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Chamber orchestra tour blends young musicians from China, Virginia


Photo of the Hong Kong Youth Orchestra The Hong Kong Youth Orchestra (above) and the Macao Youth Symphony will be joining young musicians from Virginia for the International Journey of Strings.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Jan. 26, 2011 – Young musicians from China and the United States are collaborating on an upcoming chamber orchestra tour, the International Journey of Strings. A Feb. 5 performance at Virginia Tech is one stop along the way to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., for a final concert on Feb. 7.

String players from the Hong Kong Youth Orchestra and the Macao Youth Symphony will be joined by musicians from the Renaissance Music Academy of Virginia along with other students trained through the Outreach Fine Arts Initiative at Virginia Tech. Planning for the journey has spanned a year and a half, according to David Ehrlich, the university’s outreach fellow for fine arts.

Concerts that are free and open to the public include a Feb. 4 evening performance at Danville’s Washington High School, an afternoon performance on Feb. 5 at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, and the 7 p.m. concert in Squires Recital Salon at Virginia Tech.

A special feature of the tour is the world premiere of Andante for Strings by the American composer Richard Ratner. The work is described as a melodious, warm, and accessible piece.

Each concert includes solos by Jue Yao, director of the Hong Kong Youth Orchestra and renowned violinist. A Julliard graduate who is known for her versatile repertoire, Yao has performed at numerous concerts and music festivals throughout the world.

“Virginia Tech is pleased to sponsor what promises to be an exciting evening of music that transcends the cultures of the Far East and southern and southwest Virginia,” says John Dooley, vice president of Outreach and International Affairs.

Free parking for the Squires Recital Salon concert at Virginia Tech is available in the Squires Lot, located at the corner of College Avenue and Otey Street, or the Shultz Hall Lot, located off Alumni Drive near the North Main Street campus entrance. Find more parking information online or call (540) 231-3200.

For more information about the concerts, contact David Ehrlich or Dawn Stoneking at (540) 231-9487.

Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs supports the university’s engagement mission by creating community partnerships and economic development projects, offering professional development programs and technical assistance, and building collaborations to enrich discovery and learning – all with the overarching goal of improving the quality of life for people within the commonwealth and throughout the world. Outreach and International Affairs leads Virginia Tech’s presence on five continents; its regional research and development centers across the commonwealth focus on graduate education and professional development. Blacksburg-based centers are dedicated to student engagement, language, policy, and governance.