EAU CLAIRE — “Voyage,” a composition by UW-Eau Claire faculty member Dr. Chia-Yu Hsu, will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday in a virtual concert by the musicians of The Minnesota Orchestra.
Sarah Hicks, the conductor and host of the “A Musical Passport” performance, was among Hsu’s classmates when they both were undergraduate students at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
The opportunity show why Hsu, an associated professor of music, often tells her music students that taking the time to get to know their fellow Blugolds will likely make a big difference in their future careers, according to a UW-Eau Claire news release.
“When we were students, Sarah premiered a couple of my orchestral works at school,” Hsu says in the release. “I’m quite excited about working with her again, since she’s such an intelligent and fantastic conductor with great communication skills.”
She is fortunate that many of her former classmates have found success in the music world, Hsu says, adding that many of them play important roles in her career.
“Many of us still stay in touch and update our works from time to time,” Hsu says in the release. “I constantly tell my students to build their networks starting from their classmates because they will become ambassadors of your music. It’s crucial for composers to have a broad network, so people know who you are and if they like your music, they will champion your works.”
The Friday performance is the first time that Hsu and Hicks will collaborate since college, Hsu says.
Hsu describes her woodwind trio piece “Voyage” as a musical blog reflecting on her 2015 trip through Europe. In each movement, different elements from a particular culture are employed, including music, atmosphere, scenery and living style.
Known for her compositions that focus on the fusion of Eastern and Western styles, the Taiwan-born composer says that “Voyage” encompasses more styles and incorporates music from different cultures.
“The third movement, Stockholm, is based on the experience I had when I took a boat ride from Stockholm to Helsinki on the day of summer solstice,” Hsu says in the release. “ It was fascinating to see endless islands when the sun didn’t go down until midnight. The inspiration of the last movement, London, came from walking on a bridge in London as I heard a street musician playing Scottish bagpipe music. I thought ‘what an iconic scene’ and decided to write this movement to capture this moment.”
To watch Friday’s performance go to tinyurl.com/52dxb3dr.