NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Dr. Jonathan Tsay will present a solo piano recital pairing selections from the standard repertoire with pieces written by Taiwanese composers who wrote their works in the early to mid-20th century when he performs at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, in Cole Concert Hall on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.
Tsay, assistant professor of piano at the University of Memphis, is a collaborative pianist, chamber musician, producer and arts administrator who recently discovered the library of works by Taiwanese composers from this era.
“The works not only reveal the sophistication and craftsmanship of classical music works originating from East Asia during this time period,” he said, “but they also provide a fascinating look into the turbulent history of Taiwan from pre-WWII Japanese occupation through its emergence into modern day influence and controversy on the world stage.”
Among the works to be performed is Jiang Wen-Ye’s “Formosan Dance,” which won an award at the art competition at the Berlin Summer Olympics. “This piece is representative of Jiang’s compositional style that blends elements of East Asian traditional music with modernist European classical techniques,” Tsay said.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Dumka, Op. 59, subtitled “scène rustique Russe,” is an introspective piece characterized by its contrasting sections, shifting between sorrowful, introspective moments and bursts of vibrant, folk-inspired melodies.
“A Sketch of the Rainy Harbor” by Ma Shui-Long (a Neo-Impressionist evocation of his hometown of Keelung) is in four short movements, “Rain,” “Harbor Views on Rainy Nights,” “The Girl who Collects Seashells” and “At the Temple Gate.”
Prior to his appointment at The University of Memphis, Tsay served numerous roles in the music community including head of collaborative piano at Conservatory Music in the Mountains, head of piano at the Chloé Trevor Music Academy, presenter and artist for Cliburn in the Classroom (which serves over 50k under-served second through fourth graders in the DFW area per year) and artistic director of Ensemble75, a chamber music series based in the North Texas area. Tsay also served as principal keyboard for the Las Colinas Symphony, Arlington Symphony and Garland Symphony.
His performances have been broadcast on classical radio stations and are featured in the companion CD to "Brahms - A Listener's Guide: Unlocking the Masters Series." His album, "Harmonic Allusions," was named in the "Top 5 Albums of 2017" by TheaterJones, and his YouTube collaboration with Chloé Trevor performing "Danse Macabre" has garnered more than 1.3 million views.
Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. To purchase tickets, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit sfasu.edu/boxoffice, For additional information, contact the SFA School of Music at (936) 468-4602.