VC INSIGHT | VC Artist Angelo Xiang Yu – ‘Michael Hill Comp: Combination of Pleasure & Disappointment’ [BLOG]

With the 2019 Michael Hill Worldwide Violin Competitors coming into its last stage in Auckland this night, VC lately caught up with a variety of former prize winners to get a greater understanding of their New Zealand expertise.

Former third prize winner, VC Artist Angelo Xiang Yu visitor blogs about his overwhelming, but heroic expertise on the 2011 competitors – with the demise of his mom simply 2 days previous to the beginning.


“My Michael Hill Competitors expertise was a combination of pleasure and disappointment.
It was eight 12 months in the past, a month earlier than the competitors, my dad known as me from China whereas I used to be having lunch on the scholar lounge of New England Conservatory. By then my mother had been affected by leukemia for greater than 20 months, and my dad informed me that she had lower than a month to reside and it might be good for me to go house instantly.
So I completed all the varsity last work in 2 days, and flew again to Shanghai, the place my household lives.
My mother was on the sting of shedding consciousness once I noticed her, however she might nonetheless acknowledge me, and occasionally she would whisper to me in a really low voice. After I talked about the competitors in New Zealand to her, she appeared to be very joyful and inspired me to go. After only one week, she might barely say something already.
For a lot of instances, I wished to electronic mail the competitors that I used to be not capable of take part. On prime of the circumstance in my household, I had an damage in my left hand attributable to stress and pinched nerve which gave me fixed ache and numbness, so I nearly couldn’t observe in any respect throughout that whole interval.
I spent the subsequent two weeks primarily in hospital, sitting beside her mattress and tried to be taught two new items by mentally training. 1. The commissioned work of that 12 months was an exquisite solo piece known as Gyftiko by New Zealand composer John Psathas. 2. Beethoven Ghost Trio, which I by no means performed earlier than, solely sight-read it as soon as with some associates of mine in Boston.
I don’t know if it was God’s plan, my airplane ticket to New Zealand was on Might 28th, 2011, and that very morning, my mom took her final breath in entrance of me. I rushed to the airport, the world became gray, and I misplaced the braveness to even shed a single tear.
I used to be not capable of sleep throughout the flight, so I placed on my earphone, listening to the Ghost trio by Beaux Arts many instances, and wrote down the whole lot in my thoughts within the rating and half.
18 semifinalists from everywhere in the world needed to give two recitals in Queenstown, I didn’t count on myself a lot attributable to my poor preparation, I solely hoped that I might get via the recitals with out reminiscence slip. I keep in mind I began the primary recital with Bach’s g minor Adagio, which abruptly grew to become essentially the most tough factor on the planet – I noticed how weak my fingers have been after not recurrently practiced for greater than 2 months, not to mention with the excruciating disappointment after my large loss simply 2 days in the past. I keep in mind my fingers began shaking in lots of locations, and I needed to shut my eyes occasionally to oblige myself to focus.
It actually took me without warning once I heard my title within the finalists announcement, as I didn’t count on that in any respect. It was a wierd feeling – so joyful that I’d get the prospect to work and carry out with two world-class musicians on the Ghost Trio; however on the hand actually unhappy that the burden on my shoulder grew to become much more.
Six of us flew to Auckland for the chamber music spherical.
Chamber music has been my main ardour since age of 13 once I shaped my first quartet in China, and I used to be so glad that this competitors has a selected part devoted to this space. Working with cellist Ashley Brown and pianist Michael Houstoun was like strolling within the heaven – the whole lot appeared so pure, pleasant, and straightforward. Even on stage, I didn’t really feel that I used to be in a contest atmosphere. Humorous sufficient, after we completed our efficiency, these two artists nonetheless might imagine that I by no means performed this piece. I suppose in some circumstances we have to observe quite a bit to kind a way of steadiness, however different instances we’d want sure “freshness” to encourage ourselves in addition to different folks. I suppose that’s what I realized from it.
I at all times attempt to not recall the reminiscence of my concerto spherical. Despite the fact that I carried out the Prokofiev Concerto No.2 earlier than on the Menuhin Competitors, I haven’t touched it since then, and didn’t have a lot likelihood to assessment it. Additionally after some these earlier spherical my fingers bought so drained and began to have some critical ache. I keep in mind that I needed to take four tablets of ache killer earlier than the efficiency, and for as soon as within the second motion my thoughts fully stopped, however the fingers have been magically transferring by themselves.
I actually don’t understand how I bought via the concerto, it was like a dream. The one factor I keep in mind was that my mother’s face appeared many instances as I closed my eyes, and I saved telling myself not to surrender, not for myself however for her.
It was not my finest efficiency, however I’m truly pleased with myself, as my objective was not the win the competitors, however to satisfy my mother’s final want. So I’m joyful that I used to be courageous sufficient to finish this journey regardless of of all of the difficulties.
Two weeks went actually rapidly. I had such nice time with my two host households. I went fishing and mountain climbing with my Queenstown host Trish and her son Lukas, and in Auckland my host Sir James impressed me with all his artwork work from home, which was like a contemporary artwork museum! Most significantly, I grew to become associates with most of the rivals there, however needed to say good bye to them so quickly, as for those who nearly have to depart a backyard when you realize that the flowers are about to blossom.
– Angelo”






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