Chamber Music - Dolphin SongOct. 19th - Oct. 20th, 2013  STA New Space

Dolphin Song is a lamentation on the recent extinction of Yangtze River "baiji" White Dolphins.  One of the river’s greatest losses, the dolphins’ extinction is considered the first time human activity directly caused an entire species to disappear.  In four movements, this piece of music tells the tragedy of the dolphins.  The first movement is a depiction of Mother Nature at work, where the dolphins live, breed, feed, and die according to natural cycles of life.  The second movement tells the legend of the Yangtze princess; the creation myth of the dolphins told by generations of Yangtze River fishermen.  This story is central to the concept of respecting Mother Nature, and as folklore, is an intangible cultural heritage that holds sway in teaching us how to live as a small piece of the puzzle that includes all of Mother Nature’s creations.  The third movement depicts our materialistic desires and the resultant conflict between the dolphins and us, while the finale is a spiritual farewell from all the dolphins when their spirits evaporate with the river water on a warm sunny day.  The work is a prayer for action; a call for us to protect what little of the wildlife is left in our time.


Sam Wu

Sam Wu's music deals with the beauty in blurred boundaries.  Many of his works center around extra-musical themes: architecture and urban planning, climate science and the search for exoplanets that host life.Selected for the American Composers Orchestra's EarShot readings, winner of an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, Sam was also awarded First Prize at the Washington International Competition.  Sam’s collaborations span five continents, most notably with the Philadelphia, Minnesota, and Sarasota Orchestras, the Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphonies, New York City Ballet, Sydney International Piano Competition, the Lontano, Parker, Argus, ETHEL and icarus Quartets, conductors Osmo Vänskä, Case Scaglione, and Benjamin Northey, and sheng virtuoso Wu Wei.After growing up in Shanghai, Sam (b. 1995) received degrees from Harvard University and The Juilliard School, and is a DMA candidate in Composition at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music.  His teachers include Tan Dun, Anthony Brandt, Pierre Jalbert, and Chaya Czernowin.

Zeyu Victor Li

Zeyu Victor Li is honored as a musical prodigy.  Entering Curtis Institute of Music when he was 14 years old (2010), he was the youngest violin student there from Asia.  Aaron Rosand, the world renowned violinist and educator speaks highly of his youngest student.  Early in China, Victor excelled with his consummate violin skills and innate musical talent.  He won the Gold Award of Junior Division, and the only award for Chinese work performance in the Ninth National Youth Violin Competition in Qingdao, 2009; he won the New Creations Performance Award (Composer Prize) in the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition in 2012; and he was awarded First Place of Senior Division in the concerto competition in Summit Music Festival in New York, 2012.  In 2009, Victor was invited to participate in the 5th anniversary of the restoration of Weekly Radio Concert held at Shanghai Concert Hall, as well as the 50th anniversary of the naming of the hall.  In 2010, he was invited to perform solo the Sibelius D minor Violin Concerto in Shanghai Spring International Music Festival.  In April 2009, while communicating with internationally eminent violin virtuoso Pinchas Zukerman in Shanghai Oriental Art Center, Victor Li was praised as "a genius with a bright future".  Since Victor entered Curtis, he has performed in Carnegie Hall in New York, and several times in Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.  He participated in the American Summer Music Festival at MANN CENTER on May 11th, 2012.