Glamorous and gifted, virtuoso violinist Yi-Jia Susanne Hou will play the second concert of the Johannesburg Musical Society’s 2015 season on Saturday, February 28, at 8pm in the Linder Auditorium.
Susanne Hou, known as ‘Little Miss Violin’, has been called “absolutely phenomenal” by no less than master-violinist Yehudi Menuhin.
She is the only violinist to capture three Gold Medals at major competitions by unanimous vote of the jury, holding the First Prize for the Concours International Long-Thibaud Competition of France, the Lipizer International Violin Competition of Italy and the Sarasate International Violin Competition of Spain. And she is possibly also the only violinist to have performed Paganini’s 24 Caprices for Solo Violin – amongst the most challenging set of pieces ever written for the instrument – in public at the tender age of 17.
Now she travels the world, playing in countries as diverse as Canada, the United States, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Croatia, China, Japan, Singapore and Indonesia. She has played with such illustrious musicians as Msistislav Rostropovich, Ralph Kirschbaum, Pinchas Zukerman, Vladimir Spivakov and Joseph Kalichstein, and has performed with the great orchestras of Europe, Asia and America.
Hou is deeply appreciative of her gifts and of the fact that she has had the freedom to develop and use these gifts. She is aware that her parents made great sacrifices to enable her to live the life that she enjoys. She is on record as having said: “My parents were both great violinists of a different time and world. Their career growth was stunted…and they did not have the opportunities I have always had. Their life experiences have had a deep impact on me and have been an unwavering source of inspiration. I have never taken for granted my ‘gift’ of being able to pursue what I love.”
The subject of several documentaries, Hou started her musical education at the age of 4 with her father Alec Hou, a renowned Chinese pedagogue. At 9 she became a scholarship student at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, after which she was awarded several scholarships by the Aspen Music Festival and the Juilliard School of Music.
She now plays a priceless antique violin once owned by the legendary Fritz Kreisler.
On Saturday, February 28, Hou will perform music by Brahms, Schubert, Prokofiev and Saint-Saens. She will be partnered by American pianist Bryan Wallick, a virtuoso pianist who is also a fine chamber player. Wallick is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music and a winner of the Gold Medal at the 1997 Vladimir Horowitz International Piano Competition in Kiev.
* The concert starts at 8pm in the Linder Auditorium, Parktown and seats can be booked at www.computicket.com. The box office will open for ticket sales from 7pm in the evening and there are substantial discounts for scholars and students 23 years and under. Please note: there is no credit card facility at the box office.
Also note that the St Andrews Road entrance to the Wits Education Campus is closed and entry is through the Victoria Road gate.
For more information, call 011 728 5492, or 083 228 2917; or visit www.jms.org.za.
The Linder Auditorium is situated on 27 St Andrews Road, Parktown, Johannesburg.