Frost Amphitheater at Stanford (minus the crowd) is the venue for the July 30 concert

The Taipei Music Academy & Festival (TMAF), led by Taiwanese violinist Cho-Liang Lin, presents concerts at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) and at Stanford University through Aug. 7.

Cho-Liang Lin
Cho-Liang Lin visiting his old home in Hsinchu

Some 46 participants from the United States, Canada, China, Britain, France, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Spain, and Venezuela are among the young musicians aged 15 to 30 who have been through a rigorous selection process to be shortlisted. Nineteen TMAF members are from Taiwan. Each member receives two weeks of intensive training and performance participation with world-class musicians.

This year’s faculty includes conductor Leonard Slatkin, pianist Garrick Ohlsson, concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra David Chan, principal concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Martin Chalifour, principal cello of the Chicago Symphony John Sharp, principal flute of The Philadelphia Orchestra Jeffrey Khaner, and violists Hsin-Yun Huang and Che-Yen Chen, among others.

Taipei Music Academy & Festival is launching in the U.S. for the first time, after increasing COVID-19 cases in Taiwan this spring threatened its cancellation. Health advancements here plus the Conservatory’s collaboration with Opus 3 Artists enabled the switch to the Bay Area.

TMAF Orchestra
TMAF Orchestra in concert

Cho-Liang Lin, who is artistic director of the Academy & Festival, told SF Classical Voice:

Last year, when concert halls around the world faced indefinite closure as the pandemic swept across the globe, Taiwan was a fortress of health and safety. It offered perhaps the safest music sanctuary in the world. Concerts took place and musicians played to packed houses.

But the tide turned recently as a surge of COVID-19 related infections started to menace the populace in Taiwan. Obliging the guidelines of the health authorities means TMAF with all its educational activities and concerts can no longer take place in Taipei this summer.

How do we keep the music going? This difficult challenge landed on my lap exactly two months before the scheduled start of TMAF. I felt a keen obligation to keep the promise to the young musicians. The show must go on. But how?

Life has certain ebb and flow. As concert hall lights dim in Taiwan, the curtains in America are starting to raise. Can I pivot to America that quickly? Luckily, I got connected with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. After a conversation with their visionary and energetic president, David Stull, I felt this might just be possible. Our collaboration evolved and progressed quickly.

We had to act fast. We had to work out venues, new programs, student housing, vaccination, concert planning, lodging for the faculty, new staff, catering, and rerouting the faculty and students 10,000 km away. Not easy. But I am pleased to present to you [email protected] The talented students will have state of the art facilities at San Francisco Conservatory for their studies and performances.

We will present performances in two beautiful concert halls at the San Francisco Conservatory. The acoustically excellent Hume Concert Hall and the brand new Barbro Osher Recital Hall in the stunning Bowes Center. We will also perform a concert at the Frost Amphitheater on Stanford University campus in Palo Alto. Our concerts will be streamed by Violin Channel worldwide as well as being aired by Taiwanese TV.”

The first two performances of the TMAF orchestra (program below) will be held at the outdoor Frost Amphitheater at Stanford University and at the Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall at SFCM on July 30 and 31, respectively.

The SFCM Concert Hall
The Conservatory Concert Hall will be the place for concerts on July 31 and Aug. 4

The other two performances, titled TMAF All-Star Concert and TMAF Rising Stars on Parade, will be held at SFCM on Aug. 4 and 7, respectively. The performances will be livestreamed on the Violin Channel platform.

For concerts taking place in Hume Concert Hall at SFCM, limited capacity seating is available upon request. Seating can be requested through the SFCM website:

July 31, 7:30 p.m. — https://sfcm.edu/performance-calendar/event/taipei-music-academy-and-festival-orchestra-concert

Aug. 4, 7:30 p.m. — https://sfcm.edu/performance-calendar/event/taipei-music-academy-and-festival-faculty-chamber-music-concert

For the July 30, 7:30 p.m. concert at Stanford, tickets can be purchased at https://www.taipeimaf.com/event/tmaf-orchestra-concert-stanford-university/.

Performers at a TMAF concert
Performers at a TMAF concert

On July 30 and 31, the concerts feature the TMAF orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin.
The program:

Ravel: Le Tombeau de Couperin
Steven Stucky: Chamber Concerto (2010)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major (“Eroica”)

Participants in the Aug. 4 chamber music recital are:

Violin: Martin Chalifour, David Chan, Wayne Lee, Cho-Liang Lin, Jasmine Lin
Viola: Che-Yen Chen, Hsin-Yun Huang
Cello: Deborah Pae, John Sharp
Bass: Peter Lloyd
Flute: Jeffrey Khaner
Oboe: Gordon Hunt
Clarinet: John Bruce Yeh, Winnie Fan
Bassoon: Stephen Paulson
Horn: Erik Ralske, Megan Hurley
Trumpet: David Washburn
Piano: Garrick Ohlsson

The Program:
Dana Wilson: Hungarian Folk Songs, I. Dudatánc (A Formosa Quartet commission)
Reinhardt/Grappelli: “Minor Swing” (arr. Jasmine Lin)
Derrick Spiva Jr.: American Mirror, Part II
Richard Wagner: Siegfried-Idyll
Dvořák: Piano Quintet in A Major, Op 81

The Aug. 7 recital is a 2 p.m. matinee in the Conservatory’s Barbro Osher Recital Hall, 200 Van Ness Ave. The program is yet to be announced.

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