Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

February 14, 2014

Liu's to bring 'exotic' music to Kokomo

Classical and Chinese compositions collide in Yang and Olivia Liu's show.

By Lindsey Ziliak Kokomo Tribune
Kokomo Tribune

---- — Violinist Yang Liu was once a page-turner for an award-winning concert pianist.

Then he fell in love with that pianist, Olivia.

Both were students at the University of Cincinnati at the time. Yang Liu, a sought after violinist and prodigy from China, turned pages for the already-accomplished Olivia.

While in school, each won gold medals in Chinese national competitions, and Yang Liu earned honors in the prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.

Since then, they married and became a dynamic duo, traveling the world together and playing music. They’ve performed in places like Chicago, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Brazil, Portugal and throughout China.

Now they’re coming to the City of Firsts.

They’ll perform at the Kokomo High School auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21 as part of Kokomo Community Concerts.

Single tickets are available at the door for $20. Students are admitted for free with a school ID.

Mary Rusch, spokeswoman for Kokomo Community Concerts, said it’s a performance you won’t want to miss.

The couple will perform an exotic mix of classic repertoire like Beethoven and distinctive Chinese compositions.

“It’s going to be an interesting show,” she said. “They’re quite exquisite. They perform beautifully.”

And the husband and wife like to share their story with the audience. They take audience members on a journey, sharing their love story and stories about their children.

Rusch has seen bits of the show and said it all seemed to mesh really well together.

It’s quite the departure from the November show. Kokomo Community Concerts brought in a classic rock and roll group that sang the song that’s been dubbed the national anthem of rock and roll.

“The Diamonds” brought back music from a bygone era. Rusch said they did a lot of clowning around on stage.

This one will take on a more serious tone with its classical music.

“This one goes back to our roots,” Rusch said.

This is Kokomo Community Concerts’ 57th season, and the group used to bring in mainly classical musicians.

“Now we have to bring a big variety,” she said.

They’ve had Broadway shows and big bands and pop artists and classical jazz musicians.

The goal is to introduce people here to live music of all kinds. And this upcoming live show will be something special, Rusch said.

The Liu’s media and marketing manager, Steve Emahiser, said the audience won’t be disappointed with the husband and wife duo. They create a fulfilling and unforgettable tale on the violin and piano.

“It’s something else,” he said. “There won’t be a dry eye in the place. It’s beautiful.”

Lindsey Ziliak, Tribune Life & Style editor, can be reached at 765-454-8585, at lindsey.ziliak@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @LindseyZiliak.

WANT TO GO? WHAT: Kokomo Community Concerts presents Yang and Olivia Liu, international violin and piano duo WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21 WHERE: Kokomo High School auditorim COST: Tickets are $20 at the door, but students are admitted free with school ID