES — April 7, 2012 — Tonight, students from the cello studio of Professor Bion Tsang together with pianists from the collaborative studio of Professor Anne Epperson will perform the complete works for cello and piano by Ludwig van Beethoven on Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 6:30 PM in Bates Recital Hall. Cellists David Campbell (MM ’10, DMA ’14), Yuyoung Chung (DMA ’12), Frank Jenkins (’13), Jun Jin (BM ’13), Samuel Converse Johnson (BM ’13), Francesco Mastromatteo (DMA ’12), Jun Seo (MM ’11, DMA ’14) and Yi Xin (DMA ’14) join pianists Aram Arakelyan (MM ’12), Sunglee Victoria Choi (DMA ’14), Jacob Coleman (DMA ’14), Angela Draghicescu (DMA ’12), Cecilia Lo-Chien Kao (MM ’13), Suyeon Kim (DMA ’13), Allie Yuying Su (DMA ’12) and Hyo Joung Youn (DMA ’14) in the marathon performance.

Laurence Lesser and Bion Tsang at Salt Lick BBQ in Dripping Springs, TX

FROM THE ARCHIVES — In March 2012, cellist Laurence Lesser made a three-day visit to the UT Butler School of Music presenting a variety of events on campus. There were: two lecture presentations titled “A Heritage of Cello Giants: Personal Memories and Rare Recordings” that highlighted Lesser’s close connections to such historical figures as Pablo Casals, Emmanuel Feuermann and Gregor Piatigorsky; two cello master classes with six students playing works by Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Poulenc, Schubert and Schumann; and a lecture-recital on the 5th Bach Suite for Solo Cello.

Cellist Bion Tsang prepares next generation of cello virtuosos for one-of-a-kind recital at UT Austin’s Bates Recital Hall

FROM THE ARCHIVES — April 8, 2011 — Six years ago, award-winning cellist Bion Tsang performed all six Bach Suites for Unaccompanied Cello in one sitting at The University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music. Performing any or all of Johann Sebastian Bach’s revered works for cello is a virtuosic accomplishment, an achievement that combines mastery, artistry, discipline and fortitude.

This month, Tsang is passing Bach’s torch to six of his current and former students, who will perform the Bach Suites in a single evening on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. at Bates Recital Hall. Cellists Nathan Harrenstein, Jun Jin, Samuel Converse Johnson, Francesco Mastromatteo, Jun Seo, and Jeffrey Wang will perform these monumental masterpieces for solo cello including:

1. Suite in G major, BWV 1007
2. Suite in D minor, BWV 1008
3. Suite in C major, BWV 1009
4. Suite in E-flat major, BWV 1010
5. Suite in C minor, BWV 1011
6. Suite in D major, BWV 1012

Tsang believes that performing Bach’s masterworks becomes a driving force for future success for these young musicians.

“I want my students to evoke a response from the audience that will fill them with inspiration they need to succeed for years to come,” says Prof. Tsang. “The growth these students have acquired by learning these Bach pieces is outstanding, and to perform them is to be affirmed as a musician and an artist.”

Leon FleisherFROM THE ARCHIVES — Professor Tsang has twice brought legendary pianist Leon Fleisher to Austin for performing and teaching residencies at the UT Butler School of Music.

In 2004, the Austin American-Statesman wrote of Fleisher’s performance with Tsang, “A bit of recent music history strode onto the Bates Recital Hall stage in the person of pianist Leon Fleisher last week. While his performance of solo music, plus the Brahms Cello Sonata in E minor with UT cello professor Bion Tsang included wrong notes, the quality of the music-making was so exalted that some oopses here and there just didn’t matter. In the Cello Sonata with Tsang, I noticed odd balance choices that could have been due to Fleisher’s right hand tiring. Still, it was as if four hands and two instruments were being controlled by one brain. Tsang’s tone, particularly in the low register, was like warm chocolate sauce.”

Three years later they would repeat a similar recital program, this time with Tsang transcribing the difficult Brahms Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108, for the cello.

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