Recital: Juchen Wang '24 MM, Saxophone

NEC: Brown Hall | Directions

290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA
United States

NEC's students meet one-on-one each week with a faculty artist to perfect their craft. As each one leaves NEC to make their mark in the performance world, they present a full, professional recital that is free and open to the public. It's your first look at the artists of tomorrow.

Juchen Wang '24 MM studies Saxophone with Kenneth Radnofsky.

The recital is entitled: Her Way Home.

This is an in-person event with a private stream available to the NEC community here:

  • Juchen Wang '24 MM, alto and soprano saxophone
  • Ziang Yin, piano
  • Xinyi Liao, alto saxophone
  • Zhikang Chen, tenor saxophone
  • Cheng Wang, baritone saxophone
  • Xian-Hao Harry Liao, Baopu Wang, Haoyu Noah Li, Yu Wang, Lingyi Kong, Yikun Xu, visual artist
  • Kenneth Radnofsky, studio teacher
  1. Yangfan Xu | Turn Me Into Ocean


    Program note

    Turn Me Into Ocean was commissioned by Kenneth Radnofsky and draws inspiration from a poem written by the composer about a nocturnal journey through a cityscape leading to a personal transformation and a discovery of solitude.

    Turn Me Into Ocean

    I walk down the street at the witching hour,
    The night sky looks like an endless abyss of Coca-Cola.
    Fizzing, sparkling, bubbling,
    So deep as if to devour everything.
    I can smell midsummer in the air.

    I walk on the sidewalk to the right.
    Streetlights are shaking and blurring,
    And it makes me dizzy in a sober way
    Street lamps are gradually morphing into moons
    Many different moons above my head.

    I walk down the hill on the sidewalk to the right,
    Many moons are ramping by.
    I fell headlong into a mass of soft shadows.
    While the waves hit my soles hard,
    The world turns upside down,
    Many moons below my feet.

    My limbs are melting away.
    I float in the middle of the ocean.
    Falling into unconsciousness.
    My mind turns into an ocean.

    - Yangfan Xu, April, 2023

    • Ziang Yin, piano
    • Xian-Hao Harry Liao, Baopu Wang, visual artist
  2. Dorothy Chang | New Stories

    Floating Worlds
    A Tall Tale Told

    Program note

    New Stories is a reflection on the various musical influences and experiences I’ve had as a second generation Chinese American who has lived in both North America and Asia.  Chinese folk songs, 80s pop ballads and marching band music are equally a part of my musical identity, as is the influence of composers ranging from Bach, Brahms and Stravinsky to more recent contemporary composers. The four movements that comprise New Stories are personal musical narratives that result when these diverse elements are embraced and woven together in various ways.
         The first movement, “Floating Worlds,” begins with two primary musical elements: a very quiet and sustained note in the saxophone and a chain of piano chords moving slowly beneath. The chords are tonally ambiguous and only loosely connected, as if floating independently in a hazy harmonic world. From this opening, the harmonies thicken and gradually become more grounded as the saxophone spins out long, lyrical lines.
         The second movement, “A Tall Tale Told,” begins with a simple melody that has a dance-like, scherzo quality. As the movement progresses the melody is repeated, embellished and distorted, eventually building to a peak of unexpected intensity.
         The title of the third movement “Reflection,” is a play on two meanings of the word: self-reflection, in that the movement is very still, intimate and contemplative, and reflection as an image or representation, in this case that of traditional Chinese music. The borrowed elements, however, are merely blurred and indistinct shadows of ‘genuine’ Chinese music, being filtered through layers of cultural distance and other influences.
         The closing movement, “Folksong,” is fast and energetic, bringing together elements from a wide variety of music that have helped to shape and define my own musical voice.
    - Dorothy Chang

    • Ziang Yin, piano
    • Xian-Hao Harry Liao, Baopu Wang, visual artist
  3. Zining Wu | Sarula

    Silver Autumn Morning
    Sarula's Eyes

    Program note

    The name of this work, Sarula in Mongolian, is a female name symbolizing a bright future. I chose this title for two reasons. Firstly, this title can be seen as an expression of my social beliefs: "women" represent the colorful spectrum of life, the gentle force of society, and the symbol of endless possibilities. Their future, like a bright light, illuminates the path ahead, filled with hope and potential. Secondly, this work was commissioned by Juchen Wang and was ultimately created. I also hope that Juchen, who is about to graduate, will have a bright future.

    This piece is divided into three movements.

         The inspiration for the first movement comes from two lines of poetry by Mongolian poet Bie Yawohulang: "The cracks in the skylight are filled with light, and dawn is imminent." Therefore, traditional Mongolian long tunes were used to compose this movement, expressing a sense of anticipation for dawn. This emotion can be vividly conveyed through the traditional Mongolian long tunes, which often carry profound and distant characteristics, suitable for expressing the waiting and anticipation inherent in the poetry.
         The inspiration for the second movement is drawn from the traditional festival and sports competitions of the Mongolian—Naadam. It's a vibrant and enthusiastic scene. The Shaman drum, as a significant instrument during the Naadam festival, carries the atmosphere of the celebration and the emotions of the ethnic group. Its rhythm resembles the heartbeat of the grassland, igniting people's passion and vitality. The structure of this movement is designed to be rhythmic and compact, reflecting the dynamic energy of the Naadam festival. It aims to immerse the audience in the ambiance of the Naadam festival, allowing them to experience the unique charm and lively spirit of the Mongolian ethnic group.
         The third movement, Sarula's Eyes, carries a profound symbolism and emotion within the music. The title embodies themes of feminine strength, wisdom, and aspirations. In this movement, the use of air-tone and its unique development in tone color creates an atmosphere reminiscent of distant winds, imbued with mystery and depth. The progression of the music, from afar to nearby, symbolizes the gradual recognition and understanding of women's inner strength and wisdom and in the third movement of this piece, may every woman's eyes shine with clarity, infusing their lives and futures with strength and hope, and may they all realize their dreams, showcasing their infinite charm and wisdom.                                      
    - Zining Wu

    • Ziang Yin, piano
    • Haoyu Noah Li, Yu Wang, visual artist

  5. Yi Chen | Chinese Ancient Dances

    Ox Tail Dance
    Hu Xuan Dance

    Program note

    Co-commissioned by Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Virginia Arts Festival, La Jolla SummerFest, and Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, OR, the duet Chinese Ancient Dances is written for and dedicated to David Shifrin and Andre-Michel Schub for their national tour and the Alice Tully Hall concert on May 7, 2004, on which the complete work was given its world premiere. The premiere performance was dedicated to the celebration of the 70th birthday of Prof. Mario Davidovsky, one of the my great professors and mentors at Columbia University. The work includes two movements:
    I. Ox Tail Dance;
    II. Hu Xuan Dance.

         It’s said that in the ancient time, there was an ethnic group called Ge Tian Shi. Three people would dance in slow steps with ox tails in their hands, while singing eight songs to praise the earth, the totem of the black bird, the plants, the grains, the nature, the heaven, the weather, and the flourishment of breeding livestock. I got my imagination from the gestures of holding the ox tails and went into the atmosphere of composing the first movement, Ox Tail Dance. The pitch material is drawn from an old Chinese mountain song originated in Shaanxi province, called Jiao Fu Diao (A Porter's Song).
         The second movement is entitled Hu Xuan Dance. There is a poem, Hu Xuan Lady, written by the famous poet Bai Ju-Yi in Tang Dynasty, which described the Hu Xuan Dance in detail. The energetic dance has continuing fast spinning gestures, introduced to China from the West in the ancient time. I reproduced the image in the second movement, the music is written vividly for clarinet and piano. The pitch material is drawn from ancient Dunhuang music on the Silkroad.
         Thanks to a request by Prof. Carrie Koffman at the Hartt School of Music, I adapted Chinese Ancient Dances for soprano saxophone and piano, for her to premiere in 2010.
    - Yi Chen

    • Ziang Yin, piano
    • Haoyu Noah Li, Yu Wang, visual artist
  6. Stella Sung | Sur la mémoire


    Program note

    Sur la mémoire was commissioned in 1995 by saxophonist Claude Delangle. The work was inspired by a trip to Asia which the composer took in 1993, where the sights and sounds of the incense-filled temples were of particular interest. The sounds of temple bells, the the constant hum of people paying homage to their ancestors, the ritualistic chants are all part of the content in Sur la mémoire.

    • Ziang Yin, piano
    • Lingyi Kong, visual artist
  7. Haihuai Huang (arr. Lingbo Ma) | Horse Racing

    • Xinyi Liao, alto saxophone
    • Zhikang Chen, tenor saxophone
    • Cheng Wang, baritone saxophone
    • Lingyi Kong, Yikun Xu, visual artist