Classically Speaking

Bion Tsang celebrates 10 years of cello mastery at UT faculty recital

Bion Tsang celebrates 10 years of cello mastery at UT faculty recital

Bion Tsang
Photo by Scott Newton

I'm going to let you all in on one of the best kept secrets of music school students at universities worldwide. It's called the “faculty recital.”

Faculty recitals are awesome for these reasons:

1.     They are always either really cheap or free.
2.     Faculty members are playing so the quality of performance is top notch.
3.     It’s a good way to get to know the chamber music (music for small groups of instruments, string quartets rather than big ensembles like symphonies, or soprano and piano pieces rather than huge casts like operas) repertoire and hear it live.
4.     Small venue equals better seats.

If you would like to experience the faculty recital for yourself, this Friday’s chamber music marathon celebrating cellist Bion Tsang’s 10-year anniversary on faculty at The University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music would be the perfect place to start.

“What attracts me the most about teaching at the Butler School of Music and living in Austin is the incredible support that I get from the community,” said Bion. “It is so clear that the people here love their artists and everything we do.”

The concert features Butler School of Music faculty Patrick Hughes, Kristin Jensen, Anton Nel, Rick Rowley, David Small, Nathan Williams, Sandy Yamamoto, DaXun Zhang and the Miró Quartet as well as guests Mela Dailey, Amy Levine-Tsang and John Novacek. The diverse program will include works by Bach, Boccherini, Mozart, Novacek, Schubert, Vaughan Williams and Villa-Lobos.

It will also be the debut of UT Cellos, the first all-cello ensemble (16 cellos!) at the University of Texas, which will perform works by Villa Lobos under the direction of Austin Symphony's Peter Bay.

When I asked Bion what he had in mind for the future, he said, “This concert celebrates my first 10 years at UT, and I so look forward to the next 10. As for the future, I'm thinking of changing the name to the Longhorn Cellos. Shall we take a poll?”

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The Faculty Recital concert is Friday, Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Bates Recital Hall. General admission tickets are $10 with discounts for seniors, students and UT students and faculty. The concert also will be webcast live via the Butler School of Music website.