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Formosa Quartet Joins Asia Music Arts (AMA 亞藝藝術)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Formosa Quartet Joins Asia Music Arts (AMA 亞藝藝術)

Formosa Quartet | From left to right: Jasmine Lin, Wayne Lee, Deborah Pae, and Che-Yen Chen

Formosa Quartet | From left to right: Jasmine Lin, Wayne Lee, Deborah Pae, and Che-Yen Chen

June 6, 2017 - Formosa Quartet is thrilled to join the roster of Asia Music Arts (AMA 亞藝藝術), one of Asia's leading classical music agencies, for representation in Asia and Germany.

Winners of the First Prize and the Amadeus Prize at the London International String Quartet Competition in 2006, Formosa Quartet is “one of the very best quartets of their generation” (David Soyer, cellist of the Guarneri Quartet). Their debut recording on the EMI label was hailed as “spellbinding” (Strad Magazine) and “remarkably fine” (Gramophone), with the quartet having given critically acclaimed performances at the Ravinia Festival, the Caramoor Festival, The Library of Congress, The Da Camera Society, Los Angeles, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, Rice University, San Francisco State University, and Wigmore Hall.

Contact:
Amy Post, Managing Director  
Asia Music & Arts
amypost@asiamusicarts.com.tw

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18 Questions for Clancy Newman

Clancy Newman — cellist, composer, honorary Taiwanese, and friend of Formosa — lives in Philadelphia with his wife, real-estate developer and harpist Angel Lin. He joins Formosa & Chicago Chamber Musicians in the Mendelssohn Octet this Sunday April 2 at NU's Galvin Hall.


FQ  How can someone get you to dance? 

CN  Maybe with some sort of gene-splicing technology to alter my DNA. 

 

FQ  What’s your greatest fear? 

CN  Dancing. 

 

FQ  What qualities do you most admire in a person? 

CN  Big-heartedness and eccentricity.  

 

FQ  If you were running for President of the United States, whom would you pick as Vice President? 

CN  My cello.

 

FQ  What was the first musical composition you ever wrote? 

CN  It was called Doretso in G, and I was seven years old. It wasn’t in G. 

 

FQ  Which classical music composer would enjoy Jimi Hendrix? 

CN  Bartok.

 

FQ  What's your most vivid memory of playing with Formosa? 

CN  One thing came to mind, but I feel like it shouldn't be put in print... I also remember the feats involving — what was it we were throwing? And trying to catch in our mouths? 

FQ  The grapes! 

CN  Yeah. I remember missing badly but also being triumphant in my second attempt. 

FQ  In catching or throwing? 

CN  I actually can’t remember now. I remember it was extraordinarily large distances. 

 

FQ  What does Taiwan conjure up in your mind?

CN  It makes my stomach grumble.

 

FQ  What are some of the outstanding dishes you had there?

CN  牛肉麵 [Beef noodle soup]. 麵很Q [The noodles were al dente], the broth was just delicious, and the meat just sort of fell apart. It was... so good.

 

FQ  What one thing must one do in Melbourne? 

CN  Go on the Great Ocean Road. 

 

FQ  What was your first thought when you woke up on your wedding day? 

CN  I didn’t wake up because I hadn’t slept the night before. 

 

FQ  Do you know any tongue-twisters in Mandarin? 

CN  Everything is a tongue-twister to me.  

 

FQ  Is superstitiousness an indication of ignorance? 

CN  I would say yes, it is an indication of ignorance with a lower-case “i”, but not an indication of ignorance with an upper-case “I”. 

 

FQ  What’s the secret to happiness? 

CN  Distraction. 

 

FQ  Do you still have a thing against spinach on pizzas? 

CN  It has its place, if they don’t have sauce on them.

 

FQ  Tell us about Pita Inn in Skokie. 

CN  How can I say this? [pause] There are two kinds of people in this world: those who like Pita Inn, and degenerates. 

 

FQ  Does Wayne like it?

CN  No.



Formosa Quartet and Clancy will have lunch at Pita Inn this week, when Wayne will have another chance to prove that he is not a degenerate. Good luck, Wayne.


 

Clancy and Formosa at Pita Inn

Clancy and Formosa at Pita Inn

Clancy and his wife on Great Ocean Road in Melbourne

Clancy and his wife on Great Ocean Road in Melbourne

Summer Is Coming Soon - Formosa Chamber Music Festival 2017!

Despite the cold winter and sporadic snow storms, we are already gearing up for summer!  We are excited to present the 5th edition of the FORMOSA CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL 2017 in Hualien, Taiwan and calling all passionate and talented young musicians (ages 13-27) to apply!  The dates of the festival are August 10-24 and the application deadline has been EXTENDED to April 15!

To learn more about our festival, please click here.

FCMF is one of the musical highlights of our season and we cannot wait to work with another talented group of young artists!

Rooster and Target

The Formosa Quartet played in Augusta, Georgia last Friday. In the days leading up to the concert, we enjoyed a luxurious stay at the home of Phyllis and Lee Smith. In addition to exquisitely cooked steaks and cedar-plank salmon, nightly desserts containing but not limited to organic pralines 'n cream and chocolate ice cream, a pool house, 3 bathrooms for the 4 -mosans, and two gorgeous cats Zim and Misty, our unforgettable week also included a shooting lesson on the Smiths' private shooting range.

We offer you a souvenir from our shooting lesson —

 

 

our target. You see the four bullet holes in it? Here they are again, numbered:

 

 

Bullet hole #1 — Deborah Pae

Bullet hole #2 — Che-Hung Chen

Bullet hole #3 — Wayne Lee

Bullet hole #4 — Deborah Pae

Note: The distance to the target was 25 yards. It was the first time for both Deborah and Wayne.

 

The following inferences can now be made:

  • Between viola mafias Che-Hung Chen and his brother Cheyen, for whom he was filling in, Che-Hung is the one you need to take down first if you are a non-violist and value your dignity.
  • To Deborah's cello studio at EMU — when Professor Pae tells you to pull your bow, just do it.
  • Yes, it's true. "Impeccable warrior" Jasmine was too scared by the deafening shots, and the even more deafening silences preceding them, to shoot. 
  • Now you know why Genghis Han is planning an alliance with Wayne Lee.

 

On this New Year-of-the-Rooster's Day, the Formosa Quartet wishes everyone a year of bullseyes and hits.

 

 

The Hidden Talents of Formosa

Did you know...?


 

Cheyen rips a mean pizzicato on bass.

 

 

photo 3.JPG

Jasmine is good at getting her hands dirty.

 

 

IMG_7633.jpg

Wayne Lee Photography can be yours for the price of playing 1st violin in a Wieniawski duo.

 

 

Deborah is a master of detail. Can you spot what she adds at each stage of her DrawSomething kitchen?



 

a view from Lin 06

 

Formosa’s very own Wayne Lee

 

 

and his fiancée, pianist Juliana Han

 

 

— a pair comparable to Michelle and Barack in capableness

 

 

and Elizabeth Barrett and Robert in artistic compatibility —

 

 

recently launched the first annual Piedmont Chamber Music Festival with stunning success.

In one unforgettable week, the team of 7 world-class artists

 

 

was treated to laughter-filled rehearsals,

 

 

elevated set-ups,

 

 

exquisite morsels,

 

 

and sold-out concerts which Formosa's beloved quartet "parents", Ginny and Bob Black, flew in from San Diego to attend. Three expertly crafted programs featured masterworks by a wealth of composers such as Felix Mendelssohn, Anthony Cheung, William Bolcom, John Adams, and Johannes Brahms. 

Key PCMF team members also included, among others, brilliant documentarian and technician Tina Tallon,

 

 

invaluable mastermind Gray Cathrall (ignore co-Artistic Director's facial expression in background), 

 

 

and host family to Meyer 09 and Lin 06, Susan Chamberlain and John Chalik. 

 

 

In Susan and John’s home, Lin 06 and Meyer 09 enjoyed beauty in the form of

their hosts' own homemade strawberry jam of local strawberries

 

 

and Dutch apple pancake of local apples,

 

 

popovers just out,

 

 

blueberries hand-delivered to Lin 06 while she was practicing in her room,

 

 

two gourmand-minced, gourmand-chopped, gourmand-mixed, gourmand-boiled, gourmand-sautéed, gourmand-stirred, gourmand-fried, and gourmand-seasoned dinners,

 

 

fresh flowers in both guest bedrooms,

 

 

a luxury sewing kit containing the exact color of thread for mending Lin 06’s pants,

 

 

and Susan and John’s warmth, humor, and intelligence. 

 

All in favor of such delights

say "aye" to attending PCMF 2017 — !

 

 

 

 

A Month in B-Words

6/11  Bright-eyed   Bushy-tailed

Debbie's first appearance on her first morning in Taiwan

Debbie's first appearance on her first morning in Taiwan

6/12  Breakfast

Cheyen does dishes

Cheyen does dishes

6/13  Bottle

poised for no-good

poised for no-good

6/15  Beauty

detail from Landis Hotel bathroom, Taipei

detail from Landis Hotel bathroom, Taipei

6/16  Backstage

after National Taipei Concert Hall concert featuring Formosa, harpists Heidi Krutzen & Vivian Chen, and the colorful Gareth Farr

after National Taipei Concert Hall concert featuring Formosa, harpists Heidi Krutzen & Vivian Chen, and the colorful Gareth Farr

6/21  Battleground

Formosa rehearsal room, NYO Canada, Wilfred Laurier University. Thanks to Paul Pulford for use of his studio.

Formosa rehearsal room, NYO Canada, Wilfred Laurier University. Thanks to Paul Pulford for use of his studio.

6/27  Behavior

Jasmine awards Wayne one of these whenever he does something mint-M&M-worthy

Jasmine awards Wayne one of these whenever he does something mint-M&M-worthy

7/2  Bartok

proud coaches Debbie and Wayne with their Bartok group at NYO Canada 

proud coaches Debbie and Wayne with their Bartok group at NYO Canada 

7/4  Baby

former Formosa cellist Ru-Pei's baby, Ella  

former Formosa cellist Ru-Pei's baby, Ella

 

7/5  Bus

She drew a bus. Can you guess the answer? Gotta be really up on your Formosa trivia to get this one. Hint: It's the blue object on the left with the red X over it.

She drew a bus. Can you guess the answer? Gotta be really up on your Formosa trivia to get this one. Hint: It's the blue object on the left with the red X over it.

7/7  Bag

Jasmine rehearses the Brobdingnagische Gigue from Telemann's Gulliver Suite with Wayne.

Jasmine rehearses the Brobdingnagische Gigue from Telemann's Gulliver Suite with Wayne.

7/9  Birthday

cake for Jasmine

cake for Jasmine

7/10  Bananagrams 

played by Wayne, Wayne's fiancee Juliana, & Jasmine after Wayne and Jasmine's Dueling Fiddles concert in Tannersville, NY. Pictured: Juliana's board

played by Wayne, Wayne's fiancee Juliana, & Jasmine after Wayne and Jasmine's Dueling Fiddles concert in Tannersville, NY. Pictured: Juliana's board

7/11  Back  

Home sweet home — Wayne's kitchen doorway. Having followed us through one month, two continents, and three countries, the M&Ms allow themselves to be finished off.

Home sweet home — Wayne's kitchen doorway. Having followed us through one month, two continents, and three countries, the M&Ms allow themselves to be finished off.

Can we keep them?



Recently we, the violinists of the Formosa Quartet, flew to London to play two Formosa Quartet concerts. Because our cellist & violist had previous conflicts and a paternity leave, respectively, we were joined by subs Richard Lester and Roger Chase. It was an extra-marital affair which our Formosa spouses, Debbie and Cheyen, fully consented to and even facilitated. 

What happened in London the next 8 days, however, really should stay in London. Even if your spouses allow you a fling with someone else, they usually don’t want to hear about how spectacular it was. But for the sake of documentation, otherwise known as the magnetic force of truth, we feel compelled to confess all. Fingers crossed that our spouses will never read it.

We'd been looking forward to the experience months beforehand, having been long-time fans of Richard (Florestan Trio) and Roger (Nash Ensemble and Jasmine's old friend/colleague from Chicago). But nothing prepared us for the actual thing.

We gathered at Richard’s and after preliminaries began to play. It took a mere two measures in Beethoven 59 1 to illuminate the true meaning of dolce. And the sforzandos... were played with a sound that, until then, had existed only in our realm of perfect forms. 

By the end of the first movement, we were smitten. By the last rehearsal a week later, Wayne would lean to Jasmine several times to whisper “Can we keep them?” — to which she could only gleefully, wistfully smile. 
 
Perhaps, to demonstrate a sense of decorum, we should nip this blog here. But since Debbie and Cheyen don't seem to be looking, we'll indulge in a few more details.
       
  *    *    *        

We lunch at Richard’s on soup he's made and a pineapple he cuts. He and Roger describe how they cut a mango. Roger: “I make a lattice.” Richard: “Do you ever make hedgehog mangos?” 

Can we keep them?
 

How is it we've latticed / hedgehogged our whole mango lives without knowing it?

How is it we've latticed / hedgehogged our whole mango lives without knowing it?


Roger stops playing many times in one passage because he's not matching Richard’s bowing. Every time the bowing is the least bit different, he's in shambles, reminding us of the princess in The Princess and The Pea. Finally Richard: “Does it really matter?” Roger, writing in the correct bowing once and for all: “Yes, it does! You've no idea what kind of crescendo is going to happen now!”

Can we keep them?
 

Princess and Pea. What can be better than a dashing English violist with fairy-tale sensitivity?

Princess and Pea. What can be better than a dashing English violist with fairy-tale sensitivity?


Roger to Richard: "Are you just being excessively cautious there in that entrance?"
Richard, to us: "That means, Why the fuck were you late?"
Roger, to us: "Didn't you know the English invented passive aggressiveness?" 

Can we keep them?

 

For Roger's guitar strums in Hungarian Folk Songs, Richard suggests, "How about doing it like you're wanking?” Did we hear that correctly? And is he really making accompanying gestures as he's saying that?

Roger: "Why does an Irishman need 2 condoms?" 
(with Irish accent) “To be sure, to be sure."

Richard says of a large colleague that she needs to buy “an extra seat for her breasts”. 

In one phrase we daringly tell Roger to be "less flaccid”. After 5 seconds of impassiveness he says, “What’s the difference between an eskimo and a eunuch?”, then virtuosically rattles off this linguistic string:

       “An eskimo is a frigid midget with a rigid digit, and a eunuch is a placid vassal with a flaccid tassel.”

Can we keep them?
 

eskimo

eskimo

eunuch-about-to-be

eunuch-about-to-be

 

When we play Grappelli, Richard makes an extraordinary sound. It's as if he’s picked up the whole room and set it down again, a dozen yards away. Where did that come from? 

Can we keep them?

 

Richard cheek-kisses Jasmine after the concert. When she apologizes for being sweaty, he says, "I like the taste of salt".

On the train Roger and we co-compose a poem in iambic tetrameter. Roger’s lines contain the words "he's a poof!" and "piddling purse".

Can we keep them?

 

Roger inputting his lines

Roger inputting his lines


Our concert at Mill Hill Music Club is among the most magical we can remember playing. It's experiences like this that make life worth living and, once they've happened, make us unable to remember what life before them was like.

 

How lucky can a quartet violinist get?

How lucky can a quartet violinist get?

Can we keep — 

Er — that is — keep them as page turners to irreplaceables Debbie and Cheyen, ahem.

Do we feel guilty featuring a liaison, and hankering for the perpetuation of its delights, on a website that publicizes and promotes our marriage? Yes yes of course. We'll wrap up — after we share one more memory.

During a conversation about spouses (literal ones), we asked Roger and Richard what the secret to a successful marriage was. They said, "Marrying the right person — or not marrying the wrong person". 

We think we Formosa-married the right people. How do we know? Well, for one thing, we will methodically lattice and hedgehog anyone who engages in even the most piddling string-quartet behavior with Debbie and Cheyen. To you irresistible violinists out there: don't give it a wanking thought.


 

They're not for sale either.

They're not for sale either.

Formosa Quartet Welcomes New Cellist Deborah Pae

 

It is with great pleasure that the Formosa Quartet announces its new member, cellist Deborah Pae.

An internationally acclaimed artist, Deborah has built a rich and varied career as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, teacher, and pioneer of new music. Her numerous awards include grants from the Frank Huntington Beebe Fund, DoMusica Foundation, and National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, as well as the silver medal in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition with Trio Modetre, the ensemble she co-founded. She has been a featured artist at renowned festivals including Marlboro, Ravinia, Crans-Montana Classics, and Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove. After three years as Artist-in-Residence at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Belgium, Deborah has recently returned to the United States where she continues a full concert season of solo recitals and chamber music appearances in Europe, Asia, and North America.  Hailed by Gramophone as "exceptionally gifted" and "breathtaking", Deborah has shared the stage with many of the world's celebrated artists including Itzhak Perlman, Miriam Fried, Pamela Frank, and Kim Kashkashian, and members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, and Cleveland Quartets.

The Formosa Quartet is thrilled to welcome both Deborah and her Vincenzo Postiglione (c. 1885) cello, generously on loan from the Arts and Letters Foundation, and looks forward to an exciting musical future in its new formation. Deborah begins playing as a part of Formosa immediately commencing with a 4-day residency at UCSD from April 18-21, 2016, during which Formosa will record Lei Liang's Verge Quartet as well as perform Liang's Song Recollections, a piece based on aboriginal Taiwanese folk songs — whose premiere, presented by Art of Élan in San Diego, was recently given by Formosa with Deborah as cellist. This June Deborah will make her inaugural trip to Taiwan with Formosa to premiere a commission by New-Zealand composer Garreth Farr for harp and string quartet.

Deborah succeeds cellist and founding member Ru-Pei Yeh, who remains in the Formosa Quartet family and whose warmth, humor, and artistry will be much missed by Formosa's audiences. Formosa extends its heartfelt thanks to Ru-Pei and celebrates her artistic contribution with its new CD on the Delos label (released April 6, 2016), featuring Brahms and Gernsheim piano quintets with pianist Reiko Uchida.

Winners of the First Prize and the Amadeus Prize at the London International String Quartet Competition in 2006, the Formosa Quartet is “one of the very best quartets of their generation” (David Soyer, cellist of the Guarneri Quartet). Its debut recording on the EMI label was hailed as “spellbinding” (Strad Magazine) and “remarkably fine” (Gramophone), and the quartet has given critically acclaimed performances at the Ravinia Festival, the Caramoor Festival, the Library of Congress, the Da Camera Society of Los Angeles, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, Rice University, San Francisco State University, and Wigmore Hall in London. Formed in 2002 when the four founding members came together for a concert tour of Taiwan, the Formosa Quartet is deeply committed to championing Taiwanese music and promoting the arts in the land of its heritage and the world beyond.

                                                        FORMOSA QUARTET | Meet Formosa's cellist Deborah Pae!

Contact:

Marketing, PR & Special Projects
ROBERT CINNANTE
ARTS ADVISORY GROUP
+1 631-678-1636
artsadvisorygroup@gmail.com

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