The College of Charleston School of the Arts is pleased to announce that student violinist Yuhong Tu recently won the Samuel Fordis Young Artists Concerto Competition hosted by the Georgia Philharmonic. The achievement was especially rewarding as this was the first U.S. competition in which the 22-year-old, artist certificate student participated.
Named in honor of former Georgia Philharmonic concertmaster Sam Fordis, the annual competition helps the next generation of great musicians to establish their place in musical history. In a congratulatory letter to Tu, Megan Hallam, President of the Georgia Philharmonic wrote, “Based on your outstanding performance of the Wieniawski Violin Concerto No. 1, we would like to offer you a more prominent opportunity than to perform as a Competition Laureate. Instead, we would like to invite you to appear as featured Guest Artist with the Georgia Philharmonic at our closing concert of the season.” During the Philharmonic’s concert of Slavic Tributes, held last Saturday, April 28, 2012, Tu performed Polish composer Henri Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 1, a piece dedicated to King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia.
Speaking proudly of her student’s achievement, violin professor Lee-Chin Siow says, “Yuhong chose to study in Charleston, and he has already made a mark for himself and the College. Our artist certificate program opens the door to hone his musicianship further. It is a joy to mentor this rising young virtuoso.”
Before coming to Charleston, Tu was the top student at the conservatory in Wuhan, a thriving metropolis of 9 million known as the “Chicago of China.” He consistently swept first prizes in violin competitions at the state and national levels. After hearing Siow perform as soloist with the Wuhan Philharmonic last summer, he immediately wrote and expressed his wish to study with her in Charleston.
“As a student who loves classical music, I know I have to study with teachers in the West to reach a higher level of performance,” explains Tu. “I was so moved when I first heard Professor Siow perform. Words cannot describe how beautiful her music is,” he adds.
Since joining the College, Tu has contributed actively to Charleston’s cultural life. He has been invited to perform in concerts with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, in chamber music concerts in the community, and leads the College’s Orchestra as concertmaster. Single-minded about his passion for classical music, the hardworking student lives by the motto: “Studying, thinking, practicing and never giving up. This is the only way to understand classical music,” he says.
The artist certificate program at the College’s department of music is a two-year, advanced program of study that addresses the needs of musicians who have completed their music training at the undergraduate level but desire to continue their studies while preparing for professional performance careers. For more information, visit music.cofc.edu or call 843.953.5927.