Daisy Wu performs on the guzheng during the concert at New York City’s Lincoln Center
NEW YORK, NY – Eight Alfred University student musicians in the University’s Performing Arts Division, along with two members of the University’s music program, participated in a concert at New York City’s Lincoln Center on Saturday, Sept. 10.
The “Golden Night of New York” concert, held in the Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, was co-sponsored by the Asian Cultural Symphony, Beijing Association of New York, and the Confucius Institute at Alfred University. The concert was held in celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival), an important traditional festival for many Asian countries, and included both Chinese and Western musical repertoire, as well as ballet performances.
The Asian Culture Symphony is affiliated with the Asian Cultural Center in New York City. It is made up of nearly one hundred diverse music professionals from the Greater New York Area. The symphony, under the direction of Steven Fang, was joined by eight student members of the Alfred University Orchestra.
Daisy Wu, director of the Confucius Institute at Alfred University and a visiting professor of music, was instrumental in efforts to bring Alfred University students to New York City to participate in the concert. Lisa Lantz, professor of music, who helped prepare students for the concert, served as a guest conductor for the opening work from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.
“The students spent their summer practicing at home, had two weeks of intense rehearsals on campus, and two rehearsals with the full symphony,” Wu said of the students. “I very much appreciate Dr. Lantz for her tireless efforts to lead the students in practicing the music.”
Wu, who performed a solo concerto piece on guzheng, a traditional Chinese stringed instrument, said the students represented Alfred University well during the concert.
“I was so proud of our amazing students,” she said. “When the show started, I was backstage and teared up when I saw how well our students played with the Asian Cultural Symphony! I shed happy tears for them! It was a great challenge for them to play sixteen difficult pieces with this professional symphony.”
Lauren Lake, dean of the Alfred University School of Art and Design and Performing Arts Division, offered remarks during a VIP reception prior to the concert. Lake shared her gratitude for the cultural exchange and praised the students for their “commitment and passion,” while expressing excitement for future collaborations between Alfred University, the Beijing Association, and the Asian Cultural Center.
Among those attending the reception and concert were Jin Qian, China’s deputy consul general to New York; Hong Zhao, consul of the Economic and Commercial Office of the Consulate General of China; and Baoli Zhang, president of the Beijing Association of New York.
Wu said Alfred University Board of Trustees member Craig Peretz was at the reception and offered words of encouragement to the Alfred students. “He told us how proud he was when he walked down the street to the Alice Tully Hall and saw the big concert poster with Alfred University’s name on it,” Wu related.