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Midday on Music I: Hanzhi Wang, Accordionist

Photo by Matt Dine

Today on Midday, we break from the news of the day, and focus on that which is great and good about the human condition.  It’s Midday on MusicA little later, we’ll be treated to some tunes by the guitar/harp duo, Robin Bullock and Sue Richards.  Their performance is posted separately here.

We begin today with Hanzhi Wang.  This virtuoso concert accordionist was born 29 years ago in China. She now lives and teaches in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

She is the first accordionist to win the prestigious Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York.  Ms. Wang is not your grandfather’s polka-playing accordionist, nor is she the organ-grinder busker in Little Italy with the dancing monkey.  As you will  hear, she is a virtuoso on an instrument that is not usually associated with art music.  We streamed our conversations today on the WYPR Facebook Page, so you can see that the instrument she is playing -- the button accordion -- doesn’t even look like most accordions you’ve seen before.   

During her live performance on Midday, Hanzhi Wang plays three pieces, in this order:

“My Story” by Hanzhi Wang;  “Etincelles” by Moritz Moszkowski; and “La Muerte del Angel”  by Astor Piazzolla.   

Hanzhi Wang performs Saturday night (October 5) at a concert at the Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center at Howard Community College in Columbia.  It’s part of the Candlelight Concert Society series.  She'll play music of Bach, Rameau, Scarlatti, Grieg and Schnittke.  The concert starts at 7:30.  Wang's latest CD is called On the Path to H.C. Anderson on the Naxos label.  It includes music by contemporary Danish composers.  Hanzhi Wang is on the faculty of the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen.   She posts on Instagram.  

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Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Rob is a contributing producer for Midday.