THE VIOLIN SONATA REBORN
Violin & Piano Duo Recital by Paul Huang & Helen Huang
FRIDAY 23 JUNE 2023
VICTORIA CONCERT HALL
“A technique that makes the most punishing string phrases feel as natural as breathing.” (The Washington Post)
Led by the late sonatas of Beethoven, notably his Kreutzer, as examples, the violin sonata experienced waves of considerable renaissance throughout the 19th century and at the turn of the 20th. A fundamentally conservative genre, it increasingly sparkled with vitality. The sonatas by Saint-Saëns, Mendelssohn and, most of all, Respighi on this enterprising, powerhouse programme are examples of three different ways of coming to terms with the desire to change the violin sonata post-Beethoven.
One common quality is the equal importance between violin and piano, both offered parts of tremendous difficulty and their interaction highly complex. Critically acclaimed for their teamwork as a duo which “seems to come as natural as breathing” (Cleveland Classical), violinist PAUL HUANG and pianist HELEN HUANG will set their Singapore debut ablaze with fiery creativity, limitless virtuosity and consummate musicianship.
Recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists, Taiwanese-American violinist Paul Huang is already recognised for his intensely expressive music making and effortless virtuosity. Following his Kennedy Center debut, The Washington Post proclaimed: “Huang is definitely an artist with the goods for a significant career.” He plays on the 1742 ex-Wieniawski Guarneri del Gesù on loan through the generous efforts of the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
Helen Huang made her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age eight, and two years later with the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur. Born in Japan of Taiwanese parents, she attended the Manhattan School of Music, and then the Juilliard School, where she studied with the Israeli pianist Yoheved Kaplinsky till 2004. She has performed and toured with several major orchestras: Cleveland, U.S. National, Saint Louis, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Vienna Chamber, and the London Philharmonic. Helen has been a member of the Juilliard School faculty since 2008.
MENDELSSOHN – Violin Sonata in F major, MWV Q26
RESPIGHI – Violin Sonata in B minor, P 110
YSAŸE – Sonata for Solo Violin in D minor 'Ballade', Op. 27 No. 3
SAINT-SAËNS – Violin Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 75
(Programme subject to change at the artist's discretion)
PAUL HUANG, violin
Recipient of a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant and a 2017 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists, violinist Paul Huang’s recent appearances included Detroit Symphony with Leonard Slatkin, Baltimore Symphony with Markus Stenz, and the Houston Symphony with Andrés Orozco-Estrada.
In the 2022-23 season, Mr. Huang opens the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan season (also a US tour at the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center's David Geffen Hall), and appears with the Hiroshima Symphony, the Rotterdam Philharmonic with Lahav Shani, Dallas Symphony Orchestra with Fabio Luisi, and Residentie Orkest Den Haag with Jun Markl. Other highlights include engagements with the Buffalo and Fort Wayne Philharmonics, and the Colorado, San Diego, and Pensacola Symphonies. A frequent guest artist at music festivals worldwide, he recently stepped in for Anne-Sophie Mutter at Bravo! Vail Music Festival playing Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 with Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin and made recital debuts at the Lucerne Festival and Aspen Music Festival, all to critical acclaim. In Fall 2021, Paul also became the first classical violinist to perform his own arrangement of the National Anthem for the opening game of the NFL at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina to an audience of 75,000. In January 2023, Huang launched the first edition of "Paul Huang & Friends" International Chamber Music Festival in Taipei, Taiwan.
Winner of the 2011 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Huang earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Juilliard School. He plays on the legendary 1742 ex-Wieniawski Guarneri del Gesù on loan through the Stradivari Society of Chicago. He is on the faculty of Taipei National University of the Arts and resides in New York.
HELEN HUANG, piano
Taiwanese-American pianist Helen Huang was first discovered by Maestro Kurt Masur upon winning the Young People’s Competition. resulting in engagements with the New York Philharmonic and a recording contract with the Teldec record label. Known for immaculate technique and eloquent sensitivity, Huang has enjoyed to date a multi-faceted career as a soloist and chamber music player and can claim years of experience with an impressive list of performances with such orchestras as the Cleveland Orchestra, the National Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Saint Louis Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Montreal Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, and the Fort Worth Symphony. Outside the US, she has appeared with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, the London Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic, the Israel Chamber Orchestra, and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Huang has appeared at the Marlboro Music Festival, La Jolla SummerFest, and at Ravinia’s Steans Institute For Young Artists.
In 1994, she was selected by the New York Philharmonic to receive Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award for promising young artists and in 1995, she became one of the youngest recipients of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.
Helen currently resides in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters.