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UST Celebrates Sarasate's Birthday
Photo: ViolinViolinist Ning-Chih Hsu will perform in the recital “Happy Birthday, Sarasate!” presented by the University of St. Thomas Music Preparatory School at 4 p.m. on March 9 in Cullen Hall. The performance is a celebration of the birthday of the virtuosic violinist, Pablo de Sarasate, and will feature his most famous compositions including “Zapateado,” “Gypsy Airs” and “Carmen Fantasy,” among others.

Sarasate was born on March 10, 1844 and would be celebrating his 169th birthday, if he were still living. He is known for how naturally his music fits the hands of a violinist, despite how dazzling and technically challenging it sounds. He explored various sound effects from the violin and bow such as harmonics, double stops and trills that are not usually applied extensively by other composers.

Hsu, a member of the UST MPS faculty, remembers listening to a recording of Zapateado on repeat as a child and marveling at the composition of the Spanish-style music.

“I was excited to discover how a violinist can have so much fun with the violin,” Hsu said.

Hsu was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and moved to the United States at the age of 18 to study music at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. She went on to earn her master’s from the Julliard School. Hsu has performed in major festivals and venues around the world, including New York City’s historic Carnegie Hall.

“Hsu has been a wonderful addition to the UST Music Preparatory School,” said Paul Krystofiak, director of the MPS. “She has a rich musical and personal background and has studied with legendary pedagogues in the violin field. It is amazing Hsu is open to teach very young children through all levels.”

Hsu will be accompanied by pianist Ruby Toung. The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Paul Krystofiak at 713-525-3566.

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