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A night of cello and piano with Yale music professors Wei-Yi Yang and Ole Akahoshi

  • Wei-Yi Yang takes to the stage on piano for the second to last Nassau Music Concert series on the season, this weekend.

  • Ole Akahoshi will perform on cello during the concert.

Guardian Lifestyles Reporter

Published: Mar 23, 2012

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With just two concerts left on their season, The Nassau Music Society (NMS) is ending on a high note, with performances by Wei-Yi Yang on piano and cellist Ole Akahoshi this weekend.

The Yale music professors and renowned musicians, will be the guest performers for the society’s penultimate concert of the music season. This unique classical music experience starts tonight at St. Andrew’s Kirk at 8 p.m. An encore performance will be held on Saturday, March 24 at the St. Paul’s Church Hall in Lyford Cay at 7:30 p.m.

“Seeing as this is one of the last concerts of the season for the Nassau Music Society, we wanted to end it on a high note,” said Italia Watkins-Jan, vice president for communications and public relations with The Nassau Music Society. “Our musicians for this concert, Ole Akahoshi and Wei-Yi Yang, are world renowned and produce wonderful music that the crowd can relate to. Although we had Robert Blocker, dean of the school of music in Yale, scheduled as the pianist for this event originally and it would’ve been a great treat to hear him perform, things did not work out for that to happen. But I think that Wei-Yi and Ole are excellent performers who will give an enjoyable performance that will wind down this exciting season the right way.”

Wei-Yi Yang is internationally acclaimed and has performed before audiences in North and Central America, Asia, Europe and Australia. He has been praised for his sensational performances at places like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Steinway Hall and the Royal Dublin Society. He is an avid chamber musician and has performed with members of the Philadelphia, Cleveland and Minnesota Orchestras, the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago, Singapore and London Symphonies. He has worked with renowned musicians Claude Frank, Peter Frankl, Vera Gornostava, Byron Janis, Murray Perahia and the late Hans Graf. He is also the winner of the gold medal and grand prize in the San Antonio International Piano Competition.

Ole Akahoshi’s passion for music is one that has lasted him throughout his life. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Avery-Fisher-Hall, the Kennedy Center, Suntory Hall, Tsuda Hal, Seoul Arts Center, Wigmore Hall and Berliner Philharmonie. He has performed in Israel, Italy, Canada, Tokyo, London Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Chile and Korea. He is expected to bring his mastery and expertise for his art to The Bahamas in his signature passionate way.

The musicians will take the audience on a classical music journey visiting masterpieces from Chopin, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Rachmaninov.

According to Watkins-Jan, “This concert will be exciting. Every concert we have is different, even if it is about the same musical genre since each musician brings their own unique emotions and abilities. But with this concert, our performers are not only musicians, but also professors. They are a good pair to have because for the many music students out there, it is important for them to see that the same professors who teach them in school are living a successful life as a musician and not just giving them theories or ideas. They live what they teach and more young people, too timid to enter this area, need to see that it is possible.”

Watkins-Jan hopes that young people and adults alike will attend the event if only to feel a sense of peace and well-being. In these times of crime and hardship, escaping the everyday trials with a concert of this nature she said is something people look forward to doing.

Amateur pianist, Jenna Johnson, anticipates she will learn a lot about classical music and piano performance by watching Wie-Yi Yang. She always makes an effort to attend the NMS concerts so that she can improve her craft.

“I love these concerts put on by the Nassau Music Society. It is very nice and I learn so much. Just hearing them play and attending master classes when I have the chance does wonders for me. I am currently studying piano intensely and making plans to get into a music program abroad. I am really excited about that although I do worry at times about my chances at being successful. But it makes me feel so much better seeing other musicians from around the world come and show me that there is a chance. I can’t wait to attend this concert. They are always so inspiring.”

Part proceeds from the concert will go toward the Nassau Music Society’s scholarship fund which  supports music students since its establishment in 1961.

Tickets for the event can be purchased at A.D. Hanna & Co., Deveaux Street; Custom Computers, Cable Beach Shopping Centre; Logos Bookstore, Harbour Bay Shopping Centre and Moir & Co., Lyford Cay Shopping Centre.


A Night of Cello and Piano

When: Friday, March 23,

Where: St. Andrew’s Kirk

Time: Doors open at 7:30 p.m., Showtime 8 p.m.

Cost: $25 for members, $35 for non members, $10 for students


Encore Performance

When: Saturday, March 24

Where: St. Paul’s Church Hall in Lyford Cay

Time: Doors open 7 p.m., Showtime 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $25 for members, $35 for non members, $10 for students.

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