Music alumni come together in NY to play chamber music

Thursday, February 18, 2016
Four Duke University alumni from the Class of 2014 (Jameson Kuang, Sean Choi, Timothy Shih, and Wenjia Xu) gathered from across the US and England to play chamber music together like they did in their undergraduate days at Duke.

​Wenjia Xu writes:

"Despite our different interests in Economics, Engineering, and Medicine, our love for music brought the four of us together during our time as undergraduate students at Duke. As we were all involved in the Duke Symphony Orchestra and various chamber ensembles, it was inevitable for our musical paths to eventually merge.

For us, chamber music meant taking a break from stressful academic coursework in order to create something beautiful, together. It meant feeding the artistic side of us that often feels trapped within the confines of a library. It means sharing novel ideas and interpretations, and adapting to new environments and settings. It also means connecting and communicating with each other on a deeper, unspoken - yet more personal - level.

After graduating in 2014, our work and careers took us to various areas of the country and the world. So when an opportunity to meet in NYC presented itself, we did not hesitate to begin planning our reunion. "Project Zero" (a reference to the hopeful distance among us) was initiated, and eventually Schumann's Piano Quintet in Eb Major was chosen for its rich interplay between various instrumental voices. The resulting rehearsal in the Big Apple that ensued was nothing short of fun, albeit with a touch of nostalgia - it felt just like another "jam session" in a dorm kitchen - with plenty of improvisation and musical horseplay, naturally.

In the end we felt that despite our distance and time apart, our shared musical connection has only grown. We know that the next time we meet - whenever and wherever that might be - we will be ready to play chamber music once again."

Jameson Kuang (Music, T'14), piano, is a current first-year medical student at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. 

Sean Choi (Economics/Public Policy, T'14), violin, works as an Investment Risk Analyst for BlackRock in London, UK.

Timothy Shih (ECE/CS, P'14), viola, works as a Business and Technology Delivery Team Lead for Accenture in Dallas, TX.

Wenjia Xu (Music, T'14), violin, is an ER medical scribe for ScribeAmerica in Oklahoma City, OK. He will be attending medical school this fall.