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FSU Music in the News

University Symphony Orchestra Starts the Season Strong

The FSU College of Music and the University Symphony Orchestra welcomed audience members back to Ruby Diamond Concert Hall on Friday, September 16th with a concert featuring works by Brahms, Copland, and Prokofiev. USO filled the hall with wonderful sounds, led by Dr. Alexander Jiménez and graduate conductor Sebastian Jiménez. The highlight of the concert was Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26, played masterfully by piano doctoral candidate Xu Han. Xu studies at Florida State with Professor Stijn De Cock, and has held a graduate piano accompanying assistantship under the direction of Professor Valerie Trujillo. You can read more about her in her bio below:

Xu Han is an avid performer of solo, chamber, and orchestral music and has performed throughout the United States and China. Originally from China, Xu began to study the piano at the age of five. She decided to pursue music professionally when she was 11 years old and went to Tianjin Conservatory of Music Middle School and High School to study with Professor Yibo Wang. Later she studied with Professor Chun Pan from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and won the First-Class School Scholarship for four consecutive years.

In 2014, Xu started her studies at the Tianjin Conservatory of Music, graduating with her bachelor’s degree in 2018. Among her accomplishments are the Excellent Award in Tianjin Division of the 6th Yangtze Asia Youth Piano Competition (2015), first prize of the Finals Professional Group of the River-Kayserburg Youth Piano Competition (2015), the Excellent Student of the 2014-2015 academic year, the Winner of National Inspirational Scholarship & First-Class College Scholarship, the Yamaha Music Scholarship in Asia in Tianjin Division (2016), the Excellent Student of the 2015-2016 academic year, and the winner of National Inspirational Scholarship and First-Class College Scholarship. In 2017, Xu won the third prize of the Adult Group of the Professional Institutions of the Pearl Huanglong International Piano Festival, won the First Prize of the Qualifying Finals in China of the 11th International Piano Competition Nice Cote D’Azur, won the First Prize of Professional Group in Both Tianjin & North China District Division of the 8th Steinway National Youth Piano Competition & the 81st Steinway Youth Piano Festival.

In 2018, Xu was admitted to the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, where she studied with Professor Alexander Kobrin and obtained her Master of Music degree in piano performance and literature in 2020. In addition to her primary piano professor, Xu also received guidance from many prestigious pianists, including Taihang Du, Vincent Lenti, Tony Caramia, Dror Biran, Ran Dank, Alexander Shtarkman, Solomon Mikowsky, Pavlina Dokovska, John Perry, Yiyang Chen, and Charlie Albright.

As an active solo pianist, Xu has performed in many venues and concert halls across the United States and China. Her performances have garnered raving reviews, which all attest to her impressive musical maturity and virtuosic playing. A dedicated pedagogue, Xu is an active member of the Music Teachers National Association, International Piano Professionals Association, and China Association for Promoting Children’s Culture and Art.

Xu is currently completing her Doctor of Music in Piano Performance degree at Florida State University, where she studies with Professor Stijn De Cock, and has held a graduate piano accompanying assistantship under the direction of Professor Valerie Trujillo. In 2021, she won the Rockwood Piano Competition at Florida State University, and was selected to perform in the Wideman Concerto Competition in Shreveport, Louisiana. In 2022, Xu won the third prize of VI Future Stars International Piano Competition. In March and April 2022, Xu gave two lecture recitals on Chinese traditional music and Peking Opera in conjunction with the Asians in Arts and Music Association at Florida State University. Xu attended the Asian Classical Music Initiative 2022 Inaugural International Conference at the University of Kansas, where she presented a lecture recital on the topic of Asian folk music and won first prize in the presentation competition with her showcase of Peking Opera Themes.

Written by Jenna Montes
Edited by Jared Finkel

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