Principal Mission Quests
For her first concert since being appointed Principal Conductor of the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra (NASO), Tong Chen has invited the amazing young cellist, Mizuki Hayakawa, to perform the beautiful and contemplative Elgar Cello Concerto. NASO's primary mission is to feature emerging soloists and conductors, and at age 17, Ms. Hayakawa is exactly that. The main melody of the concerto apparently came to Elgar as he emerged from sedation after an operation. Rachmaninoff completed his Symphony No. 2 in 1907 after a 3 year quest, including hypno-therapy, following the disastrous premiere of his first symphony. The work won the 1908 Glinka prize. Since then the symphony was subjected to various cuts and revisions but in the 1960s conductors returned to the uncut version which will be performed at this NASO concert.
Mizuki Hayakawa is a senior at Edgemont High School in Scarsdale, NY. She is currently enrolled in Juilliard pre-college division studying with Natasha Brofsky. She started her music path with the violin in Japan and grew interested of the cello at age 10 where she started studying with Nicole Johnson. Mizuki was in the Firefly Quartet as well as the orchestra through the New York Youth program. She has won numbers of competitions as a soloist and chamber musician. She has performed in venues such as the Weill Hall, Stern/Perelman Auditorium in Carnegie Hall, Rose Studio in Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, Ozawa Hall, Koussevitzky shed at Tanglewood. During the summer, Mizuki has attended Kinhaven music school, Greenwood music camp, String Quartet and Young Artists Orchestra at Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and YellowBarn young artists program. As an orchestral cellist, she has been principal for Juilliard pre-college symphony, Tanglewood's orchestra program and NYSSMA All-State. She has performed in master classes with Paul Katz, Richard Aaron, Paul Watkins, Alan Harris, Fred Sherry, Clive Greensmith, Norman Fischer, Roger Tapping, Shanghai Quartet, and Muir Quartet.
"Masterfully presented the Mendelssohn's Fifth Symphony" described by the Leipzig Time.
A prize winner of the prestigious International Malko Conducting Competition, Tong Chen, has quickly established herself as one of the most promising and exciting young conductors in her generation.
Ms. Chen has worked with numerous orchestras across the globe, including Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo (Brazil), Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Besançon Symphony Orchestra (France), Leipzig Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orhcestra, Richmond Symphony, New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Orchestra, Orchestra St. Luke's, Peabody Symphony Orchestra, XiaMen Philharmonic (China) and Shanghai Opera House.
A frequent cover conductor of the New Jersey Symphony and Alabama Symphony, she also worked with the LA Phil from 2009-11. Ms. Chen was chose by Kurt Masur to receive the Mendelssohn Scholarship in 2012. She has participated in the conducting program the Aspen Music Festival and Cabrillo Festival, studying under David Zinman and Marin Alsop. Her main studies were with Gustav Meier at Peabody Conservatory, where he received master's degrees in conducting and Maurice Peress at Copland School of Music. In 2015, Ms. Chen made her Lincoln Center debut at David H. Koch Theater with the Paul Taylor Dance Company and Orchestra St.Luke's. The season's highlight includes Tong's debut with Alabama Symphony Orchestra, MSM Philharmonia and Shanghai Philharmonic. Tong Chen is currently the music director of Yonkers Philharmonic and principal conductor of NASO.