May 1, 2019

Young Musicians Join Pros At Capital Philharmonic Event

“AN AMAZING TALENT”: West Windsor High School South senior Joseph Hsia is the violin soloist in a joint concert by the Capital Philharmonic of New Jersey and members of 30 area youth orchestras on Saturday, May 4 at Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton. Daniel Spalding, the CPNJ’s music director, praised Hsia for his skill and musicality.

When Daniel Spalding heard young violinist Joseph Hsia perform at a music competition last year, he knew he was witnessing something special. The event was the Global Music Partnership International Competition, held at the 1867 Sanctuary in Ewing.

Spalding, the music director and conductor of the Capital Philharmonic of New Jersey, subsequently  invited Hsia, a West Windsor Plainsboro South High School senior, to join the orchestra at a concert being held this Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton. Hsia is one of 30 young musicians taking part in the performance, which is titled “Celebrating Our Youth.”

“He is an amazing talent,” Spalding said of Hsia on Monday. “We just had a rehearsal last week, and he’s playing like a real professional.’”

Members of The Youth Orchestra of Central Jersey, the Bravura Youth Orchestra, and Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra will be participating in the concert, which includes Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with Hsia as soloist; Wagner’s Rienzi Overture with 30 youth orchestra members; and Respighi’s Pines of Rome with a dozen youth orchestra brass players.

“The Rienzi Overture is going to be spectacular,” said Spalding. With the 30 kids joining our players, we’ll have a 100-piece orchestra on the stage. It is very exciting.”

Hsia, who is headed to Harvard in the fall, started violin lessons at the age of 5 and is currently studying with Sheryl Staples at the Juilliard School of Music’s pre-college program. He has performed at such venues as Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, the Weill Recital Hall at Manhattan’s Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center. Since his debut at age 8 with Princeton’s Westminster Orchestra, he has been a featured soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Ambler Symphony, New York Chamber Players Orchestra, Sinfonietta Nova, and other ensembles.

A native of Kansas, Spalding was music director of the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra for 25  years before taking over the Capital Philharmonic in 2013. He has conducted across the globe and devoted considerable energy to music education, spending four years as music director of the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras based in Washington, D.C.

Choosing the Mendelssohn piece for Hsia to play with the orchestra made sense, “because it is one of the most popular, most played concertos of all time,” Spalding said. “Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky probably top the list of famous violin concertos. It is a beautiful work. It has a very extensive violin cadenza which is very interesting.”

Pines of Rome is the final work on the program. “I’m using about a dozen brass players from the youth orchestras to augment our orchestra, and they’ll be playing from the balconies,” Spalding said. “It also has an organ part, so we’ll have that, too. I can’t think of a better way to end our season. It will be pretty neat.”

Tickets ranging from $30-$65 are available at or (215) 893-1999. The War Memorial is at 1 Memorial Drive in Trenton.