by Kari Sayers, 6/21/12, Daily Breeze
Following up on last year's warm reception, the Taiwan United Fund co-sponsored another "Taiwan Night" with the Torrance Symphony. And Saturday's concert at the James Armstrong Theatre again featured one of Taiwan'sforemost composers, the 74-year-old Tyzen Hsiao.
In January 2011, the Torrance Symphony, under the baton of maestro Frank Fetta, introduced audience members to Hsiao's "1947 Overture" and "Requiem di Formosa." For Saturday's concert, the maestro opted for the composer's Violin Concerto in D, with Russian-born soloist Alex Treger, former concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Like his European counterparts, Hsiao infuses his music with native folk melodies. A synthesis of Eastern and Western sounds, the concerto is surprisingly accessible, with gorgeous themes, colorfulorchestration and exciting contrasts. It's at times melancholy, even disturbing, but also urgent.