Musician pushes violin boundaries

By Amy He ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-04-04 07:16:03

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Before he started performing in middle school, "it was just me and a violin and a practice room", Yang says. He was making improvements in his playing, but he didn't know if he had that spark, he says.

"It wasn't until I could prove myself onstage and prove myself to these world-renowned teachers at these festivals that I realized: 'Wow, this is something that I have. I'm good at this, and people want to come hear me,'" he says.

It took performing onstage to help Yang understand more about the music he was playing. Yang made his China stage debut at the age of 10, after he won the concerto competition held at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, located in Michigan. He ended up performing in a recital in Shenzhen.

"I was fearless; I didn't care. I just walked onstage and I played," Yang recalls. "There were no nerves, no nothing. It was great. I wish I was the same way today. Back then, there was no adrenaline. I just walked into a room and played my violin."

Now that he's older, there's a little bit more fear, as he plays for crowds in US halls like the Eisemann Center in Dallas, Texas, and for an upcoming performance at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, California.

"As my career is budding, I have something to prove to myself. I have to back up some of the reputation," he says.

Yang is currently on tour with other classical musicians, playing music composed by Iranian composer Hafez Nazeri, son of Shahram Nazeri, one of Iran's biggest stars. The performances, part of the Rumi Symphony Project, are inspired by Persian poet Rumi and combine his thoughts and words with the "harmonic structure of Western symphonic music", according to the younger Nazeri's official website.

"This is a tour that's something I've wanted to do and as a musician I'm constantly learning," Yang says. "I had gotten the music a week before the tour began, which was kind of a last-minute call, but I wanted to challenge myself and I did it."

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