Acclaimed musician Anson Ka Lik Sin began his academic career at Peninsula College in 2011, and returned to his alma mater last May for a Maier Hall concert. He will perform the Carl Vine Sonata at Carnegie Hall during the Manhattan International Young Artists Music Festival this July. In this month’s blog, Anson outlines his post-Peninsula evolution as a student and performer during his four years at Hong Kong Baptist University.
When I graduated from Peninsula College with an AA degree in June 2013, I had to make decisions about my future. Although I had applied to Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) for entrance into their music program, I had to wait all summer for acceptance. As it turned out, I was the last person accepted into their four year Honours Music Program beginning September 2013, in Hong Kong.
In the meantime, I was invited to be guest soloist for the Port Townsend Community Orchestra both in violin and piano in October of that same year. I would have to fly back to the U.S. again to make this all happen. This was a very successful event under the direction of Maestro Dewey Ehling, Conductor. The performance gave me added confidence for my future performances with an orchestra, here and in Hong Kong.
My first year of University music studies was nearly overwhelming with a full course load as well as so much music to be explored, cultural shifts and losing old friends that I thought would still be in my life. All the HKBU classes were taught in English not Cantonese, my native language. That same academic year protests and demonstrations were taking place in China. I chose to make my piano my friend, and found peace by immersing myself in my music.
Struggling with staying organized as well as developing strategies for success, I sought help from my U.S. coach, Randa Wintermute. My school life changed before the first year ended.
The second year opened new opportunities for me to perform violin with friends for civic events and with pop stars in Hong Kong. My studies were improving and I had my feet firmly planted on the ground so now I could trust myself and continue to grow.
In December I auditioned for the two year Music Performance Concentration at HKBU. I was honored to have played viola with the HK University Orchestra. I taught high school, middle school, and elementary students as well as adults in piano, violin, and viola. I accompanied university classmates in their performances and competitions.
The third year was one of focus and dedication as I prepared for my 40 minute solo piano, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto 1, with full HKBU 70 piece orchestra. I felt inspired and driven to perform my best. To not have the audience’s appreciation, and reach their emotions, would feel like failure. The success of this performance opened more new doors for my ensuing last year at HKBU.
The fourth and last year was a culmination of applying all the life skills I had learned to date; self-confidence, integrity and a passion for my performance craft. It was about sharing all that I am with others and making a difference.
In the final months of preparation and competition for a 45 minute piano solo, I learned the meaning of the word “endurance”. Like an athlete on keys, I was training to include Carl Vine Sonata in my final performance for graduation.
On May 27, 2017 I performed the Carl Vine Sonata as an alumnus in Peninsula College’s Maier Hall. I will also play the Sonata at Carnegie Hall on July 21, 2017.
I love traveling to developing countries, especially those places with varied ancient ritual festivals taking place, such as Chiang Rai in Thailand. There is so much ritual art-like dances, painting, tailoring, and music. I believe those behaviors have a strong sense of inner energy in every human being’s soul, where human passions come from. This passion is the element which generates power to continue my piano practice in daily life; therefore, traveling to me is not just a relaxing activity, but also my searching for sources of greater passion.