Yelian He plays cello concerto with the Sydney Symphony

2015 is a pretty special year for me. It’s the first year I’ve spent experiencing the 30’s, the first time my cello was swabbed and searched instead of me in an airport, and it’s the first time I’ve performed a concerto without a conductor – and with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra to boot.

 

 

Speaking of, I must mention that all of these fantastic experiences happened during the month of May as a result of winning the inaugural Australian Cello Awards Grand Prize in 2014 (ACA Website, next competition in 2017). That was a highlight not soon forgotten in itself and I’m sure I’ll be hearing even greater things from CEO Roland Gridiger and his team at MOST. But as I was trying to say, my excitement grew endlessly (so too did practice) as my debut with the Sydney Symphony drew nearer.

On the way to my first rehearsal, I was nervous about what to expect. There have been times in the past where the concerts haven’t lived up to expectations owing to insufficient rehearsal time or difficulties in communication. When I arrived I was greeted by the Concertmaster Andrew Haveron before meeting the Orchestra for some one-on-one time with the Bach Concerto; this is when general & interpretational decisions are brought up so there are fewer surprises during rehearsal. It was clear from the start Andrew was confident and accommodating – vital qualities for a good musician, and a good human being.

 

 

A Concerto without a conductor is a trust building exercise, and it’s easy to lose your nerve or get too excited. There’s bound to be more communication between the musicians, leading to more ideas being aired, but you also better know the score intimately! Not only will there be questions from the orchestra, knowing how the 1st violins bow a particular sequence of quavers or how the cellos phrase another section makes all the difference in rehearsals and performances, all the while giving a brilliant unique interpretation of the work.

It’s not difficult when you play with a wonderful orchestra, to get carried away in the passion of a running passage and/or to indulge the slow movement so much everyone else thinks it’s like watching paint dry; it’s happened many times during my earlier years and I’m embarrassed to say that wasn’t too long ago, which is why I advocate discipline and self-control! Having said that, it doesn’t mean I’m to be lifeless on stage when not playing anything either. Here’s me and the SSO taking a couple of minutes off after the rehearsals to shred the piece we just spent hours rehearsing. (It’s definitely the SSO’s good nature that I’m allowed to get away with this…but what can I say? Music’s got to be enjoyed by the ones playing and the ones listening!

 

About two weeks prior the SSO’s website had listed the concert as SOLD OUT which meant the only chance of securing a ticket was to wait and chance it at the returns desk. As a performer the adoration of your audience is key! Don’t believe me? Try playing for a hall half-empty (or half-full depending on your philosophical bend) and tell me you don’t wish you’d have given more love and attention to them more often; for a concert organizer that’s also a great reason not to see you again any time soon. I’m sure both the Australian Cello Awards and the Sydney Symphony have worked very hard to push this concert to the public, and if anybody else was involved, I thank you sincerely for making all of this a fantastically memorable event!

Y-Squared | Wigmore Hall: Classical Chamber Music & Song Concerts

Y Squared

Winner of 2014 @CelloAwards #Australia @Y2_Squared Yelian He and Yasmin Rowe are to give a recital @Wigmore_Hall on Sunday 25th May at 7.30pm. A concert not to be missed. Yelian, a former Tait Awardee, will be playing with us in our 2014 Tait Young Australian Performers concert @StJohnsSmithSq on Tuesday 9th December. More details of this special Tait concert to be released shortly.

Noted for its exceptionally creative programming and electric partnership, Y-Squared performs a wide variety of repertoire ranging from Boccherini to Kapustin. Since its conception, the duo has performed all over Europe and Australasia, generating a worldwide following. Forthcoming recitals in 2014 include performances at Bridgewater Hall and St Martin-in-the-Fields, as well as tours in Wales, Scotland and Australia.Kirckman Concert Society/Sarah Gordon Concert Management. Supported by Lankelly Chase Foundation Reg. Charity

Date:
25 May 2014 – 7:30pm

Ticket Prices:
£8 £9 £11 £13

 

Buy Tickets Now

Programme

Poulenc

Cello Sonata

Beethoven

12 Variations on a Theme from Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus WoO. 45

Nikolai Kapustin

Burlesque Op. 97

Mendelssohn

Cello Sonata No. 2 in D Op. 58

Martinů

Variations on a theme by Rossini

via Y-Squared | Wigmore Hall: Classical Chamber Music & Song Concerts ::.

Yelian He wins the Australian Cello Awards Competition

We are thrilled to hear that Yelian He, Tait Awardee 2009, has been awarded the inaugural Australian Cello Awards. Congratulations Yelian. Yelian was the recipient of the Allen-Evans Scholarship, the Grand Prize of the inaugural Australian Cello Awards Competition, the Audience Prize as well as the Sydney Symphony concerto prize.

Yelian performs with Yasmin Rowe in their Cello and Piano duo Y2QUARED. Listen to them performing the Beethoven Sonata for Piano and Cello in F here

It is our great pleasure to be able to let you know that Yasmin and I performed at the finals of the inaugural Australian Cello Awards Competition on the night of 30th March 2014. We were incredibly fortunate and privileged to be selected by a jury of eminent Australian musicians as the Grand Prize winner as well as the recipient of the Audience Prize and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra Concerto Prize. (Yelian will be back in Sydney to perform a concerto with the Sydney Symphony in 2015/16)

Needless to say, we’re both over the moon – we both love Australia very much for it’s weather – people – and food. We thought you’d be interested to know as you are an important part of why we were able to achieve this, so thank you very much for your support and we look forward to being able to give you more good news as the time goes by.

 

Yelian & Yasmin, 2nd April 2014

Three of a kind: Winner Yelian He, left, Ruben Palma and Edward King at the Conservatorium. Photo: Steven Siewert
Three of a kind: Winner Yelian He, left, Ruben Palma and Edward King at the Conservatorium. Photo: Steven Siewert

 

More here from the Sydney Morning Herald

The website of the Australian Cello Awards