International Violinist and Pianist visit Grahamstown

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Monday, 9th February 2015

For the first concert of 2015, the Grahamstown Music Society is delighted to present Yi-Jia Susanne Hou (violin) and Bryan Wallick (piano).

Date:  Wednesday 18th February

Venue:  Beethoven Room, Rhodes University Music Department 

Time:  7:30 pm       

Programme:  Johannes Brahms (1833-1897): Scherzo in C minor;  Franz Schubert (1797–1828): Fantasy in C major; Johannes Brahms (1833-1897): Violin Sonata No 3 in D minor, Op 108; Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953): Masks (arr. Jascha Heifetz); Mychael Danna  (b.1958): Adoration; Yi-Jia Susanne Hou: Taste of Canada; Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921): Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28

Tickets:  Available at the door. School-goers and GMS members FREE!

See and  for more on these two artists.


International Violinist Yi-Jia Susanne Hou is the first ever violinist to capture 3 Gold Medals with unanimous Juries at 3 International Violin Competitions: Concours International Long-Thibaud (France, 1999), Lipizer International Violin Competition (Italy, 1999) and Sarasate International Violin Competition (Spain, 1997.)

Hou has collaborated with world-renowned Directors and Artists such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Pinchas Zukerman, Alan Gilbert, Cho Liang Lin, Vladimir Spivakov, Marcello Viotti, Marek Janowski, Lan Shui, Boris Brott, Robert McDuffie, Ralph Kirschbaum, Lawrence Dutton, Joseph Kalichstein, Alain Trudel, Bernhard Gueller, Gregory Vajda, Ling Tung, and Li Xin Cao, among others.

Hou’s new music video ‘The Devil’s Delight’, produced by Rhombus Media, just premiered on Bravo!TV; she also stars in a new documentary on the “Canada Council Instrument Bank”, A Rotating Planet Production which is Directed by Ari Cohen for Bravo!TV. She performed the violin solo in the Atom Egoyan film "Adoration" which won the Ecumenical Jury Prize at Festival de Cannes, featuring music composed by Mychael Danna, and was the subject of CBC’s ’The National’ Documentary: Shanghai Sensation, revisiting her childhood in Shanghai, with her father, Alec Hou, a renowned violin pedagogue in China. Hou has also been seen on PBS, Bravo! and the TODAY SHOW with BOWFIRE.

Most recently, Yi-Jia Susanne Hou - ’little miss violin’ was commissioned by CPA, Boca Raton to produce her very own Classical Musical: Around the World of Music in 80 Minutes reaching over 13,000 audience through 9 sold out World Premiere Performances. She will continue on with CPA to produce an annual 6-concert series aboard Celebrity Cruises ‘Reflection’ beginning in winter, 2012.

As a solo violinist, Hou has traveled the world, touring in Canada with Debut Atlantic & Prairie Debut, and throughout the United States, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Croatia, China, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, and Hong Kong. Her numerous solo appearances include the London Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre Nationale de l’Île de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, SWR Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, WDR Cologne, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, Chicago Sinfonietta, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Tokyo Philharmonic, Osaka-Kansai Philharmonic, Shanghai Broadcasting Orchestra, Czech National Orchestra, and Slovenia Radio-Television Orchestra. Festival appearances include the Aspen Music Festival, La Jolla Music Society, Grand Teton Music Festival, Rome Chamber Music Festival, Bordeaux Musique en Graves, and Amis de Mozart, among others.

At 17, Hou performed the most challenging pieces ever written for the violin: Paganini’s Twenty-four Caprices for Solo Violin, in live recitals in Toronto at the Royal Conservatory of Music, and the Aspen Music Festival. Ms. Hou has also performed all 10 of Beethoven’s Piano and Violin Sonatas in New York as well as the complete collection of Brahms Violin and Piano Sonatas and Piano Trios.

Born into a musical family, Ms. Hou had music surrounding her all her life. Both her mother and father are violinists, and thus at the tender age of 4, Hou began studying violin with her father, Alec Hou. Less than a year later, she gave her first public performance and was received with a standing ovation. At nine, the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto invited her as a scholarship student.

Since then, Hou has had scholarships and fellowships at the Aspen Music Festival for nine summers, as well as The Juilliard School where she received her Bachelor of music as a student of Dorothy DeLay and Naoko Tanaka in 2000. She then went on to do a 1-year Masters program, and completed the highly acclaimed Artist Diploma Program in Juilliard with Cho Liang Lin and Naoko Tanaka.

The outstanding violin being used by Yi-Jia Susanne Hou is the ex Mary Portman, Fritz Kreisler Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù, Cremona, c. 1735 on extended loan from Clement and Karen Arrison through the generous efforts of The Stradivari Society® of Chicago. The Stradivari Society® is a unique organization that supports the very highest level of string playing by assisting patrons who own the most precious antique Italian instruments and choose to make them available to artists of exceptional talent and ability. 


Bryan Wallick is gaining recognition as one of the great American virtuoso pianists of his generation. Gold medalist of the 1997 Vladimir Horowitz International Piano Competition in Kiev, he has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and South Africa.

Mr. Wallick made his New York recital debut in 1998 at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall and made his Wigmore Hall recital debut in London in 2003.  He has also performed at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall with the London Sinfonietta and at the St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church with the London Soloist’s Chamber Orchestra.

In recent seasons, Mr. Wallick has performed with the Boise Philharmonic, Brevard Symphony, Capetown Philharmonic, Cincinnati Pops, Durban Philharmonic, Evansville Philharmonic, Illinois Philharmonic, Johannesburg Philharmonic, Kentucky Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, and the Winston-Salem Symphony; and collaborated with Erich Kunzel, Marvin Hamlisch, Yasuo Shinozaki, Vladimir Verbitsky, Victor Yampolsky, Josep Vicent, Leslie Dunner, Robert Moody, Alfred Savia, Christopher Confessore, and Carmon Deleon among others.  Mr. Wallick has performed recitals at the Chateau Differdange in Luxembourg, on the Tivoli Artists Series in Copenhagen, Ravina's Rising Star Series, Xavier Piano Series (Cincinnati), Scottsdale Center’s Steinway Series, Sanibel Island Music Festival, and the Classics in the Atrium Series in the British Virgin Islands.  In March 2002, Mr. Wallick played two solo performances at LedreborgPalace for HRH Princess Marie Gabrielle Luxembourg, and HRH Prince Philip Bourbon de Parme.

Mr. Wallick’s 2013-14 highlights included a solo recital debut at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, debut performances with the Portland Symphony, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Pretoria Symphony Orchestra, and a last minute cancellation with the Johannesburg Philharmonic.  He also performed solo recitals throughout South Africa and performed chamber recitals with violinist Sergey Malov, cellist Anzel Gerber and soprano Hanli Stapela.  In 2014-15 he will return to perform with the Johannesburg Philharmonic, the Kwa-zulu Natal Philharmonic, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and will also perform solo and chamber recitals throughout South Africa with violinist Yi-Jia Susanne Hou and soprano Hanli Stapela.     

Mr. Wallick has performed on National Ukrainian Television and Radio, on Danish National Radio, on Chicago’s WFMT Fazioli Series, on BBC's radio show "In Tune," and on NPR's "Performance Today." He was recently given a grant by the ScottsdaleCenter for the Performing Arts to explore his synesthetic realities in a multimedia project that allows the audience to see the colors he experiences while performing.  Synesthesia is the ability to experience two or more sensory experiences with one stimulus.  Bryan Wallick sees colors with each musical pitch and has created a computer program that projects images of his colored visions to the audience.

Mr. Wallick studied with Jerome Lowenthal in New York City where he was the first JuilliardSchool graduate to receive both an undergraduate Honors Diploma (2000) and an accelerated Master's Degree (2001).  He continued his studies with Christopher Elton in London at the Royal Academy of Music where he was the recipient of the Associated Board International Scholarship, receiving a Post-graduate Diploma with Distinction, and previously studied with Eugene and Elizabeth Pridonoff at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.  George Plimpton's feature article on Bryan Wallick appears in the March 2002 edition of Contents magazine.

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