A profile of violinist Angelo Xiang Yu, winner of a 2019 Avery Fisher Career Grant Award.
Good evening and welcome to 'NYC-Arts.'
I'm Paula Zahn at the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center.
The ceremony for the 2019 Avery Fisher Career Grant awards took place last March at the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXR.
These individual grants of $25,000 give professional assistance and recognition to talented instrumentalists who have great potential for solo careers.
There were four recipients -- piano duo Christina and Michelle Naughton... the JACK Quartet... pianist Henry Kramer... and violinist Angelo Xiang Yu.
Born in Inner Mongolia, China, Angelo Xiang Yu moved to Shanghai at the age of 11 to study violin at the conservatory there.
Later, he moved to Boston, where he received his bachelor's, master's, and Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory of Music.
Last February, he received a prestigious Lincoln Center Emerging Artist award.
He is currently a member of the Chamber Music of Lincoln Center's Bowers Program.
Receiving the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grants really means the world to me, because when I was little, I would skip my lunch and eat a lot for dinner, because I can save the lunch money and I could buy the CDs using that money.
And when I was a little boy, I'd just collect CDs, and listening to it hours and hours -- CDs by Andre Watts, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham.
Those artists have won this award many years ago.
And I actually grew up listening to their CDs, but I would never, never imagine myself winning this award.
♪♪ My pianist -- her name is Feng Niu.
She's a wonderful pianist and she's always willing to be a great collaborator.
And when she has a melody, she can really sing out very beautifully, but when I have the melody, she is giving me the stage to shine.
♪♪ So, this violin is made by probably the greatest violin-maker of the violin-making history, Antonio Stradivari.
And he made this violin at the year of 1729, so she's almost 300 years old.
I said 'she' because I really think she's a lady.
I think this is not just a piece of wood.
It has lots of history, and I can almost touch the soul of the violin whenever I played it.
♪♪ The piece I played last night for the Avery Fisher Career Grant Award is called 'Chaconne' by Italian composer Tomaso Vitali.
And I love this piece because it is essentially a Baroque piece, but it has so much emotion and colors in this work.
Of course, it's been transposed a couple times, and so that it becomes, actually, a virtuoso piece.
But I can really see the simplicity of it at the same time.
The melody is so beautiful that, after the concert, people would always remember that for many, many days.
The form of the 'Chaconne' is kind of like a theme and variation.
It has a simple theme, but later on, it got more complicated, and you see all these variations.
And he would use these variations to explore the possibilities on the violin and all kinds of violin technique you can find.
And there is, of course, the grand finale, where the theme repeats, but in a higher-register octave -- very, very powerful and emotional.
And all of that actually really shows the virtuoso aspect of a performer but, at the same time, also give the emotion to the work itself.
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Applause ] ♪♪