Formosa is the former name for Taiwan. The name Formosa dates from 1542, when Portuguese sailors sighted an uncharted island and noted it on their maps as Ilha Formosa ("beautiful island"). Both born in Taiwan, violinist Huifang Chen and pianist Catherine Lan have been concertizing as Duo Formosa throughout Florida. This season they will present a dazzling program demonstrating the full spectrum of the expressiveness for both violin and piano from the majesty of Grieg Sonata to the exotic lyricism of Taiwanese music, and the virtuosity of Vieuxtemps and Sarasate.
As a dynamic and diverse musician, violinist, and conductor, Huifang Chen enjoys a dual career as a performer and an educator. She is currently the Concertmaster of the South Florida Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Greater Miami Youth Symphony and a Professor of Violin at the New World School of the Arts in Miami. She was a member of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra from 1994 until its demise in 2003. She studied with Jascha Brodsky at the Curtis Institute of Music. As an international violin soloist, Ms. Chen has appeared with many orchestras around the globe including the Taipei Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan and Brno Philharmonic in Czech Republic among others. As a committed violin pedagogue, many of Ms. Chen’s students are frequent winners at both local and international competitions. Many are now attending top music schools such as the Curtis Institute of Music and Juilliard School, and many others are now members of professional orchestras.