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Strauss Shi, violin and Yi-Fang Wu, piano

Venue

Sol Joseph Recital Hall
50 Oak Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
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Tickets

Free, reservations required

Violin and Piano Duos


Program

Maurice Ravel 
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.2

Franz Waxman
Carmen Fantasy

Cesar Franck
Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major

About the Program

This program consisting of music by Ravel, Franck, and Bizet (adopted and transformed by Franz Waxman) is a showcase of versatility and virtuosity. 

The Second Sonata for Violin and Piano by Ravel tantalizes the audience through innovative juxtapositions: the mellifluous and playful counterpoint is followed by the St. Louis Blues seen through a Parisian lens, and the sparks that fly in dizzying perpetual motion close the masterfully bound three-movement work. 

To those familiar with the chamber music literature need no introduction to the monumental Sonata by Cesar Franck, which was dedicated and gifted to one of the greatest violinist-composer in history, Eugène Ysaÿe. This wedding present is a remarkable testament to the friendship between two Belgian musical icons, and its interpreters are demanded to forge a relationship that is equally significant to portray the intense and intimate emotional journey.

In succession to the fireworks composed by Pablo Sarasate and Jeno Hubay on unmistakably popular themes from Georges Bizet's opera, Carmen, Franz Waxman produced another favorite for virtuosi and music-lovers alike.This Carmen Fantasy was originally composed for a 1946 film, Humoresque, in collaboration with none other than the young Isaac Stern. This masterpiece satisfies every guilty pleasure of flair, finesse, and the stylishly bombastic. 

About the Performers

Strauss Shi 
Chinese-American violinist Strauss Shi made his major debut with the Utah Symphony at the age of seventeen and since then, he has concertized in the United States, China and Europe. Strauss is a top prizewinner at numerous competitions including Grand Prize at the Mondavi Center Young Artists Competition (2017), First Prize at the United States International Music Competition (2016), and joint Second Prize at the inaugural Futian International Violin Competition (2016), among others. His 2017-18 season include his LA recital debut at the Pasadena City College Westerbeck Hall, the Juilliard Starling-DeLay Symposium, Midori Violin Studio Recital Series in Sri Lanka, and his graduation recital at Juilliard Paul Hall featuring the San Francisco-based Chinese chamber ensemble Melody of China. A devoted chamber musician, Strauss has performed alongside renowned artists, including Shmuel Ashkenasi, Brian Lewis, Li Lin, Lu Siqing, Midori, Vera Tsu Wei-ling, Qian Zhou, and Maestro Swapan Chaudhuri. Born in China and raised in a musical family in San Francisco, Strauss began his violin studies at the age of eight with Pan Zuohan and Elizabeth Liang. Strauss received his Bachelor of Music degree studying under Catherine Cho at The Juilliard School. He is currently pursuing graduate degree as a Starling Fellow at the USC Thornton School of Music with Midori Goto and with Pamela Frank in the upcoming fall semester. His past teachers include Chen Zhao, Li Lin, Zhenshan Wang, David and Linda Cerone, Ilya Kaler, and Elmar Oliveira

Yi-Fang Wu 
Yi-Fang Wudecided to pursue her love of music after graduating from National Tsing-Hua University in Taiwan with Bachelor in English and came to Cleveland Institute of Music to study with Paul Schenly and Daniel Shapiro for Master Degree in Piano Performance. CIM was the very first music school in her life, and there she quickly absorbed music theory, history, and everything else at a dizzying pace during the two-year program. She shockingly discovered after those years that her heart did not actually belong to solo performance, but instead enjoyed musical interactions with others, and proceeded to join the Collaborative Piano program with Anita Pontremoli at CIM. It was the most exciting period during which Yi-Fang developed a love of string repertoire and since then, she has collaborated with many wonderful chamber musicians while also maintaining for a position as a staff pianist of San Francisco Conservatory’s Pre-College division. Yi-Fang has performed at the Eastern Music Festival, Hidden Valley Festival, The Quartet Program, Miami Music Festival, and the International Music Festival and Workshop in Germany. Yi-Fang continues her musical growth through an exciting journey of sound-searching with Elizabeth Park at EP Center for Professional Studies of Music Performance.