Jieming Tang Performs in His Final Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra Performance
On Mother’s Day, May 9, 2016, a young man from China made his parents very proud, and many mothers of young women so pleased that such a fine young man is coming of age in Cleveland, at his solo violin performance with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra at Severance Hall. Jieming Tang began studying violin at age three years, in Hefei, China, with Tian Feng. At eight years old, Jieming moved one thousand kilometers north to study violin with Zhao Wei at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. And at the thirteen, he entered the Conservatory’s pre-college division.
That same year, Tang came to the United States to the Cleveland Institute of Music, entering the Junior Young Artist Program. While in Cleveland, Tang has studied violin with world renowned musicians, including Paul Kantor, Annie Fullard, Joel Smirnoff, and most recently Jaime Laredo.
During his study at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Tang joined the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, one of the premier youth orchestras in the world.
Jieming amazed everyone while playing solo violin on Sunday. Mark Satola wrote in the Plain Dealer the next day, “His mastery of technique is impressive … and it was fully tested by Korngold's demanding but lovely Violin Concerto in D major.”
Satola continued, “[Tang] navigated with great confidence the concerto's perilous technical heights and its challenging artistic depths. He was brilliant and precise in the violin's highest reaches, and brought to the expressive romantic themes a rich and sometimes husky tone.”
Jieming’s solo was met with a standing ovation, and he was called back to the stage three times. Four bouquets of flowers were presented to him, including from Erie Chinese News, from Margaret Wong, and from Anthony Yen.
We were invited back stage during the intermission, to the Humphrey Green Room, to witness presentation of proclamations and photos with Jieming Tang. Anthony Yen, Chairman of the board of trustees of the Confucius Institute at Cleveland State University made the first presentation. Dr. Li Li, Director of the Mary Ann Swetland Center for Environmental Health at CWRU School of Medicine, presented Tang with a statement proclaiming him an “honorary son of Cleveland, and of the Chinese American community of Northeast Ohio.”
Margaret Wong presented Jieming with a scholarship to support his education at the Juilliard School, at Lincoln Center, New York, where he will be studying starting next fall. The proclamation said: “I do hereby recognize your rare combined qualities of natural born talent and subsequent years of hard work to hone and refine that talent, and do hereby proclaim you to be the first recipient of the Margaret W. Wong Scholarship for Extraordinary Foreign Born Students, for the duration of your study at the Juilliard School.”
Jieming had only a few minutes to meet during the intermission, but we had more time in the reception following the second half of the concert, in the Smith Lobby. We met Jieming’s father, and learned more of his plans in New York City. There were many fine women and men in the Youth Orchestra, but Jieming Tang was a shining star among them.