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Bemidji Concert Series: Pianist Jiayi Shi and violinist Tien-Hsin 'Cindy' Wu to perform Sunday

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The Bemidji Concert Series 2010-2011 season will open with a classical concert by pianist Jiayi Shi and violinist Tien-Hsin "Cindy" Wu at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 26, in Thompson Recital Hall of the Bemidji State University Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex.

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Both artists have played with and for internationally renowned groups and solo musicians.

Shi made her New York recital debut with Midori in March 2004 and has played at the Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco and St. Luke's Hall in London, a long way from her native Shanghai, China. Shi was accepted to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music at age 7 and studied there until 1996. At that time, she accepted a full scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin. Shi garnered praise and top prizes in the Sydney Wright Competition and the Steinway Society Piano Competition while a student. Shi graduated from the Eastman School of Music with a master's degree and the Performance Certificate in Piano in 2002 and went on to complete her doctorate in musical arts in 2006 from the Manhattan School of Music. A piano faculty member at Biola University in southern California, Shi travels back to her native China and gives solo recitals throughout North America. She is currently completing plans for a concert tour in Europe.

At Sunday's performance, Shi will also demonstrate her skill as a collaborative artist accompanying violinist Wu, who will play a 1734 Domenico Montagnana instrument.

Wu's many accomplishments include touring in Europe and North American and her native Taiwan. Some of the more famous venues are Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City, Jordan Hall in Boston, the Kennedy Center and Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and, soon to be added, Thompson Recital Hall. Wu is a student of Midori Goto at the Thornton School of Music and the University of Southern California, and her list of awards and honors include the grand prize in the Young Artist Showcase Competition of the Philharmonic Radio Taipei.

The concert program will include Mozart's Sonata in B flat for piano and violin KV 378; The Janá?ek Sonata for violin and piano and Bach's Chaconne (from Partita No.2 in D minor for solo violin BWV 1004); Estrellita (My Little Star) composed by Ponce-Heifetz; Schubert-Liszt: Valse-Caprice and Bartók's Romanian Folk Dances.

Both musicians will hold master classes at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25 in Bangsberg. Wu will hold a violin master class with selected students in Room 112. In addition, she will give a presentation on the process of selecting, practicing and rehearsing repertory for a varied listening experience for the audience.

Shi will hold her master class with selected piano students in Thompson Recital Hall and will focus on technique development. Both master classes are open for observation by students and teachers at no charge.

Tickets for this year's concert series are $20 general admission and $5 for students through college and may be purchased now at Lueken's North and BSU Music Department. For more information, call 755-2915.

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