Beginning Monday, Feb. 12, the internationally acclaimed Formosa Quartet will be performing and teaching at Eastern Michigan University’s School of Music and Dance. The quartet features violinists Jasmine Lin and Wayne Lee, violist Che-Yen Chen, and professor of cello at EMU, Deborah Pae.
The Formosa quartet will be residing at EMU for a whole week, with events planned everyday. This is so students will be able to attend as many events as possible to get the most experience.
“We wanted [the quartet] to have access to as many students at EMU and the as possible and to make this week of events free and open to everyone. Each member is going to lead a Master Class. For the Master Class we’ll have a select number of students perform and we will coach and mentor them,” Pae said.
Pae also emphasized her desire for students outside of EMU and the surrounding community to get involved and hopefully attend the events.
“In the effort of creating community around this I wanted to include local businesses. They’re all doing great things for the community and a lot of individual donors are really excited about this ensemble coming to EMU,” said Pae.
Sponsors of the quartet’s week of residency include Women in Philanthropy at EMU, Ypsilanti Food Co-Op, SweetWaters Coffee and Tea, SideTrack, The Michigan Taiwanese American Organization (MiTAI) and many more. Pae said the local businesses have expressed a great amount of support for the Formosa Quartet to be here and working with the EMU students.
“I think the students would get a lot out of it, having a chance to share the stage with us,” said Pae.
The students have been very excited for the Formosa Quartet to arrive and have helped Pae plan the events.
“EMU Cello [students] are very excited and they are very active in helping me run this residency. I use this as an opportunity for the students to exercise skills in leadership, organization, and time management. Making this happen has been a very monumental project,” said Pae.
There will be several opportunities for the students to learn from the quartet members, especially at their Master Classes.
This is the quartet’s first time performing in Michigan, but they have traveled internationally and have won awards including First Prize and Amadeus Prize at the London International String Quartet Competition. They have given critically acclaimed performances in Asia, Europe, Canada, and the United States.
“We tour extensively in the U.S., Canada and Europe. We also run two festivals, one is in Taiwan every August, and at the National Youth Orchestra of Canada,” said Pae.
The quartet have been working together for a very long time, this year marking their 15th anniversary together. All of the members are Asian-American citizens from several different regions of the U.S. Professor Pae is Korean and grew up in New Jersey and New York, and her colleagues are Cantonese as well as Taiwanese, none of whom are from Michigan. Pae is very excited to be performing with the quartet in Michigan for the first time since she is also professor of cello at EMU.
The full week of their residency will include a total of 8 events. All of these will be free and open to the public. For a complete list of events, visit the School of Music and Dance’s website.