There’s an old joke that goes, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”
For ASU School of Music students Clarice Collins, Xiangyuan Huang and Shu Liu, who will perform at Carnegie Hall on April 25, practice is exactly how they managed to end up on the famous stage.
The three students, all of whom study with Danwen Jiang, associate professor of violin, were selected to play at the InterHarmony Concert Series: “Rite of String” concert after their performances this summer at the InterHarmony International Music Festival. Collins is originally from Toulouse, France, via Plano, Texas, and Liu and Huang are both from Beijing.
One other student who performed at the festival, a pianist from the University of Tennessee, was also selected to appear at Carnegie Hall in April. In addition, four InterHarmony faculty members will perform at the concert: Ning An, piano; Eugenia Choi, violin; Misha Quint, cello; and Howard Klug, clarinet.
InterHarmony offers educational opportunities and performances for aspiring and established musicians during its summer music festival in Italy and Germany, and its New York Concert Series at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
In the summer of 2013, there were three sessions of the festival: two in Arcidosso, Tuscany, Italy, and one in Sulzbach-Rosenberg, Bavaria, Germany. Between the three festivals, a total of 250 students from 20 different countries participated, together with 125 artist faculty and guests.
“We choose students to perform in the InterHarmony Concert Series based on their performances at the festival, both solo and chamber music,” said InterHarmony’s Caitlin McConnell. “If they distinguish themselves in concert, we note it and make decisions based on that, and on how the performers can fit in with our concert programming.
“While our level at the festival in 2013 was exceptionally high, Xiangyuan Huang and Clarice Collins played a knock-out Prokofiev Sonata for 2 Violins while at the festival in Germany. Our music director, Misha Quint, was also very impressed by Shu Liu's performance of Ysaye Sonata No. 2.”
Danwen Jiang said that for every aspiring musician, the chance to play in Carnegie Hall “is a symbol of accomplishment and success.” She described Collins and Huang, who are sophomores, and Liu, a junior, as “among the finest music students in the ASU School of Music,” and added, “now they have the opportunity to share their talents with the world.”
In January 2014, Shu Liu also won the Southwest Division of the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Competition. This month, she travels to Chicago for a chance to win $3,000 at the national competition, which will be held March 22-24.
“That three of the four university students selected by InterHarmony to perform at their Rite of Spring concert in Carnegie Hall are ASU students is a testament to the level of musicianship and excellence found among all our students in the ASU School of Music,” said Heather Landes, interim director of the School of Music. “We are proud of the outstanding and innovative educational opportunities that make us one of the leading institutions for the study of music in the United States.”
Clarice Collins said that the experience of being selected to play Carnegie Hall was slightly “unreal.” She called Huang “the best duo partner I could ever have asked for, and one of the best friends I have had,” and said that although she and Huang had a great time playing in Germany, “we definitely did not expect any of this! To be able to play Carnegie Hall is a dream come true.”
For more about the InterHarmony International Music Festival, visit interharmony.com.
For more about the ASU School of Music, visit music.asu.edu.