Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Saturday, April 20, 2013, 7:30 p.m.
University Capitol Center Recital Hall (map)

Kia-Hui Tan Solo Violin Recital

featuring winning works of the
2013 KH Tan Composition Competition
Asian Inspirations

|| download program ||


** Ride (2012)   Balee Pongklad (b. 1976)
* The Dream (2012)   Elizabeth Lim (b. 1986)
* Variazioni su un canto popolare cinese (2012)
        Variazione 1. Moderato
        Variazione 2. Vivace con spirito
        Variazione 3. Moderato, cantilenando
        Variazione Tema. Comodo, a piacere
  Anne-Marie Turcotte (b. 1962)
** Sanjo (2012)   EunSeok Park (b. 1978)
** Toward the Other Shore (2010)   Suzanne Sorkin (b. 1974)
  — Intermission —  
*** Twelve Signs (rev. 2012)
        I. Rat
       II. Ox
      III. Tiger
      IV. Rabbit
       V. Dragon
      VI. Snake
     VII. Horse
    VIII. Sheep
      IX. Monkey
       X. Chicken
      XI. Dog
     XII. Pig
  Chiayu (b. 1975)
+ Joy Rising (2013)
        I. Wood
       II. Fire
      III. Earth
      IV. Metal
       V. Water
  Ching-Chu Hu (b. 1969)
* Shortlisted submissions   ** Prize Winners   *** Grand Prize Winner of the 2013 KH Tan Composition Competition for Solo Violin Works: Asian Inspirations.
+ Commissioned premiere by Kia-Hui Tan for the Prize Winners Concert of the KH Tan Composition Competition for Solo Violin Works: Asian Inspirations at the SCI@OSU National Conference, February 2013.
Kia-Hui Tan gratefully acknowledges support from The Ohio State University Arts and Humanities Research Enhancement Grant that funded the prizes and commission for the KH Tan Composition Competition for Solo Violin Works: Asian Inspirations, thus making this particular program and concert possible. All pieces on tonight's program except for Suzanne Sorkin's Toward the Other Shore were premiered by Kia-Hui Tan in February/March 2013.



Kia-Hui Tan has performed as concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician in 25 US states and 20 countries on five continents, including at London's Barbican Hall and New York's CarnegieWeill Recital Hall. Described in The Strad as a "violinist whose virtuosity was astonishing," she has won numerous awards including the Bronze Medal at the first NTDTV Chinese International Violin Competition at Town Hall in 2008. Included in her repertoire of over 400 solo or chamber works are premiere performances of works by more than 70 living composers. She has recorded with various new music ensembles and is frequently invited to perform at contemporary music festivals and conferences, often presenting themed lecture-recitals on the vastly unexplored repertory for unaccompanied solo violin. Also an experienced orchestral violinist, she had served as concertmaster under Sir Colin Davis and Mstislav Rostropovich among many other notable conductors. Currently Associate Professor of Violin at The Ohio State University, Tan had been on faculty at Cornell University, University of Toledo, The Cleveland Institute of Music and Cleveland Music School Settlement before joining the Ohio State faculty in 2005. She is in demand as a master class presenter, adjudicator, strings coach and guest conductor in high schools, colleges and youth orchestras; her outreach activities have extended as far as China and Colombia. She is the recipient of the 2008-9 School of Music Distinguished Teaching Award. Born in 1975, Tan studied piano, violin, music theory and composition in her native country Singapore before receiving scholarships to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and The Cleveland Institute of Music where she was conferred the doctor of musical arts degree in 2001. Her principal teachers included David Takeno, David Updegraff and StephenShipps. She continues to explore how Tai Chi, Alexander Technique and Nervous System Energy Work influence and enhance her violin playing and teaching.


Program Notes

Balee Pongklad


The title of the piece is inspired by my experience of riding a long-tail boat in Thailand, known as Ruea Hang Yao in the Thai language. This type of boat is native to most Southeast Asian countries and especially famous in Thailand where long-tail boats are now often used to transport local passengers and tourists. Compared to the motion and movement of a long-tail boat while moving, the music appears to fast-forward, glide, swerve and sometimes float freely, playing with the unexpected. The comparison could portray the excitement of riding a long-tail boat that runs fast on the undulating water and never knows what comes next. Even though I did not include any musical elements that give a sense of "Asian flavor", the challenge of the piece is to provoke the feelings between agitation and relaxation one could have with this kind of unique ride.

Balee Pongklad began composing music while he was studying a bachelor degree in music at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. In 2005, he came to the United States to pursue a master degree in music composition at San Francisco State University with Ronald Caltabiano and Richard Festinger. During his time in the US, he has composed a number of compositions, ranging from small ensemble, symphonic band to large orchestra. His orchestral piece "Dawn for orchestra" was cited for honorable mention by the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute in 2008. He was also selected a finalist for his composition "The Grand Palace" by The 2nd International Frank Ticheli Composition Contest for concert band in 2009. Recently, he is pursuing a doctoral degree in music composition at the University of Alabama and studying with professor Craig P. First who has also guided and mentored his composition "Ride" for violin solo.

Elizabeth Lim

The Dream

is a piece adapted from my suite for chamber orchestra, "Chao Chun." This movement describes the Chinese moon goddess as disembodied through a dream; Chao Chun is suspended in time while her spirit seeks to return home. While seeking to create a language that combined both East Asian and Western musical influences, I emphasized rhythmic freedom and melodic range. I never wanted the melody to feel restricted in any sense, yet I also wanted it to be clear that the melody undergoes a transformation during the piece. This transformation is especially clear in the last iteration of the theme. In the beginning, it carries clear Asian influence through its pentatonic harmonies, intervallic leaps of fourths and fifths, and dotted rhythms. However, the melody here is interspersed with harmonies and intervals outside Asian influence. Eventually, this conflict emerges into something pure and revelatory.

Elizabeth Lim is a third year doctoral candidate at the Juilliard School, where she studied composition with Dr. Robert Beaser and Dr. Samuel Adler. She completed her undergraduate studies at Harvard University, where she graduated magna cum laude with highest honors. For her musical contributions at Harvard, she was awarded the 2008 Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts and was recognized as one of "Fifteen Most Promising Seniors in the Arts." While at Juilliard, her orchestral work, "Paranoia," was a winner of the annual composers' competition and was premiered by Jeff Milarsky and the Juilliard Orchestra in Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Concert Hall. More recently, the American Composers Forum and VocalEssence co-presented her choral work, "The Tempest," during the 2012 Essentially Choral readings , directed by Philip Brunelle. Following the readings, Elizabeth received a commission to write for VocalEssence's WITNESS Concert in February 2013.

Anne-Marie Turcotte

Variazioni su un canto popolare cinese

This piece is based on a Chinese popular song ("The old fisher"), in which is described an old fisher in the act of fishing at sunset, and the surrounding landscape: some fishing-boats coming in and out the harbour and the gentle movement of the waves (Variation 1), a vivacious song coming from afar every now and then (Variation 2), the flight of the seagulls (Variation 3), the solitary harbour and the sentiment of solitude given by the solitude of the old fisher (the main theme of the Chinese popular song, quoted at the end of the piece). The chant itself is based on a pentatonic scale: for the composition of the Variations, a method of contrapunctal projections has been employed. I have met this beautiful chant, falling in love with it, by rehearsing it in a voice-piano version with a Chinese student, a few years ago at the Milano's Conservatoire.

Born in Milan in 1962, Anne-Marie Turcotte graduated in Piano, Composition, and Choral Music at the "G. Verdi" Conservatoire of Milan under the guidance of Alberto Colombo, Azio Corghi, and Franco Monego. Prize winner in national and international competitions: 1st prize - International composition competition "Harald-Genzmer" (München, Germany, 2010); 1st prize - International composition competition "Murcia-1992" (Murcia, Spain, 1992); 2nd prize - International composition competition for choral music (Spittal, Austria, 1992); 2nd prize - National Composition competition for wind instruments (Livorno, Italy, 1991); 3rd prize - International Chamber Music Composition Contest in Seinäjoki, Finland, 2011); Special mention - Composition Contest - Society for Universal Sacred Music (New York - USA, 2009). Her music has been commissioned and performed by important orchestras and festivals and broadcast by the Italian radio. Some of her works are published by Ricordi, Edipan, Edizioni Sinfonica, Bèrben, and Schott. Professor of Harmony and Counterpoint, she presently teaches at Conservatoire of Vicenza.

EunSeok Park


is a style of the Korean traditional music. Sanjo means 'scattered melodies'. Sanjo is originally written to demonstrate the virtuosity or techniques of Korean traditional instruments. Sanjo has not fixed musical forms, but more like an improvisation or a free form. Mostly, Sanjo involves a solo instrument accompanied by Janggu, the Korean traditional 2-headed drum. The main concept for the composition is 'scattered melodies' with abundant use of grace notes and ornamentations derived from the dazzling beauties of Korean traditional folk songs. Also this composition reflects one of the uniqueness of Korean traditional folk music; the movement that seems to be mobile yet still and seems to be still yet mobile as such as the thinking of movement within stillness. Sanjo integrates Western melodic and harmonic language with Eastern sense of movement in adapting these qualities to a more contemporary sound-world.

EunSeok Park, originally from South Korea, is currently pursuing his DMA degree in Music Composition from The Ohio State University where he studies with Jan Radzynski. He also serves as a Graduate Teaching Associate at OSU. In 2012, he was composer-in-residence for the OSU Symphony Orchestra. His music has been performed in Asia and throughout the U.S. His recent composition have ranged from full orchestra to smaller chamber works and also electronic music. He holds MM and AD degrees in Music Composition from The Hartt School, University of Hartford. His principal composition teachers include Donald Harris, David Macbride, Stephen Michael Gryc, and Robert Carl.

Suzanne Sorkin

Toward the Other Shore

In Mahayana Buddhism, the six paramitas (generosity, discipline, patience, diligence, meditation, and knowledge) are six kinds of virtuous practice required for serving others and achieving enlightenment. In Sanskrit, paramita means "that which has reached the other shore". Through the practice of the six paramitas, one can cross over from the shore of this world (the shore of suffering), to the shore of enlightenment. This concept of transcendence and "going beyond" served as the inspiration for Toward the Other Shore. In this composition, long and expansive melodic phrases breathe one into the next, coupled with throbbing left-hand pizzicato. The metamorphosis of left-hand pizzicato over the course of the work is balanced with the on-going timbre variation and motivic development of the melody heard at the beginning of the piece. In the final section, the opening melody is further transformed, culminating in a dramatic contrapuntal stretto.

Suzanne Sorkin (b. 1974) is active as a composer and educator. She has received awards and commissions from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University, Chamber Music Now, Violin Futura, Third Millennium Ensemble, counter)induction, ASCAP, Meet the Composer and others. Her work has been programmed on Piano Spheres in Los Angeles, Washington Square Contemporary Music Society, Denison University New Music Festival, Chamber Music Quad Cities, Florida State University Festival of New Music, and Vassar Modfest. She has written for ensembles including the Mannes Trio, Cabrini Quartet, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Third Angle, and Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. She received her Ph.D. in composition from the University of Chicago through the support of a four-year Century Fellowship in the Humanities. Suzanne Sorkin is an Associate Professor of Music at Saint Joseph's University, where she teaches music composition and theory and serves as chair of the Department of Music, Theatre and Film.


Twelve Signs

is based on the Chinese Zodiac. In the Zodiac, the twelve animal signs represent twelve different types of personalities. The zodiac begins with the sign of the Rat, followed by the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar. The twelve animals can also be classified into four trines based on thematic similarities. The first trine, the Rat, Dragon and Monkey, are described as extroverted, dynamic, and passionate. The second trine, the Ox, Snake, and Rooster, are described as philosophical, patient and meditative. The third trine, the Tiger, Horse, and Dog, are described as rash, impulsive, and idealistic. The fourth trine, the Rabbit, Sheep, and Pig, are described as intuitive, calm and sensible. The piece contains twelve movements and depicts the different characteristics of each sign. It also incorporates various timbres and techniques which correspond to the five elements of the Chinese Astrology.

Born in Banciao, Taiwan, Chiayu is an active composer of contemporary concert music. Chiayu has been interested in deriving inspirations from different materials, such as poems, myths, and images. Particularly, however, it is the combination of Chinese elements and western techniques that is a hallmark of her music. Chiayu's music has been recognized with awards from the Copland House, music+culture (2009 International Competition), the Sorel Organization, the International Harp Society, ASCAP, the Maxfield Parrish Composition Contest, and the Renée B. Fisher Foundation, among others. Her works have been performed by the London Sinfonietta, the Detroit, the San Francisco, the Toledo Symphony Orchestras, the Nashville Symphony, the American Composers Orchestra, and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the Aspen Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble, Eighth Blackbird, Prism Quartet and Ciompi Quartet.

Chiayu received her BM from the Curtis Institute of Music, MM and AD from Yale University and Ph.D. at Duke University.

Ching-Chu Hu

Joy Rising

is a five-movement work for solo violin dealing with the concept of five types of chi, or wu xing, central to all elements of Chinese thought, including philosophy, music, science, medicine, astrology, and feng shui. The sequencing of the elements in this particular order (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) represents a creative or enhancing cycle. Each element can be seen as a necessity for the next. In Joy Rising, there are internal connections among the movements. "Wood" begins the cycle with various extended techniques to allow the woodiness of the violin to resonate as the musical gesture grows organically. "Fire" contrasts the mood with a driving movement as flames burn. In "Earth" there is a sense of duality – as man and nature occupy a shared space, two musical lines intertwine. After a brief pizzicato interlude, "Metal" continues with a shiny sheen to its florid movement, while "Water" is still and contemplative. Joy Rising was commissioned by and written for Kia-Hui Tan.

Ching-chu Hu studied at Yale University, Freiburg Musikhochschule in Freiburg, Germany, The University of Iowa, and the University of Michigan. Honors includes composer-in-residence at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, guest composer at the American Music Week Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria, and composition fellow at the Aspen and Bowdoin Music Festivals, Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, and the Banff Centre for the Arts. He has received performances in various national and international festivals and concerts, including the Alternativa Festival (Center "DOM") in Moscow and Wigmore Hall in London, England. Ensembles performing his work include the Kiev Philharmonic, the National Dance and Opera Orchestra of China, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra, Moscow Conservatory's Studio New Music Ensemble, Newark Granville Symphony Orchestra, Brave New Works, the University of Iowa Center for New Music, and the Brooklyn Rider String Quartet. His music can be found on Albany Records, ERM Media, and Capstone Records, and online digital music retailers. He is Associate Professor of Composition and Theory of Music at Denison University. More information can be found at: chingchuhu.com.