Ray Chen will play Recital in Cerritos in Sept.

Ray Chen will play a Violin Recital in Cerritos on Wed. Sept. 14th at 7:30 at the Center for Performing Arts.   He will play music from his first CD:

  • TARTINI (arr. Kreisler)- Sonata in g minor from Devil’s Trill
  • FRANCK- Sonata in A Major
  • BACH- Chaconne from Partita in d minor
  • WIENIAWSKI- Legende, Op. 17
  • WIENIAWSKI- Variations on the Original Theme, Op. 15

This is an extraordinary young violinist of Taiwanese decent, who began as a Suzuki student in Australia.   I had the pleasure of hearing him play a flawless and engaging Recital in San Diego earlier this year.

Ray was accepted to the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music at age 15.   He went on to compete at several international competitions and has made an international name for himself as winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition and the Yehudi Menuhin Competition.

“Ray Chen can do pretty much anything he wants on the violin,” hails the Washington Post.   I would encourage my students go see him while you can still get your hands on a ticket.  It will be something to remember.

http://www.cerritoscenter.com/tickets/production.aspx?productionSeasonId=3665

Ray Chen Bio

A little more personal information about Ray Chen.    What a wonderful role model for Suzuki Students around the world.   He takes time to honor some of his own role modelsEnjoy.

Ray Chen [0/8] First Prize QEC 2009 for violin

See more from tecstudio’s Ray Chen play list on You Tube

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=2DA9EC1311AB9A84

Congratulations to Ray Chen

This last month something happened that would have made Dr. Suzuki very happy.    A young Suzuki Violin student from Australia just won a very prestigious international violin competition.   Not only is he an amazing and gifted violinist but, he has no qualms about putting the references about his Suzuki childhood in his bio.

A must see requirement for all of my students.

The Queen Elisabeth Competition was established in 1937.    At the time it was known as the Eugène Ysaÿe Competition.    Ysaye was also a very famous violinist and composer of his time in Belgian.  H.M. Queen Elisabeth and the celebrated Belgian violinist and composer were behind this magnificent project.    It was not until after the war, in 1951, that the Queen Elisabeth Competition really came into being.   Since this time it has become a non profit foundation which awards 6 laureates each in violin, voice piano and composition.   It is an organization that helps gifted young artist start their careers.   So it is a very big deal.

You will find the best video of his playing on http://video.cmireb.be/vod# for as long as they post it.    There are CDs for sale of the sessions.   My hope is that a DVD will be available of the violin finalist so that students can see them in this quality. Three different recitals where played by those who made it into the semifinals.   At least three more works were performed for a jury by those who made it to the finalist.   The above link includes a full video of all three performances.

Cesar FRANCK�
Sonata in A major
CHO Eun-Hwa  ( composition finalist)
Agens
Pyotr TCHAIKOVSKY  Concerto in D major op. 35  

 

Notable is also the MOZART  Concerto n. 4 in D KV 218 which also includes his version of the cadenza   [CADENZE: R. CHEN] .   This is one of the Mozart concertos at the end of the Suzuki Violin Books.   Thank you Chen for making this recording available to Suzuki children the world over.  What a fine interpretation.

I could not help but notice  what I am sure the jury saw in Chen’s performances.   It was so much more than just playing all the right notes in the right places with the right interpretation.   Technically it was fluid and effortless as if the bow and the violin was an extension of his own body.   It was also the elegant agility that I have seen in Hilary Hahn.   You easily forgot how difficult the music was.   But it was more than that.   Clearly there was something in Chen’s playing that was missing in the other performances.

Ray played with such   a complete lack of self consciousness and enthusiasm for every note.   He was so at home and comfortable in each musical venue and style that you could not imagine that he had any fears about the performance.    He played with such exuberance, as if he was having the time of his life.   Ray seemed completely lost in the adventure of creating music and he took the audience along on the ride with every note.

I think Dr. Suzuki would have taken great delight in Chen’s performance.   To see him play the TCHAIKOVSKY  made me sense the power of Sensei’s presence in the world again.   It was an affirmation that as a Suzuki movement we are headed in the right direction.   Even the youth who chooses to take on the rivalry of musical competition should be able to do so with imagination and joy.

Sensei used to joke about living till he was 120 years old.    When you see Chen play you can not  help but believe that he found a way to cheat death with the next generation of young violinist.

http://www.cmireb.be/en/

http://raychenviolin.com/  Ray Chen’s site

Also a great joy to see playing was runner up Lorenzo Gatto.   http://www.lorenzogatto.com/en/index.php

Take time to see Gatto’s Mozart in the semi finals.  KV 219 is the other Mozart which Suzuki uses in the last two violin books with the Joachim cadenze.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
Concerto n. 5 en la majeur KV 219 | Concerto n. 5 in A KV 219
[CADENZE: J. JOACHIM]

We can not wait to see Chen play live in Orange County, CA.

Weekly Group Lessons at TEC, keep students motivated about practicing for their private lessons.

Every  Suzuki program should offer group lessons each week as a supplement to their weekly lesson.   All students taking a full 30 min. weekly private lesson at TEC is encouraged to participate in the group so that they can continue mastering and reviewing the violin skills that they are acquiring in from their personal instruction.  

TEC Group lessons are on  Saturdays at OCCTAC and share with the SASS program where we have more classroom space for children to move around in.   It is wise to check the schedule on the www.got2twinkle.com as there are sometimes adjustments in the schedule.    We have it linked on our Google Calendar on the the TEC ED Center pages at the top.

Group lessons are an opportunity for all of the Suzuki Violin children to meet and play together.   In order to stay motivated about practicing at home young violinist need to be making friends and relationships with other musicians.  It is an opportunity to review pieces and skills everyone knows and it is an opportunity to hear more advanced students who play pieces that younger students aspire to play in the future.

All Suzuki Students in our program from Pretwinkler to Advanced students are encouraged to participate.   New students and shy students are encouraged to come and observe.   Younger children are invited to watch more advanced group students for short periods at a time depending on their attention span.   Parents can learn more about the breadth of the program by observing students at different levels and skills.

The PreTwinkle group is an opportunity for our youngest children to bond and become comfortable with the teacher and new Suzuki friends they will be studying with in the future.   Through games and play they prepare their ears and their bodies for holding and playing the violin.   In a social group setting we can build up their endurance to hold  thier instruments with good posture for longer periods at a time

In the Fall older students are busy reviewing the pieces that they will need for Festival and auditioning for orchestra.   We would also like to have informal recitals at this time, at least 4 times a year  where the children have the opportunity to play their pieces for others.   Please watch for these in the Calendar.

Most importantly group lessons is a place where children can experience more of the fun of playing with friends and develop confidence in themselves. Children who have ample opportunities to review pieces they know and can play them easily begin to relax and enjoy their playing more. See advice from thie award winning Suzuki student.

Ray Chen: I started playing the violin at the age of four. I’m not quite sure where I got the idea; however, I do know that it was my idea, as I picked up the toy guitar, put it under my chin and played it with a chopstick… the lessons then followed. I started with Suzuki Method, which was fun and made me want to play. Every Saturday there would be a “group lesson” where all of my teacher’s students would gather and have a lot of fun. At the time, there were two things that were important to me about those group lessons: the part where I played in front of everybody, and the break where we would snack on cookies and cordial.

~~~~~
My teachers back in Australia have included the Hawkins Family. I studied with them for five years. They were very involved with Suzuki and emphasized the “having fun” part of playing music. It seems like a lot of players these days are forgetting this important aspect, especially as they get older and become more self-conscious.

–1st prize winner Ray Chen about group lessons in his Australian Suzuki childhood.