Ouachita Baptist University’s Division of Music in conjunction with the Arkadelphia Philharmonic Club will host Happy Dog Duo as part of the National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artists concert tour on Monday, Sept. 11, at 7:30 p.m. The recital, which will be held in McBeth Recital Hall, is free and open to the public.
The concert is part of a national tour sponsored by the National Federation of Music Clubs, one of the world’s largest music organizations. Happy Dog Duo, featuring Eric Tran and Nathan Cheung, was awarded the first place prize and the Abid American Music Award of the 2017 Ellis Duo-Piano Competition, hosted by the National Federation of Music Clubs.
“They’re always spectacular. They’re some of the country’s best young artists,” said Dr. Gary Gerber, dean of Ouachita’s School of Fine Arts, about performers from the National Federation of Music Clubs. “Typically for us, it’s always just been a single performer that’s been one of the winners. But it will be new for us to have two of them as a duo. With four hands playing, you have more variety and can do some bigger things with literature. It’ll be fun, entertaining and of high-quality. It’s a great way to kick off concert season.”
The duo also has earned 13 gold medals in piano duo events at the United States Open Music Competition. The duo has performed on stages across the world, including Korea, China, Canada and New York and has performed with the Stanford Symphony Orchestra, Dioblo Symphony Orchestra and the Vallejo Symphony. The majority of their performances are in their hometown in the San Francisco Bay Area.
For over a decade, Tran and Cheung have performed four-hands originals, transcriptions and classics alike with a focus on bringing humor and joy to the classical music world. Happy Dog Duo has been performing four-hands and two-piano repertoire together since they were in middle school. Tran and Cheung both attended Stanford University and majored in music with concentrations in piano performance and composition. They both studied piano with Thomas Schultz and composition with Jaroslaw Kapuscinski and Erik Ulman. Tran earned his Master of Music degree at the San Francisco Conservatory in 2015, and Cheung currently is pursuing his Master of Music degree at the Eastman School of Music.
Happy Dog Duo will perform a diverse repertoire at the Ouachita concert, including “Andante and Allegro Brillant Op. 92” by Felix Mendelssohn, “Fantasy in F Minor D. 940” by Franz Schubert and “Winsboro Cotton Mill Blues for 2 pianos” by Frederic Rzewski. The duo also will perform all five pieces from “Mother Goose Suite” by Maurice Ravel, which features music written for nursery stories like Sleeping Beauty, The Magic Garden and Beauty and the Beast.
For more information, contact Dr. Gary Gerber at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5128.
By Rachel Bruton
September 1, 2017