Marin Symphony, Youthful Brilliance, Nathan Chan, Elgar Cello Concerto

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The Marin Symphony’s third program in its 59th Season of Fresh Local Music features guest artist Nathan Chan performing a dynamic Elgar Cello Concerto on Sunday, January 29, and Tuesday, January 31, 2012. This is part of a continuing series of artist reflections that help demystify the creative process and bring you closer to the musicians that take our stage. Meet an extraordinary talent that is part of the next generation of classical music: Nathan Chan.

Connect with us: 415.479.8100, www.marinsymphony.org

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Marin Symphony, Youthful Brilliance, Nathan Chan, Elgar Cello Concerto

  1. 1. Nathan ChanPhoto: Hanh Nguyen Fresh. Local. Music. 59th Season | Maestro Alasdair Neale’s 10th Anniversary
  2. 2. FEATURED ARTIST NATHAN CHAN SHARES STORIES The Marin Symphony’s third program in its 59th Season of Fresh Local Music features guest artist Nathan Chan performing a dynamic Elgar Cello Concerto on Sunday, January 29, and Tuesday, January 31, 2012. This is part of a continuing series of artist reflections that help demystify the creative process and bring you closer to the musicians that take our stage. Meet an extraordinary talent that is part of the next generation of classical music: Nathan Chan.Photo: Hanh Nguyen Featured Artist | Nathan Chan, cello | Youthful Brillance | Concert No. 3
  3. 3. CONNECTIONALASDAIR NEALE, MUSIC DIRECTORNathan recalls how he and Maestro Neale connected, and what led to this concert.“ I met Alasdair Neale through the San Francisco Youth Orchestra. This opportunity to play with the Marin Symphony came up because that year I was the SFYO concerto concert winner. I played Shostakovich No. 1 and Alasdair Neale was listening. He called me and invited me to play and said, “How does Elgar sound?” The Cello Concerto is grand and really demanding of ” the player. It’s one of the top five concertos for cello. Featured Artist | Nathan Chan, cello | Youthful Brillance | Concert No. 3
  4. 4. CONNECTIONTHE ELGAR CELLO CONCERTOEighteen-year-old Nathan Chan is a Bay Area native whose youth belies anamazing maturity. Elgar’s impassioned and valedictory Cello Concerto is theperfect vehicle for his exceptional talents. Nathan describes the connection hefeels with an audience performing this work.“ This piece has so many grand moments. There are huge mountains you have to crest. If you trek up that mountain, show every groove, climb every rock — it’s much more interesting for the audience. The journey is deeper. They have more ” of an emotional connection to the music. Featured Artist | Nathan Chan, cello | Youthful Brillance | Concert No. 3
  5. 5. EXPERIENCEIMPRESSIONSNathan’s intuitive abilities emerged at age three. Now, at age 18, hisexperience includes conducting symphonies and performing as a cello soloistwith orchestras, within string quartets, an appearance in a documentary onHBO, and collaboration with Roberta Flack on a Beatles recording project.“ Nathan is perhaps one of the most inspiring human beings that I’ve come across in the last two decades. It never ceases to amaze me how blessed, generously gifted and humble he is. He is destined for big success. – Roberta Flack ” Featured Artist | Nathan Chan, cello | Youthful Brillance | Concert No. 3
  6. 6. CONNECTION “ When I’m playing the cello, it’s about putting passion into the music. In some ways the music speaks for itself. Then in this other sense you have to add your own personality to it. That’s what makes it unique. Emotion, color, dynamics — all these little factors go into ” making that difference.Photo: Mark Kitaoka Featured Artist | Nathan Chan, cello | Youthful Brillance | Concert No. 3
  7. 7. CREATION “ One thing I do when I learn music is I actually listen to other people playing the piece to get an idea what’s going through their mind. Let’s say Jacqueline du Pré, she gets suddenly soft to create a special moment, Yo-Yo Ma makes it really loud, and so I’ll combine the soft and the forte and have the ” best of both worlds.Photo: Mark Kitaoka Featured Artist | Nathan Chan, cello | Youthful Brillance | Concert No. 3
  8. 8. PERFORMANCE“ It’s hard to explain how and why it works. Sometimes in a concert hall there’s a vibe, an unseen energy, a sixth sense. It could be a combination of someone coughing or a little wiggling, or it’s deathly silent during this beautiful passage and when you finally lift your bow off the string and still silent, then wow, the audience really loved it. It’s like you make changes unconsciously based on the energy in the room. ” They don’t teach you that in your music lessons. Featured Artist | Nathan Chan, cello | Youthful Brillance | Concert No. 3
  9. 9. DISCOVERY“ I play a lot. I play for others; maybe there’s that sense of the audience. It’s so cool when that happens. You can control the silence. One of the huge parts of Elgar is the ending of one of the last movements is like that. It’s kind of scary, I mean haunting, and then you have to start the last part. It is about fifteen seconds before the end. The whole last page is this gradual transition from grand to deathly silent and sad, and then BOOM you go back ” to the main motif! And the audience is like wow! Featured Artist | Nathan Chan, cello | Youthful Brillance | Concert No. 3
  10. 10. DISCOVERY“ First you get the bare bones of the piece, the technique. That’s when the musicality gets infused and you bring your own style to it. Yo-Yo Ma’s recording of Elgar with Jacqueline du Pré’s husband, Daniel Barenboim, conducting is one of my favorites. The key player you think of when you think of Elgar is Jacqueline du Pré. She died of multiple sclerosis. When you hear this performance with Jacqueline’s husband conducting, there’s ” that added dimension of history behind it. Featured Artist | Nathan Chan, cello | Youthful Brillance | Concert No. 3
  11. 11. DISCOVERY“ It makes that haunting silence behind it even more haunting. How do you practice for special moments like that? It’s pretty hard — you can try your best to do the physical movements. Slowing the movement of the bow, slowing the vibrato, but in the end what makes that so special is the audience. It’s so much more fun to play with an audience. It was in those moments when I started to feel the audience more instead of just playing the music ” and taking a bow at the end. Featured Artist | Nathan Chan, cello | Youthful Brillance | Concert No. 3
  12. 12. ROOTS “ My mom said I was WAY too small for the double bass, though. She said to start with something smaller, so I tried the cello. I never looked back at the double bass. Now when I see them I say, “Boy they ” gotta carry a lot of stuff.”Photo: Mark Kitaoka Featured Artist | Nathan Chan, cello | Youthful Brillance | Concert No. 3
  13. 13. SHARING Photo: Peter RodgersLOCAL MARIN SCHOOL VISITS, A GREAT EXAMPLE OF NATHAN’S GENEROUS SPIRITOn January 12, 2012, Nathan took a break from his studies at Columbia University-JulliardSchool Excange to give talks at San Marin High and Hamilton Middle School in Novato Featured Artist | Nathan Chan, cello | Youthful Brillance | Concert No. 3
  14. 14. SHARING Nathan spoke and performed parts of the Elgar Concerto and favorite pieces that enchanted dozens of music students at San Marin High School in Novato.Photo: Peter Rodgers Featured Artist | Nathan Chan, cello | Youthful Brillance | Concert No. 3
  15. 15. SHARING Photo: Peter RodgersThe audience at Hamilton Middle School in Novato enthusiastically responded to Nathan’senergy and performances. Nathan spontaneously played an audience request, the theme fromMario on his YouTube channel, usually for two cellos. Nathan improvised on the spot as a solo! Featured Artist | Nathan Chan, cello | Youthful Brillance | Concert No. 3
  16. 16. SHARING Photo: Peter RodgersThe enthusiasm spilled out of the hall into the grounds at Hamilton, where Nathan spent nearlyan hour signing autographs and answering questions. Featured Artist | Nathan Chan, cello | Youthful Brillance | Concert No. 3
  17. 17. FUTURE“ In July I have a concert in Hong Kong. I have an internship in Silicon Valley with an iPhone company called Bump. I’m thinking of doing some marketing for them. It’s a funny story how I got my first iPhone. I had the money saved up to purchase an iPhone, but my parents didn’t want me to get that monthly plan. I was so determined to get that iPhone that I recorded my own song and put it in iTunes and got monthly revenue. When they saw ” that, they said okay. Featured Artist | Nathan Chan, cello | Youthful Brillance | Concert No. 3
  18. 18. FUTURE “ Writing the song and posting it got me interested in business. The joy of seeing whole process come together was exhilarating. I really like social networking. That sense of connection ” with others is pretty cool.Photo: Peter Rodgers Featured Artist | Nathan Chan, cello | Youthful Brillance | Concert No. 3
  19. 19. NathanChan Youthful Brilliance PROGRAM 3 Sunday, Januar y 29, 2012 at 3pm Tuesday, Januar y 31, 2012 at 7:30pm Alasdair Neale, conductor Nathan Chan, cello Liebermann Symphony No. 3 Elgar Cello Concerto Dvorák No. 9, “From the New World” Connect with us: 415.479.8100, www.marinsymphony.org Lowell Liebermann Fresh. Local. Music. Alasdair Neale Photo: Hanh Nguyen Photo: Christian Steiner Photo: Matthew Washburn

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