by Larry Lemmons
Amarillo, Texas - Friday and Saturday the Amarillo Symphony performs Beethoven's Eroica at the Globe News Center for the Performing Arts.
Visiting artist Hsin-Yun Huang will be playing a viola concerto by William Walton.
Hsin-Yun Huang plays viola, which is not usually thought of as a solo instrument. She says, "The nature of the sound and the timbre of the instrument. It's very warm, very personal and very expressive. And it's probably the closes thing to a vocal chord, a human vocal voice."
She says she actually began playing because she wanted to play something few others wanted. "I did not want to play the violin like everyone else so I said is there something nobody plays. The orchestra office says, oh we need violas. We need oboists. And my father said, you're a girl. Playing the oboe doesn't look so good. Why don't we play the viola? So that's how I got started."
Walton's Viola concerto is dear to those who love the instrument. "It's very lush," she says, "It's rich. The harmonies are to die for. There are these incredible dissonances."
She's originally from Taiwan. She travels around the world performing and teaches at Julliard. Chip Chandler, Director of Development and Communications of the Amarillo Symphony says, "Kimbo knew that the audience wanted to hear something a little different. So when he picked that piece he just went out and found one of the best players he could find to do it and Hsin-Yun totally fit that bill."