American violinist Luke Hsu has been praised for his "sensitivity in tone and deep understanding of every music he plays" (Wieniawski Magazine). His passion lies in performing works from the 17th and 18th century, garnering praise from the Wieniawski Magazine that "Luke undoubtedly understands Mozart and feels comfortable in his music." He has performed at Wigmore Hall, Kennedy Center, Jordan Hall, and Jones Hall among many others. He has performed as a soloist with Houston Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Poznan Philharmonic, Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio, Tongyeong Festival Orchestra, and the Victoria Symphony Orchestra among others. He has worked closely with such conductors as Nikolaj Znaider, Hugh Wolff, Marek Pijarowski and Cristian Macelaru, and his performances have been recorded and broadcasted on US radio station’s NPR, Canada’s CBC and Denmark’s DR, including a performance of Vaughan Williams’s Lark Ascending with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra featured on NPR’s Performance Today.
Luke has received many top accolades from around the world. He is a top prize winner of the 15th International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition 2016 in Poznan, Poland, where he also received a prize for his interpretation of the Mozart concerti. Other achievements include first prize and the Isang Yun prize at the 12th Isangyun International Violin Competition 2014 in South Korea, a top prize winner at the 10th Nielsen International Violin Competition 2016 in Denmark, first prize winner of the Ima Hogg Houston 2016 Symphony Competition, and a laureate of the 2013 Concours Musical International de Montreal.
Luke is also an avid chamber musician and is the violinist of the Beacon St Trio, a piano trio formed in the New England Conservatory consisting of Sophie Scolnik-Brower (piano) and Rainer Crosett (cello). In addition to his piano trio, he has collaborated with artists such as Cho-Liang Lin, Gil Shaham, Marc-Andre Hamelin, Peter Frankl, Colin Carr, and musicians from the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal. Festival appearances include La Jolla SummerFest, Yellow Barn Chamber Music, San Miguel de Allende Chamber Music Festival, Aspen Music School and Festival, Perlman Music Program, and Tongyeong International Music Festival. Future festivals/masterclasses include Prussia Cove and Verbier.
Luke currently resides in London, UK.
The WFSIC Team caught up with Luke Hsu to get to know him and the person behind the violin.
What inspired you to pursue a career in performance?
The first time I heard solo violin Bach, I knew this music was what I wanted to play for the rest of my life. I was around 7. I think I was enamoured by its mystery and the atmosphere one can make by playing solo violin.
Where’s the strangest place that you have ever performed?
When I was leaving customs in an American airport with the violin on my back, a customs official asked me if I actually played the violin or not. To this day, I am not sure if this was a security issue or not, but I said “yes, I do play the violin.” She told me to take my violin out and play the violin. I think I played the 24th caprice by Paganini, and she was not expecting it. After playing for 2 minutes, she said, “I want your contact, and I want to keep progress of your career.” Never saw her again…
What would your ideal holiday be?
I am absolutely in love with Mexico, especially the colonial towns that are all over central Mexico. San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato are two of the most beautiful places I have set my eyes on.