Taipei orchestral music festival scheduled for August

Taiwanese-American violinist Lin Chao-liang (林昭亮, back row, second right) / Photo courtesy of Taipei Music Academy and Festival


Taipei, July 13 (CNA) An annual orchestral music festival featuring international musicians will go ahead in August despite ongoing quarantine measures amid the COVID-19 new coronavirus pandemic.


The Taipei Music Academy and Festival (TMAF), which is open to string players, will run from Aug. 2-9 at the Taipei National University of the Arts, with a special TMAF All-Star Concert to be held on Aug. 3, at the National Concert Hall, featuring both local and international orchestral and chamber music instrumentalists.


The eight-day program will focus on orchestral music, with music coaching classes, master classes, and individual instruction on solo repertoires, the TMAF website said.


A TMAF spokeswoman told CNA that the original idea was to have a two-week program focusing on chamber music in the first week and orchestral music in the second week but the program has been shortened due to the pandemic.


“We were originally going to have 13 instructors but we reduced the number to six,” she said, adding that there are about 35 enrollments this year compared with almost 70 last year.


In order to attend the TMAF, participating international musicians have agreed to arrive early in order to comply with Taiwan’s mandatory 14-day quarantine for all incoming travelers.


Taiwan has banned entry to most foreign nationals since March 19 to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, with the exception of those who hold an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) or documents proving they are in Taiwan for diplomatic reasons, other official purposes, or to fulfill business contracts.


The TMAF is led by artistic director and noted Taiwanese-American violinist Lin Chao-liang (林昭亮), who is currently serving as music director of La Jolla SummerFest scheduled for August and directed the Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival in January.


Lin will also lead the TMAF All-Star Concert with an ensemble of 10 local and international musicians playing the violin, viola, cello, double bass and piano, the TMAF website said.


The concert will include performances by violinist and San Diego native David Chan, a dedicated chamber musician who performs regularly in the New York area and is currently on the faculty of both Juilliard and the Mannes School of Music, TMAF said.


Another violinist Philip Setzer, currently serves as the Distinguished Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at SUNY Stony Brook and Visiting Faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music, TMAF said.


Award-winning cellist Dmitri Atapine who frequently performs with The Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center and one of America’s leading orchestral and chamber music artists Peter Lloyd of the Philadelphia Orchestra will play the double bass, TMAF said.


The concert will also feature renditions of Mozart’s Piano Quartet in G minor, KV 478; Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer and Ragtime Dance, Leo Delibes’ Flower Duet from Lakme, Astor Piazzolla’s Oblivion and Libertonago, Felix Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat Major, Op.20; and three Taiwanese folk songs, the TMAF said.


The international musicians will also serve as instructors during daily coaching sessions, master classes and mock auditions, the TMAF said.


The aim of the TMAF is to work on the skills of Taiwanese musicians, helping them develop the ability and expertise needed to play in ensembles with other instrumentalists, Lin said, adding that the instructors will personally demonstrate by performing with the students.


The TMAF will also feature an orchestral concert on Aug. 9 at the National Concert Hall, including all students and instructors at the festival, performing their rendition of Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins in B minor, Op. 3, No. 10, Edward Elgar’s Serenade for strings, Op. 20; Edvard Grieg’s Holberg Suite, Op. 40; and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for String Orchestra, Op.48.


The TMAF was first held in 2019.


(By Chao Ching-yu and William Yen)