Culture\Music and Theater

Young violinist from Taipei releases new album in Beijing

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-20 08:13

The selection of Tchaikovsky's Melodie from Souvenir d'un lieu cher, originally for violin and the piano, a rare example of the composer's chamber music, is described as "irresistible" by Tseng.

"It's just one of the most beautiful lines in all of music. When you hear it, you love it," he says.

Tseng recorded the album in Berlin in October along with Sri Lankan pianist Rohan de Silva, who said in an interview that he was impressed by the young violinist' performance.

"I admire his playing, especially his spontaneous response to music," said De Silva, who is renowned for his partnership with violin virtuosos like Itzhak Perlman.

Tseng says he is not good at talking but he can do it with his instrument. The expressiveness of music inspired the musician at an early age to make music his career.

At 13, he knew he needed to expand his musical education abroad. His parents were supportive and Tseng's father, who was a computer science professor back then, quit his job and accompanied him to Philadelphia to attend the Curtis Institute of Music, from where he graduated in 2016.

During his studies there, Tseng met two important violin teachers, Ida Kavafian and Aaron Rosand.

"I was introduced not just to solo violin repertoires I studied in Taiwan but also to chamber music, symphonic music and all the possibilities that one can explore with a violin," Tseng says.

Tseng is a regular performer at competitions and his musical talent enabled him to gain early success.

He won the Sarasate International Violin Competition, which is held annually in Spain, in 2009. In 2011, he was the fifth laureate at the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition in Brussels. He also won the first prize at the inaugural Singapore International Violin Competition in January 2015.

Having performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Belgium and the symphony orchestras of Singapore, Taipei and Navarra among others, Tseng says he dreams to travel the world as a soloist.

Despite tasting success at such a young age, he says he hasn't changed much.

"I am just always playing and always listening."

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