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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW - Sarah Chang (cont.)

AOS.com:  You have worked with some of the top conductors in the world - including James Levine, Kurt Masur, André Previn, and even Placido Domingo - and performed with many legendary instrumentalists and symphonies; do you have a favorite experience or
collaboration from your many musical successes?

S.C.: There are too many to choose from! My Carnegie Hall debut was pretty special to me, my Berlin Philharmonic concerts and recordings with Placido Domingo were truly memorable, and next month I'll be recording the Brahms and Bruch violin concertos with Maestro Kurt Masur in Dresden. This is a project that I've held close to my heart, and I'm incredibly excited about it!

AOS.com:  In addition to being a world-class musician, you are also an ambassador for global change.  What is your primary mission for affecting change on a global scale?

S.C.:  I like to focus more on education - young students and bringing music into their lives. I try to meet with students in practically all the cities I play in, whether it's going to local schools, having Q & A talks, inviting them to my rehearsals with the orchestra, or bringing them backstage after my concerts.
    I also give benefit concerts for charities or organizations I believe in, and I was struck by how powerful music and the arts can be - and what an impact culture can have on a global stage - when I went to Pyong Yang, North Korea, many years ago to be the soloist in a joint concert with the North and South Korean Symphonies.

AOS.com:  You were named a Young Global Leader for 2008 by the World Economic Forum for your professional achievements, commitment to society and potential in shaping the future of the world; so, how do you hope to combine your talents as a musician and your forum as a celebrity to shape the future?

S.C.: My first love is being onstage and performing. I realize that there are also responsibilities that come with that, and how I should use my voice in a constructive and meaningful way. My primary focus away from music is education/students and helping in any way I can to shape their future. I'm not that much older than many of the students I speak with, those who write to me, email me, and come to my concerts, and I hope to be a positive part of their lives.

AOS.com:  You have already accomplished more before the age of 30 than many industry leaders accomplish in their lifetimes.  What's next on your list of goals?

S.C.:  To learn how to balance my professional life with my personal one! I'm pretty lousy at that. I have a wonderful team of managers/agents/record execs who take amazing care of me and my professional life, but nobody told me how much work it would be - trying to carve out time to have a private life as well. I'm learning!

    Sarah Chang performs with maestro Peter Bay and the Austin Symphony Orchestra on May 1st and 2nd at 8 p.m. at the Long Center for the Performing Arts.  The program will include “Violin Concerto No. 1 in g, Op. 26” by Bruch, “Capriccio Italien, Op. 45” by Tchaikovsky, and the world premiere of “Symphony No. 5” by Welcher.  For tickets and information, call (512) 476-6064 or visit www.AustinSymphony.org.


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Sarah Chang
(photo by Cliff Watts)