Teresa Cheung, conductor of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra, said the greatest thing about a new artist is watching them find their identity.
The local audience will have the opportunity to do just that when up-and-coming violinist Hahn-Bin takes the stage alongside the ASO at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Mishler Theatre
With a penchant for dark clothes, hair and makeup, 24-year-old Hahn-Bin has already established a particular physical identity. But in regard to his artistic approach and style of interpretation, Cheung, who has been following Hahn-Bin's career for the past two years, said he is still very much "an artist in the making."
With a penchant for dark clothes, hair and makeup, 24-year-old violinist Hahn-Bin has established an identity.
"That's why it's so exciting," she said. "He's looking at music with a different pair of eyes. We sometimes need people to come in and shake it up."
Hahn-Bin and the ASO will perform two pieces by Russian Composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky; his Violin Concerto in D Major, op. 23 and his Symphony no. 5 in e minor, op. 64. Cheung said the concerto was written when Tchaikovsky was going through a "personal crisis," with both his marriage and in doubting himself as a composer.
"It's quite extraordinary to see how he overcame atrocity and difficulty in life and created such a triumphant work," Cheung said. "It really symbolizes how the human spirit is so resilient and always looking for ways to break through."
Despite getting little feedback when it was first written, Tchaikovsky's concerto is now revered as one of the most difficult and well-written of the repertoire, Cheung added.
And with the way Hahn-Bin will perform these pieces, this is a performance patrons will not want to miss.
"It's striking how his looks are, but the music is more stunning," Cheung said. "No matter what I say, it won't compare to what he will play in front of you. I think the audience is very fortunate to have the chance to witness that."
Chrissey Wagner, executive director of the ASO, said she believes Hahn-Bin will bring "a lot of passion and energy" on Saturday. She added that ASO officials have been trying to reach out to local music schools and colleges to get the word out about the performance.
"We're all trying to get younger people to the symphony, as well as the patrons and sponsors we've had for years," she said. "We're hoping Hahn-Bin will spark some energy, and get some people here who might not often come."
Wagner agreed that this is a season-closer that locals don't want to miss.
"It would be cool, as this guy gets more well-known, if you could say, 'Wow, I saw him in the Mishler Theatre in 2012.'"
Mirror Staff Writer Beth Ann Downey is at 946-7520.