Tien Hsieh

Issue No. 3: Fall 2010
Fall Conferencing

Tien Hsieh photo
Photo: Allen McCullough
Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Greetings from Folsom, California! As momentum builds towards the Annual Fall Conference Madness, I would like to share a few updates from Tien's World.

1. Grand Piano, Grand View: Wow at WAA.
Exclusive Showcase, with catered reception following, at the Annual WAA Booking Conference in Long Beach!
Thursday, September 2, 2010 (see below)

2. Recession Recovery Special: Book "Franz Liszt - A Bicentennial Celebration" for 2011-2012, Get an Adrenaline Rush.

3. And, about the New CD: Finally, the UPC Code makes "Mostly Transcriptions" my Official Debut Recording!

I thank you for enjoying the 3rd issue of Tien E-Newsletter and look forward to seeing you in the coming weeks. Enjoy and revisit the past issues of Tien's E-Newsletter!

Happy Conferencing!

Meet Tien at:

Western Arts Alliance Booking Conference, Long Beach, California

When: August 31-September 3, 2010
Where: Booth #824 and #431 (Cadence Arts Network - Rachel Cohen)
Exclusive Showcase: Grand Piano, Grand View

Thursday, September 2, 2010 at 6:30 pm followed by CD pre-release reception
Long Beach Towers - 600 E. Ocean Blvd (at Atlantic Ave and E. Ocean Blvd.) Private Residence.
"Come enjoy beautiful music and experience a view of the Annual Grand Prix Race Circuit"
(Limited seating. RSVP recommended, Transportation provided, Details available by email and at WAA)
There will be ample time for those attending Performance West and MOLAA.

Drawing: For fans of Action Figures, the 3rd Annual AFD (Action Figure Drawing) will be held on last day of the conference. Enter drawing onsite by leaving your business card at Booth #824. This is your chance to take home a Bach, Mozart or Beethoven (in two sizes). Yes, past winners may re-enter. Trading composers with fellow winners is encouraged.

Arts Midwest Booking Conference
Indianapolis, Indiana

When: September 13-16, 2010
Where: Booth #202

Booking Inquiries: Cadence Arts Network, Rachel Cohen
E-mail: rachel@cadencearts.com
Telephone: 310.838.0849

Learn more about Tien before the conference!

Questions: Tien Hsieh
E-mail: tienhsieh@aol.com
Telephone: 916.990.9134 (studio) 646.345.8535 (cell)

Arts Northwest Booking Conference, Bellevue, Washington

When: October 14-15th, 2010
Where: Booth #809

Click here to visit Tien's Arts Northwest Cyber Stage

Recent Reviews:

"Grotesque Schumann" San Francisco Examiner writes of Schumann Carnaval "...Opus 9 is downright grotesque, not only in the spirit of sinful excess that pervades the pre-Lenten celebration but also probably in the spirit of E.T.A. Hoffman, creator of the "insane " musician" Kapellmeister Johannes Kreisler. Hsieh is not afraid to approach Carnaval as a composition that careens dangerously between its extremities of expression. Thus, that "passionate, voluble side" of Florestan approaches (if not crosses) the brink of pathological mania, while, at the other extreme, she lingered over the dreamy and introspective as if letting go might result in total breakdown. Of greatest interest, however, may have been the way in which she brought out the bipolarity of the final movement, which is supposed to be the march of the members of Schumann's fictitious Davidsbund to do battle with the philistines of his contemporary German culture....Thus, in the frenzy of the carnival, the good intentions all but deteriorate into nervous breakdown; and Hsieh gave a disciplined performance through which that breakdown loomed without her having to succumb to it....the world of Opus 9 is one of experience (complete with flesh-devouring beasts...at least metaphorical ones)...it is hard to imagine Opus 9 getting a reading superior to the one she offered." Stephen Smoliar, August 17, 2010

"A Bicentennial Celebration for both Florestan and Eusebius" San Francisco Examiner writes "I always look forward to Tien Hsieh's piano recitals...Hsieh's performance (Schumann Faschingsschwank aus Wien, Op. 26) threw itself entirely into Florestan's voluble spirit. It was securely framed by the extended forms of the outer movements (rondo and sonata-allegro, respectively); and even the moderately slow "Romanze" seemed to be churning with barely controlled energy. One rarely encounters quite such a wild ride, but it was this kind of a ride that best illustrated the dark side of Florestan's true nature." Stephen Smoliar, April 20, 2010

Tien's July performance in San Francisco, in which she demonstrated her capacity for giving equal 'justice' to both Liszt and Brahms, was selected for "What is Remembered" by Net News Publisher for World News, December 26, 2009

Recent News: Tien Hsieh

New CD: "Mostly Transcriptions"

Basic Facts:
Recorded: February 6-8, 2010
Engineer: Ken Burke
Producer: Tien Hsieh
Instrument: Fazioli 9'2" Concert Grand Piano
Studio: Blue Wave Productions, Vancouver, BC
Liner Notes: Dr. Richard E Rodda
Label: Titanic Records

Tune In: Sept. 10, 2010 - 1:45 pm KONP Radio 1450 Art Beat with Host, Karen Hanan - Introducing "Mostly Transcriptions"
Listen Live: KONP 1450 AM Radio

Northern California CD Release Party: Weekend of September 25, 2010. Please let Tien know if you will be in the Sacramento/Folsom area so that she can send you an invitation to the party!

Stay Tuned: CD will be available to the public early Fall of 2010! Digital Download will include iTunes, eMusic, Amazon MP3, etc. Physical CD can be found at ArkivMusic.com, Amazon.com, www.TienHsieh.com and more.

Pre-release Reception following Showcase at WAA.

Solo recitals this season include Water Music Festival and Sunday Afternoon Live in Washington, Chilkat Center for the Arts in Haines, Alaska and All-Bach Program for Sacramento Bach Festival-Bravo Bach! featuring transcriptions by Busoni and Liszt.

Click here to learn more

A Glimpse of Genius: A few words about Franz Liszt - A Bicentennial Celebration (1811-1886)

Long before Beatlemania, people experienced Lisztomania, a term Heinrich Heine coined in describing the public's response to the virtuoso's legendary piano concerts in Berlin. Franz Liszt was the first musician to perform a solo piano concert for a public of thousands. Music was no longer only for the Aristocrats! And, he was the first musician to play a full solo concert by memory. Franz Liszt changed the musical climate of his time and paved the path for the future of music. Thus, a musical superstar was born. Yes, a compelling, charismatic and virtuosic showman: Franz Liszt was all of that and more.

Prolific Composer: Ever the innovator, Liszt invented the symphonic poem (tone poem for orchestral music), thematic transformation (influencing composers from Wagner, Stravinsky to John Williams), revolutionized the timbre, sonority, texture and color for the piano and opened the door for impressionism and atonality.

Inspiring Pedagogue: The greatest piano teacher of his generation, teaching was a core in his life. He had over 400 students during his lifetime. The students ranged from amateur musicians to young pianists who developed into first-class musicians and esteemed teachers themselves. Liszt established the concept of piano masterclass, which has become today's standard in refining performance throughout the world.

Compassionate Humanitarian: Nobleman Liszt contributed to countless charities, benefits and fund-raisers towards numerous causes, from aiding natural disasters, funding music schools, building of cathedrals, churches, a gymnasium to numerous private donations to hospitals, children's schools and pension fund for musicians. A more well-known contribution was funding and undertaking responsibility for mounting the Beethoven Monument in Bonn, which would not have been erected due to lack of financial support.

Almost a Prophet: Liszt obtained 4 of 7 degrees in priesthood.

Selfless Promoter: Always an active promoter of contemporary composers, Liszt included the works of Chopin, Mendelssohn, Weber and Beethoven, Schubert, Hummel on his own concert programs.

Franz Liszt: A Bicentennial Celebration is a tribute to the colossal Hungarian composer, pianist, teacher Franz Liszt. An icon in the life of music, born to an Austrian mother and Hungarian father in 1811, Liszt became one of the most influential figures for the future and performance of music. Though the music itself is not new, there should not be a greater reason to present the music of Liszt than to join in the global celebration of a genius turning 200 years young in 2011.

Music is the summation of creativity and intellect. Music is the spirit of soul. Performance of music gives music life. Franz Liszt was a creator of music. 200 years following the birth of a genius, Liszt's music continues to be played and heard in films, cartoons, music studios and concert halls throughout the world. Music is the 'unspoken' global language. The music of Franz Liszt embodies the unity and spirit of people. As it is humanly and artistically impossible to present a justified presentation of Liszt's compositional output in one performance, this solo piano concert will provide an inspiration, understanding and invaluable introduction to the music of Liszt. Though this program consists of music from the past, great literature and music withstand time. Human spirit withstands time. Every time an old work is presented to new ears, the work naturally transforms into a new vision. Every time an old work is presented to old ears with new vision, the work is renewed and reawakened. This program has been created to reflect Liszt's vastness of character and spirit. Suitable venues range from underserved communities, colleges/universities to music festivals, arts councils, performing art centers to all communities interested in cultural and artistic enrichment.

About the Music: Proposed Program

Prelude and Fugue in A Minor, BWV 543 (originally composed for organ): Bach-Liszt
Notably named "The Great" Prelude and Fugue in A, this dramatic, powerful organ work was composed during Bach's first year returning to Weimar, Germany, under employment of the reigning and problematic Duke Wilhelm Ernest (the brother of Bach's previous employee), as court organist and orchestra musician. Liszt's transcriptions set the foreground for his successor of Bach transcriptions, F. Busoni, in the treatment of piano as a majestic, rich, sonorous and resonant instrument.

Adelaide, Op. 46 (originally composed for voice and piano): Beethoven-Liszt
Beethoven was about 25 years old when he composed Adelaide, a song for voice and piano based on text by F.v. Matthisson, to whom this song is dedicated. The song depicts a poet who wanders in the garden of spring, seeing everywhere images of his beloved, expressing the outpouring of yearning for an idealized and unattainable woman. Beethoven's letter of gratitude to Matthisson was evidence that the poem mirrored his own sufferings and yearning for the love in his life.

Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth (The Nonnenwerth Cloisters): Liszt
Based on text by Felix Lichnowsky, Liszt composed this song for voice and piano around 1841. The poem is set on Nonnenwerth, an island on the Rhine River. The island was home to a Benedictine monastery from roughly 1126-1800. Liszt visited the island with his family during a few summer trips. The music is hauntingly beautiful, evoking solitude and tranquility.

Après une Lecture de Dante: Fantasia quasi Sonata (After a Reading of Dante): Liszt
Inspired by Inferno (the Devil) in Dante Alighieri's epic poem, Divine Comedy, and crowning work in the Italian volume of Liszt's Years of Pilgrimage, Liszt set out to encompass in music the world of pain, anger, torment and horrific cries of eternal damnation. A programmatic work with opening themes symbolizing the Devil (tritone), depicting the souls of Hell wailing in anguish, then fire subdued to joyful bliss gazing up to Heaven, hearing the music of Paradise. Thus, Dante Sonata is Liszt's monumental musical depiction of forbidden love.

Hungarian Rhapsody No. 5 in E Minor: Liszt
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C-sharp Minor: Liszt
Though he was not fluent in his native language and lived in other countries, Liszt possessed a strong sense of nationalism towards his beloved native Hungary. So much that he wrote 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies! Contrary to the beautifully melodic and somber 5th Rhapsody, the blistering 2nd rhapsody is, no doubt, the most well-known of the rhapsodies. As one of the favorite tunes in cartoons, it is likely you have heard it played by Mickey Mouse in The Opry House, Bugs Bunny in Rhapsody Rabbit, heard it in Tom and Jerry's Cat Concerto or episode C Flat or B sharp on Tiny Toon Adventures.

Three Song Transcriptions
Standchen - Leise flehen meine Lider (Serenade-My Songs Beckon Softly): Schubert-Liszt
Auf dem Wasser zu singen (To be sung on the Water): Schubert-Liszt
Auf Flügen des Gesanges (On Wings of Songs): Mendelssohn-Liszt

Mephisto Waltz No. 1 "Dance in the Village Inn': Liszt
Demonic expression was emblematic for Liszt. Based on Lenau's Faust (a lone scholar who sells his soul to the devil), the scene depicts Mephisto (the devil) and Faust arriving at a country wedding feast. Mephisto convinces Faust to partake in the festivities, snatches a violin from one of the musicians, tunes it and breaks into a devilish waltz. While Faust courts the innkeeper's daughter, the tune enslaves the dancers and eventually 'hypnotizing' Faust and the bride-to-be into an intoxicating seduction in the woods. Mephisto proceeds to serenade with a soft melody that bursts into frenzy as he concludes in an explosion of triumph.

The above program is flexible. Works may be substituted.

See more at Tien's official website: www.tienhsieh.com
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Tien Hsieh