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Acclaimed Violinist Kia-Hui Tan and UNH Professor Jose Garcia-Leon Will Play Beethoven Masterwork at UNH’s Dodds Theater on March 3

Release Date:
2/21/2013 12:00 AM
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Feb. 21, 2013

Kia-Hui Tan, Jose Garcia Leon, features Kia-Hui Tan (left), Jose Garcia-Leon

WEST HAVEN, CONN. --- In the midst of a gray winter, spring will arrive for a brief interlude at University of New Haven’s Dodds Hall Theater on Sunday, March 3, when Kia-Hui Tan and Jose Garcia-Leon perform Beethoven’s “Spring Sonata.” 

Tan, hailed as a violinist of astonishing virtuosity, and Garcia-Leon, UNH associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and associate professor of music, as well as an internationally award-winning pianist, will play one of Beethoven’s best-known works for violin.

The recital, sponsored by the Department of Music and Arts@UNH, begins at 5 p.m.

“The work is a little over 20 minutes and shows a variety of moods about the spring, mostly joyful and lighthearted, with interspersed moments of peaceful meditation - as if on a nice walk in a beautiful place,” said Garcia-Leon.

Garcia-Leon said he is delighted to be sharing the stage with Tan, an associate professor of violin at Ohio State University, and winner of the bronze medal at the NTDTV Chinese International Violin Competition in 2008.

In addition to the sonata, Han will play a brand new composition, “Twelve Signs,” by Chiayu. (Editor’s note: The composer goes by a single name.) The piece contains 12 movements depicting characteristics of each sign of the zodiac.

Tan and Garcia-Leon also will play works by Joaquín Rodrigo and Joaquín Turina. “Kia-Hui is such a fiery performer that Spanish music suits her playing style very well. I'm sure it is going to be great fun for the audience,” Garcia-Leon said.

Tan has performed as concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician in 25 states and 20 countries on five continents. Included in her repertoire of over 400 solo or chamber works are premiere performances of works by more than 70 living composers. She also explores how Tai Chi, nervous system energy and the Alexander Technique, an educational process that focuses on how to stop using unnecessary levels of muscular and mental tension in everyday activities, combine to influence and enhance her violin playing and teaching.

Garcia-Leon, a first-prize winner of numerous national and international competitions including the Artist International Competition of New York, has played around the world at venues such as the Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, the Saint Petersburg Music Festival and the Soulahti Summer Festival in Finland.

Playing “Spring Sonata” is a dream come true, said Garcia-Leon. “Growing up, it was one of my favorite violin works,” he said. “I am very excited that I now get to play it with such a talented violinist.”

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 on the campus of Yale University in cooperation with Northeastern University, UNH moved to its current West Haven campus in 1960. The University operates a satellite campus in Tuscany, Italy, and offers programs at several locations throughout Connecticut and in New Mexico and California. UNH provides its students with a unique combination of a solid liberal arts education and real-world, hands-on career and research opportunities. The University enrolls approximately 6,400 students, including nearly 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates – the majority of whom reside in University housing. Through its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Tagliatela College of Engineering, and College of Lifelong & eLearning, UNH offers 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. UNH students have access to more than 50 study abroad programs worldwide and its student-athletes compete in 16 varsity sports in the NCAA Division II’s highly competitive Northeast-10 Conference.