Taiwan has scored an exceptional success in this year’s auditions for the Asian Youth Orchestra.
Out of a total 103 placements on the orchestra, young instrumentalists from Taiwan won an unprecedented 38.
Nowhere else compares. Japan and South Korea came closest, with 14 successes each. China got nine, with Hong Kong (considered separately from China for the purposes of this competition) also gained nine successes.
Photo courtesy of the Asia Youth Orchestra
The orchestra assembles for six weeks every year, rehearsing and then going on a local tour.
Unfortunately, the rehearsal period and tour have had to be postponed for this year because of the coronavirus emergency. But the musicians who won places this year will have their places reserved for next year, and for them no further auditions will be necessary.
“Circumstances dictated that we auditioned by video,” said Richard Pontzious, the orchestra’s artistic director, founder and conductor. “It worked out surprisingly well.”
The annual concerts are highly esteemed in the classical music world, and membership in the orchestra is keenly sought after. Taiwan’s success of 38 is astonishing by any standards, and confirms Taiwan’s pre-eminence in the Asian classical music world.
The successful competitors comprise nine violinists, seven viola players, seven cellists, five double-bass players, two oboe players, two horn players, one flautist, one clarinetist, one bassoon player, one trumpeter, one harpist and one tenor-trombone player.
Their names can be found on www.asianyouthorchetra.com.
Green, spiky and with a strong, sweet smell, the bulky jackfruit has morphed from a backyard nuisance in India’s south coast into the meat-substitute darling of vegans and vegetarians in the West. Part of the South Asia’s diet for centuries, jackfruit was so abundant that tonnes of it went to waste every year. But now India, the world’s biggest producer of jackfruit, is capitalizing on its growing popularity as a “superfood” meat alternative — touted by chefs from San Francisco to London and Delhi for its pork-like texture when unripe. “There are a lot of inquiries from abroad... At the international level, the
In troubled times, people have been known to hoard currency at home — a financial security blanket against deep uncertainty. But in this crisis, things are different. This time cash itself, passed from hand to hand across neighborhoods, cities and societies just like the coronavirus, is a source of suspicion rather than reassurance. No longer a thing to be shoved mindlessly into a pocket, tucked into a worn wallet or thrown casually on a kitchen counter, money’s status has changed during the virus era — perhaps irrevocably. The pandemic has also reawakened debate about the continued viability of what has been
The Lunar New Year vacation had just ended when Alice Wu began to worry about COVID-19. Not long after, on Feb. 10, Wu — who didn’t give her Chinese name to speak freely for this story — received the first of several coronavirus-related sales messages through her smartphone. The pitch came from an acquaintance who represents Amway, an American multi-level marketing (MLM) company that’s been active in Taiwan since 1982. “I’ve only met her once, and I’ve never bought from her. If her sister wasn’t one of my daughter’s teachers, I’d probably block her,” says Wu, who lives in Taichung. MLM, sometimes
It’s difficult to watch Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, a four-hour Netflix series on the now-deceased convicted sex offender without a choking sense of outrage. How many girls had to suffer to get attention? How perversely twisted is the American justice system that a Gatsby-esque billionaire, friends with such powerful figures as Bill Clinton , Prince Andrew and Donald Trump, a longstanding donor to Harvard and MIT, could buy his way out of an almost certain life sentence for child sex abuse and trafficking? Filthy Rich arrives, of course, less than a year after Epstein, 66, died, officially by suicide, in a New