March 4, 2012
Family Concert

Music Masters from East to West - Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Ma SiCong

Xiao-Fu Zhou & Quan Yuan, Violins
Constance Lin Kaita, Violin
Sunny Sung-Eun Chang, Cello
Kevin Jang, Piano

Ma Double Violin Concerto
Beethoven Leonore Overture
Beethoven Triple Concerto

Return to 2011-12 Season

This year marks the 100th year anniversary of birth of the legendary Chinese Composer Ma Sicong, who was also a renowned violinist and music educator.  He was born in the Guangdong province of China in 1912, and studied at the Conservatoire de Paris throughout his teens.  Ma was the founding president of the China Central Conservatory of Music.  In 1967, because of the unrest during the Cultural Revolution in China, Ma and his family fled to Hong Kong. He took up residence in Philadelphia until his death in 1987.   Ma was featured in the cover story in the June 1967 issue of Life magazine.  Ma’s ashes were brought back to China and a Ma SiCong Museum of Art was opened in 2002 in Guangzhou, China.  Ma was always actively composing throughout these years and his orchestral works have been performed in China, Taiwan and Russia.


The New York Times described violinist Xiao-Fu Zhou as “A master of his instrument and a poet. Zhou unveils a preternaturally rich, warm tone and instinctive musical understanding. … Most of all one remembers the simple unmannered beauty of the playing.”  Xiao-Fu Zhou is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Jascha Brodsky and Arnold Steinhardt. He later studied with Dorothy Delay at the Julliard School of Music. In the years following his highly acclaimed New York City Debut in Carnegie Recital Hall in 1993, Xiao-Fu Zhou has given countless recitals as both violinist and violist, including performing as guest soloist with The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.  Zhou has also performed in Avery Fisher Hall, and in full recital in honor of Wolfgang Sawallisch’s first anniversary as conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has given a sold-out recital at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, in Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Hall, and in Shanghai. Zhou has been the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Main Line Youth Chamber Orchestra. He is also on the faculty of the Philadelphia Biblical University.

Born in Beijing, 28-year-old violinist Quan Yuan began his violin studies in China. After graduating from Curtis, he enrolled in the New England Conservatory of Music studying with studying Donald Weilerstein, and served as the concertmaster of their symphony orchestra.  Yuan was the First Prize winner of the China International Young Artist Competition and the Denmark International Young Artist Competition. Mr. Yuan has performed as a soloist with the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, China National Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Pro Musica, China Youth Chamber Orchestra, and the Taipei Youth Symphony Orchestra.  As a chamber musician, Mr. Yuan has performed with Jaime Laredo, Joseph Silverstein, and Roberto Diaz. 

To celebrate Ma SiCong’s teaching legacy, Ma’s student, Hua-Yi Wang, along with Mr. Wang’s students, will play the “Rondo” composed by Ma. The format of this special performance, a violin ensemble in unison, is unique in the United States.  It is very popular, however, in Russia and Europe, and is especially used by the Yehudi Menuhim schools.  Mr. Menuhim introduced this form of performance to China, and has since become popular as a mode of teaching there.  


Kevin Jang is a 17-year-old pianist from Edison, New Jersey.  He is a student of Susan Starr. He has attended the Juilliard School Pre-College Division with scholarships from the Hecksher Foundation and Gordon Roberts.  Since his orchestral debut at age nine, Kevin has appeared as piano soloist with various orchestras such as the Edison Symphony, Juilliard Pre-College Chamber Orchestra, Monmouth Symphony, Orchestra Sinfonica di Chioggia, Philadelphia Biblical University Symphony, Plainfield Symphony, Summit Symphony, Westfield Symphony, and the Warminster Symphony. He has performed at such prestigious concert venues as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Lied Center of Kansas, New Jersey State Theatre, and Steinway Hall in New York City.

Constance Lin Kaita, a 17-year-old violinist from Manalapan, New Jersey, is the concertmaster of the Bravura Youth Orchestra.  She was the assistant concertmaster of the 2011 New Jersey All-State High School Orchestra.  She has also performed in the All-Eastern Honors Orchestra and the All-National Honors Orchestra in Washington DC.  Constance is a student of Hua-Yi Wang, and has received a Diploma in Violin Performance from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Constance has represented the New Jersey Music Teachers Association in the Music Teachers National Association Junior Strings Solo Performance Competition.

Sunny Sung-Eun Chang is an 11th grader in Millhurn High School.  Born in Seoul, South Korea, in 1994, Sunny won many competitions including the Ewha Kyunghyang Music Competition and the Strad Magazine, Umyun Magazine, Music Journal Competitions. She studied under the tutelage of Ms. Myung-Wha Chung in Korea. In 2007, Sunny moved to the United States and continued her musical studies with Alan Stepansky.  She was a grand prize winner in the Bravura Philharmonic Young Artists Concerto Competition, first prize winner in the New York Music Competition, winner of the Westfield Symphony Orchestra’s Jersey Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Competition, and the New Jersey Music Teachers Associations Competition.