The students enrolled in the Columbus State University Schwob School of Music never fail to astound me. They are so talented and so well trained. And they’re all so young.
Senior Andy Hudson and sophomores Nadir Kashimov and Jing Yang are this year’s CSU Concerto Competition winners. They will perform with the CSU Philharmonic at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The concert is a fundraiser for the Schwob Conservatory.
Andy, I’m told, is one of the most highly sought-after students in the country by music graduate schools. Not bad for a clarinet player, right?
Nadir and Jing are violinists, and it seems you always expect violin students to do well.
Sophomore Jing, 23, was born in Canton (Guangzhou), China, but grew up in Beijing.
For two years, she studied in New York City before seeing a friend at a music festival.
“I really liked his playing,” she said, and found out that he was studying with Sergiu Schwartz. That was enough for her.
Now, her brother, Huan, 21, a freshman, is studying piano with Gila Goldstein in the Schwob School.
The siblings are close and Jing is happy to have her brother here. But she still calls her parents in China daily.
She will be performing the first movement of a Tchaikovsky concerto.
“It feels pretty good,” he said when asked how it felt to be so highly recruited by graduate schools.
He passed all of the auditions that he had taped. In two weeks, he’ll go for live auditions at Yale, Northwestern, the Eastman School, Juilliard and Mannes College.
All are in the Northeast, except Northwestern, which is in Chicago. All have very cold winter weather.
Known for wearing shorts, T-shirts and flip flops all year, Hudson laughs that he’s going to have to buy a new wardrobe.
Hudson, 20, is now engaged to Brittany Noble, who is working on her masters degree in music education at Southern Illinois.
“I’m looking forward to starting a new life and a new winter wardrobe,” he said.
He’ll be playing Adams’ “Gnarly Buttons.”
Nadir, 19, is originally from Uzbekistan, but his family now lives in Atlanta.
Schwartz heard him play in a 2004 competition in Russia.
“I was 14,” he said. Schwartz has kept up with Nadir since.
He was 7 when he first picked up a violin. His father was his first teacher. He’s from a musical family. His mother plays piano.
“My family is full of musicians,” he said. “My brother is the only non-musician. He’s 12 years older than me and lives in Florida. He is a businessman and has his own family.”
He’ll be playing the Sibelius violin concerto. Because Nadir will be playing this piece for an audition later this spring, he thought he might as well perfect it, and play it Saturday.
Sandra Okamoto, email@example.com or 706-571-8580.