Violinist Tseng Yu-chien is not only the youngest person to ever receive the Chi Mei Arts Award, he has actually won the award twice. At the age of 17, he has already won a number of international violin competitions with his profound musicality. Most recently he won fifth place in Belgium’s Queen Elisabeth Music Competition. He will be going back to Belgium to attend the Concert Prelude to National Day 2012. On July 2, the Chi Mei Museum lent the “ex-Castelbarco-Tarsio” Guarneri violin, which is worth more than NT$100 million (US$3.334 million), to him to play at the concert so he can continue using his superior musicianship to make Taiwan proud.
Tseng did not start learning the violin until the age of five. Prior to learning the violin, while he was in a preschool music class, they found that he could not distinguish pitches, even after several attempts. His musical aptitude was therefore thought to be much lower than that of his peers. His teachers were worried he might have a hearing impairment, so his parents took him to the hospital to run some tests.
The tests showed that he did not have any hearing problems, so his father enrolled him in a percussion class to improve his musical sensibilities. He started learning violin only after a friend of his father’s recommended the instrument, which was when his natural musical talent was finally unleashed and started to take off. At the age of seven, Tseng won first place in a Taipei music competition, and after just two years he became a national champion. Since then he has won numerous international competitions and has been called a child prodigy.
Photo: Wu Chun-feng, Liberty Times
Tseng’s journey with the violin has been full of unanticipated glory and success. His natural musical talent has been nurtured under the guidance of his parents and teachers. After beating all of the competition in Taiwan, he won third prize in the junior division of the Yehudi Menuhin Competition in France at the age of 11, and also became the youngest person to ever receive the Chi Mei Arts Award that same year.
He was accepted into the Curtis Institute of Music at the age of 13. During his time there as a student, Tseng has won the junior division of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Albert M. Greenfield Concerto Competition in 2009, first prize in the Pablo Sarasate Competition that same year, the Prize in memory of Dr. Enrico Costa and the Friends of Paganini Association Prize at the Paganini Competition in 2010, a Jury Discretionary Award at the International Tchaikovsky Competition last year, which was also when he received his second Chi Mei Arts Award.
The violin that the 17-year-old Tseng had initially hoped to borrow from the Chi Mei collection for the competition in Belgium — Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu’s 280-year-old “ex-Castelbarco-Tarsio” violin, — was already on loan to renowned violinist Hu Nai-yuan, so he borrowed the “ex-Lafont-Sikovsky” violin instead, which was also made by Guarneri.
Photo: Wu Chun-feng, Liberty Times
Tseng took a trip down south to Greater Tainan on July 2 to return the “ex-Lafont-Sikovsky” Guarneri violin to the museum, thank them for letting him borrow it, and once again ask if he could borrow the “ex-Castelbarco-Tarsio,” which he played on the spot after finally realizing his long-desired wish to borrow the instrument. Tseng will be taking the violin to Belgium to perform as a soloist with the Belgium National Orchestra on July 20 at the Concert Prelude to National Day 2012, once again displaying the brilliant musicianship of a gifted Taiwanese musician.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)
1. preschool n.
幼兒園 (you4 er2 yuan2)
例: Preschool children in North Korea are taught to hate Americans.
2. child prodigy n. phr.
神童 (shen2 tong2)
例: Pablo Picasso was a child prodigy.
3. on the spot adj.
當場的 (dang1 chang3 de5)
例: The president of the company gave a speech on the spot.
Forget your pepperoni or other pizza toppings: Pizza Hut Taiwan has teamed up with Menya Musashi, a popular Japanese ramen restaurant chain, to serve up the world’s first ramen pizza, and it has attracted global interest after a CNN report about the new mashup was published on the front-page of its Japanese version. The new pizza has the toppings of a Japanese-style barbecue pork ramen — complete with thick noodles, barbecue pork slices, fresh chilies and white sesame, as well as a half-boiled egg sitting in the middle. It is also garnished with green onions and bamboo shoots on the side. Pizza
Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) last week confirmed the first domestic cases of a zoonotic vector-borne emerging infectious disease called the Tembusu virus in northern and central areas of the country. Detection of the virus within the nation’s borders follows previously confirmed cases in Malaysia, China and Thailand, making Taiwan the fourth country in the world with cases of the disease. The Tembusu virus was first discovered within duck farms in eastern China in 2010. According to Animal Health Research Institute Director-General Chiou Chwei-jang, in November last year the institute began to investigate a duck farm which was experiencing reduced
Russia-based face-changing application “FaceApp” took social media by storm last summer, as people used its filter to find out how they’d look like when they get old. Now, the app is back again with a gender-swapping function that transforms photos of faces into a different gender, and the filter has gone viral. FaceApp may be a fun tool, but such facial recognition apps raise security concerns, and they could pose a threat to your privacy. Late last year, the FBI even issued a warning about the app, which enjoys access to millions of photos, calling FaceApp and some other apps developed
Last Wednesday, Tesla Inc. displaced Toyota Motor Corp. as the world’s most valuable automaker, underscoring investor enthusiasm for a company trying to transform an industry that has relied on internal combustion engines for more than 130 years. Tesla Inc.’s market value also surpassed Exxon Mobil Corp.’s last Tuesday in a sign that investors are increasingly betting on a global energy transition away from fossil fuels. Exxon is the world’s second biggest energy company after Saudi state-controlled oil giant Aramco went public late last year. Shares of Tesla, which have more than doubled since the start of the year, climbed as much as 3.5