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Paul Huang and NSO's intoxicating recital rocks TSMC art festival

Dvorak and Tchaikovsky works wow audience at Hsinchu Performing Arts Center show

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Paul Huang performs at Hsinchu for first time. (National Symphony Orchestra photo)

Paul Huang performs at Hsinchu for first time. (National Symphony Orchestra photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Award-winning violinist Paul Huang (黃俊文) performed with the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), and conductor Lu Shao-chia (呂紹嘉), for the first time in Hsinchu on Friday (June 24).

Hosted by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the annual art festival features literature, music, and stage performances. The three-month event started in April and carries on until July.

As a recipient of the Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists in 2017, Huang was lauded by the Washington Post as “an artist with the goods for a significant career.” The U.S.-based performer played Antonin Dvorak’s “Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53” and “Humoresque” as an encore at Hsinchu Performing Arts Center.

Huang commented: “You can feel Dvorak‘s rich emotions, including his happiness, sadness, and humor, in only one piece. I wanted to sooth the audience’s heart during the COVID pandemic by playing my favorite composer.”

Additionally, Lu and NSO performed Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy” and “Symphony No. 6 in B minor.” According to the veteran conductor, the first half of the show was jolly, but became sad in the second half because the theme of the music was death.

NSO said that around 80% of the tickets sold out in advance. The result was better than expected due to pandemic prevention measures.

Before the recital took place, some audience members joked the seats were so comfy that they worried about falling asleep. However, after the lights turned on when the performance had ended on a high note, one man humorously shouted out, “It was too good to fall asleep!”