April 25, 2014
Violinist, pianist perform at SUSusquehanna welcomed internationally acclaimed performers Sarah Chang and Julio Elizalde to the Degenstein Theater Center on April 24 at 8 p.m. The latest addition to the Stella Freeman Weis Cultural Endowment series, the musical duo performed before a packed house Thursday night to both students and the public alike.
An annual tradition since 1973, the Stella Freeman Weis Cultural Endowment series was established by Robert and Patricia Weis of Sunbury in memory of Robert's mother, Stella. Thanks to their sponsorships and support, critically acclaimed performers on the global scale are able to perform at Susquehanna.
This year's showcase featured violinist Chang and pianist Elizalde. Both known worldwide for their artistic prowess, the duo captured their Selinsgrove audience with beautiful musical renditions by famous artists such as Niccolò Paganini, Tomaso Antonio Vitali, Leonard Bernstein and Sergei Prokofiev.
A native to Pennsylvania, Chang particularly stole the show with her emotional depth and virtuosity throughout the performance, capturing soul and rhythm with every composition.
Having performed with the most esteemed orchestras since she was eight, Chang has spent her international career performing for audiences in America, the United Kingdom and multiple countries throughout Asia.
Over the span of two decades, her talent has only grown with every performance as she was honored as one of 20 Top Women in Newsweek Magazine and an official Artistic Ambassador by the United States Embassy.
Students and faculty from all majors and departments met that evening for the performance. One of the guests in the audience was Marsha Lemons, wife of President L. Jay Lemons.
"She is amazing and so brilliant. One of the best Weis performances I have seen. Just fabulous," Marsha Lemons said.
Accompanying Chang in the performance, Elizalde graced the piano with compelling harmonies. One of the most versatile and sought after performers in the nation, Elizalde's music was phenomenal as each note perfectly blended alongside Chang's strings.
Unique to the show, the pianist performed with the assistance of an Apple iPad Air for an extraordinary technological twist.
Valerie Martin, dean of the school of arts and sciences for the university, expressed her delight in yet another spectacular addition to the Endowment series.
"Every year the Weis's bring in these performers who are just spectacular. We are so thrilled to have one of the top violinists in the world perform on our stage," Martin said.
Students are encouraged to seek out the next installment of the Stella Freeman Weis Cultural Endowment series next spring.
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