A native of Taiwan, flutist Ya-Hsin Angel Hsiao is a First Prize winner of the 2011 Alexander & Buono International Flute Competition, and as such debuts in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in October 2011. She was also the Third Prize winner of the 2011 National Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition, the First Prize winner of the New York Flute Club Young Artist Competition in 2008, and the winner of the Stony Brook University’s 2008-2009 Concerto Competition.

In 2007 she was a finalist at the XII International Flute Competition in Timisoara, Romania, and has also received prizes from Belgium’s Neerpelt Music Festival for Youth and the Jong Tenuto Competition. Ms. Hsiao joined the roster of Astral Artists as a winner of its 2010 National Auditions. She is a graduate of the Conservatoire Royal de Musique of Brussels, Belgium, where she studied with Jean-Michel Tanguy and received a Diplôme Supérieur in 2003 in Flute Performance.

At the age of 19, she was admitted to the University of Cincinnati to pursue a Doctor of Musical Arts degree with Bradley Garner. Ms. Hsiao is the recipient of an Honorary Fellowship from the Belgian-American Educational Foundation (BAEF). She has performed in masterclasses worldwide, with such renowned flutists as Maxence Larrieu, William Bennett, Philippe Bernold, Philippe Pierlot, Goran Marcusson, and Randolph Bowman. She also performed at the 51st Académie Internationale d’Eté de Nice, France, as a special artist in the “Philippe Bernold et ses Etudiants” masterclass series.

Ms. Hsiao recently appeared on Long Island’s North Shore Pro Musica concert series and debuts on Astral’s concert series in the 2011-2012 season, in its Spiritual Voyages Festival and as concerto soloist with Symphony in C under Rossen Milanov. In May 2011 she earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Stony Brook University, where she studied with Carol Wincenc.

(This interview was conducted in October 2011 by Cheryl Lim)

How did you start learning or playing the flute? Who were you studying with?

My father picked the instrument for me! He thought that, since I loved singing, the flute would be the most ideal wind instrument for me, because of its direct position to the human lips; there are no reeds in between. My most prominent teachers are Jean-Michel from the Conservatoire Royal of Brussels, Belgium, and Carol Wincenc at the State University of New York, Stony Brook.

How were your musical experiences like in Europe? Did anyone inspire you?

I have had very rigorous musical training in Belgium. The classes on Solfege, sight-reading, transposition and harmony were extremely advanced and challenging and they helped me immensely with my later musical development. Beside academics, my flute experiences formed a strong basic foundation in which I derive many good ideas from as I grow older. My teacher Jean-Michel Tanguy was a great inspiration to me; he is an excellent flute player who demonstrates the tradition of French Schools; but yet is still innovative in many aspects.

What were the differences in learning or teaching when you went to the US?

Since more self-discipline was necessary, I had to prepare myself thoroughly every time I needed to play for my teachers.  That has as a result aided me on the path towards perfection.

What model and brand of flute do you play now?

Nagahara Flutes, Full Concert Model.

How do you usually prepare yourself for competitions and / or performances?

After learning the music prior to the performance, it is very important for me to maintain and even sharpen the “shape” and “form “of my techniques. I think keeping consistent is the most essential element when going for important goals like an audition or a competition.

What’s your favourite music?

Impressionism, tango and Jazz!

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Watching clips and movies, using the internet, swimming and shopping.

Any future plans?

I would love to keep performing as much as I can, because it is one thing that I enjoy doing. Besides that, having a small business of my own will be my long term goal.


Written By Editor

A contributing editor at TBP.