228 Peace Memorial Concert in the SF/Bay Area

Date: February 26, 2011
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: Formosan United Methodist Church
Address: 788 Lewelling Blvd., San Leandro, CA 94579
Admission: $20/Adult; $10/Student

The Taiwanese American Federation of Northern California hosts its annual 228 commemoration concert.

The history behind February 28, 1947 otherwise known as “228”
On February 27, 1947, Chinese agents confiscated the merchandise and life savings of a Taiwanese cigarette vendor because she was being pushed to the edge and had no option but violating the state monopoly on tobacco to make a living, which sparked a riot that left at least one dead. The following day Chinese troops turned machine guns on a peaceful demonstration against the corruption of the Chinese administration of Taiwan. In the ensuing days several cities and towns were taken over by native Taiwanese groups. A week later a large force of Chinese troops arrived to retake control of the island through a campaign of rape and summary public executions. Between 10,000 and 20,000 Taiwanese were killed. Called the “228 Incident” because of the date of the initial massacre, this grim episode in Taiwan’s history is commemorated every February 28.

Featured performers include several young talented musicians from the Bay area:

Yingwen Lewis was born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan and began her piano studies at the age of four. She studied at the National Taiwan University of the Arts in Taipei before coming to the United States to study in Boston with Randall Hodgkinson, Hae-Sun Paik, and Benjamin Zander. Yingwen received her diploma in piano performance from the New England Conservatory in 1996. Yingwen’s repertoire includes an extensive list of representative works by Brahms, Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, Liszt, Schumann, Debussy, and many others from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods. Marked by fluid technique, focused style, and flawless execution, she is a well sought-after soloist, instructor, and accompanist.

Patricia Cheng is an active soloist and chamber musician who has performed in recitals and festivals throughout the United States and abroad. Her recent appearances in the San Francisco Bay Area include performances at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, Stanford University, the Palo Alto Art Center and Foothill College. She earned a master’s degree in 2005 from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Paul Hersh and was named a finalist in the school’s annual piano concerto competition. Ms. Cheng was born in Lincoln, Nebraska to Taiwanese parents. She earned her undergraduate degree with honors in English from the University of Chicago. She also won the prestigious Donnelley Cambridge Exchange Fellowship, which enabled her to study music for one year at Cambridge University. Ms. Cheng then attended Yale Law School, where she earned a J.D. while actively continuing her piano studies. Ms. Cheng currently teaches piano at the New Mozart School of Music.

Po-Wei Lai, a native of Taiwan, began his violin study at the age of six. Mr. Lai has also studied piano, Chinese violin and Chinese viola. At the age of 11, he was a soloist with the Gwung-Fu Orchestra; and at the age of 14, he was a soloist with the Double-Ten Orchestra in Taichung, Taiwan. In the same year, he performed in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York, as a concertmaster with the Double-Ten Orchestra. Mr. Lai completed his undergraduate and graduate violin studies with merit scholarships at the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University, and has won first prize in various competitions, including the Taiwan National Competition and the String Competition of Niagara International Chamber Music Festival.

Amy Hsieh, a native of Taiwan, is a member of the faculty at the Community School of Music and Arts. In 2002, she gave her New York debut Recital at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, as the winner of the Young Artists Cello Award of the 2001 Artists International Competition. As the founder of the Nuance Chamber Ensemble, Ms. Hsieh was invited by the Formosa Chamber Society to perform at Weill Recital Hall in 2004. After earning a bachelor’s degree from The Juilliard School and a master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music, Ms. Hsieh was accepted as a scholarship student in the Doctor of Musical Arts program at Boston University, where she studied with Michael Reynolds and completed her degree in 2007.

Stephanie Lai, a Taiwanese American cellist raised in Virginia, made an acclaimed debut with the National
Symphony Orchestra in 2002 at the John F. Kennedy Center Concert Hall as the winner of their Young Soloists’ Competition. Recently, Stephanie was selected as one of ten cellists worldwide to perform in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra at Sydney Opera House in March 2011. She has performed throughout Japan as principal cellist of the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra. Stephanie holds a B.A. in Social Studies and Music from Harvard University, where she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She also earned her Masters in Cello Performance from the Royal Northern College of Music as a scholarship student in England. As an active community leader, Stephanie serves as a National Officer-at-Large for the Taiwanese American Citizens League, a counselor for Leading Youth Forward, and the Assistant Principal Cellist of the Berkeley Symphony.

Tyson Mao began violin lessons at the age of four and piano lessons at the age of six. He grew up in the Bay Area, and his music teachers include Phillip Levy, Leonid Gesin, Francesca Anderegg, and JoAnn Stenberg. Tyson was a member of the California Youth Symphony for 12 years, and won the senior concerto competition in 2002. He attended Caltech in Pasadena and was an active member of the chamber music programs, and was also concertmaster of the Caltech/Occidental Symphony Orchestra. Tyson was also winner of the Caltech Orchestra concerto competition in 2003 and 2005, and performed as soloist with the Caltech Mozart chamber orchestra in 2006. While living in New York, Tyson was a member of Camerata Nocturna. Most recently, Tyson participated with the Stanford chamber music program, and continues to pursue music as a hobby while working as a trader in San Francisco.

Catherine Leu graduated from Soochow University in Taipei with a B.M degree in piano performance and a minor in voice as a soprano. She has been a conductor for thirty years. Previously, she was the music director for Chun- Shen Lee Memorial Presbyterian Church, Sugar Creek Baptist Church, and Houston Chinese Christian choir. Since then, she has been the music director of East Bay Formosan United Methodist Church. Under her direction, the choirs have performed major works such as Handel’s Messiah and Vivaldi’s Gloria. As a soprano soloist, she has sung solo parts in many oratorios and folk songs. With many years of teaching experience in music institutions such as Yamaha as well as private music schools, Ms. Leu currently teaches privately in her studio at Walnut Creek.

2 Responses to “228 Peace Memorial Concert in the SF/Bay Area”

  1. For those of you that can read Mandarin, there is a really good website of the Taiwanese NGO: Taiwan Association for Truth and Reconciliation.

    They have tracked numerous individuals who were persecuted during “White Terror” as well as documenting historical memories and current course of action.

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