Freudschaft-Friendship – A Concert to Celebrate the 33 Years of Friendship between
New Taipei City and Starnberg, Germany
One of the perks of devoting your free volunteer time to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan and the Canadian Trade Office in Taiwan – which are two organizations I have gladly given my time to for more than 5 years for the betterment of local Taiwanese friends of Canada and Canadians in Taiwan, but also to the betterment of participating and helping to strengthen bi-lateral relationships between Canada and Taiwan – is being invited to a symphony concert as the the Mayor’s personal guest.
Last week, John and I attended Freudschaft: A Concert to Celebrate the 33 Years of Friendship between New Taipei City and Starnberg, Germany as guests of the New Taipei City Mayor, Mr. Eric Chu.
Starnberg is one of New Taipei’s sister cities.
This was the first time we had a chance to see the National Taiwan University of Arts (NTUA) Symphony Orchestra; they were unbelievable.
An assembly of talented students at the NTUA Department of Music, the NTUA Symphony Orchestra often plays in organized events to further develop the students’ performance experiences in front of large crowds.
Renowned local and overseas soloists often come to support and perform with the NTUA Symphony Orchestra to help the students improve their performance levels and further develop their musical talents.
Besides symphonies and concertos, the Orchestra is also involved with the opera. They also work with the NTUA Department of Dance, the Department of Drama, and the Department of Multimedia and Animation Arts.
All in all, if you’re lucky enough to see this talented group of musicians play, you’re in for a treat. They play seamlessly together.
On the eve of April 11, 2018, Conductor Yiu-Kwong Chung, a professor at NTUA Department of Music was conducting the evening of music.
Conductor Chung was also the former leader of the Taipei Chinese Orchestra. His compositions span western and Chinese genres, and as leader of the Taipei Chinese Orchestra, he has traveled all over the world performing in world-class theaters such as Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and Theatre du Chatalet in Paris.
Chung won the Best Composer in the 19th Golden Melody Awards in 2008 and the Best Producer in the 24th Golden Melody Awards in 2013.
The two world-famous solo artists that we were there to see that evening was Rudens Turku on violin. Turku was born in Albania in 1978. He moved to Germany when he was 14 years old.
Professor Turku has produced eight albums. In 2015, he released Souvenirs, which was nominated for a German Record Award. He began teaching violin at Accdemia Perosi in Italy the same year.
Turku received the Cultural Award of Starnberg in 2013.
**I had a lovely video featuring Rudens Turku with NTUA, but his representative has asked me to take the video down. What a shame, as this video really highlighted how skillfully NTUA played with him.** Removed per his request.
Kuo-Hsiang Hung is a full time assistant professor at NTUA.
She is also a renowned violinist, having participated and performed exceptionally in many international violin competitions, such as d’Oro Prize in Lowell, Italy and the Padova International Music Competition.
She has completed several world tours across Europe and Asia, and she was named Outstanding Young Musician in Germany in May 2013. She has also held solo violin concerts at the National Concert Hall in 2013, 2015, and 2017.
Hung is frequently invited to give violin masterclasses, speak at conferences, and serve as a judge in numerous major music competitions and examinations in Taiwan.
To hear these wonderful talented musicians perform for us that evening was a night I will truly remember.
From Dvorak: Carnival Overture, Op.92 to Bruch: Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor featuring Rudens Turku, then on to Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasty Overture and Bach’s Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor, BWV 1043 with Rudens Turku and Kuo-Hsiang Hung and finally to end the evening on Berlioz: Marche Hongroise.
This was music to my ears.
We felt very special and grateful to have the opportunity to watch and listen to these amazing musicians. It was truly one of the best evenings I’ve had to attend on behalf of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan.
It was a night I will never forget!