Hasegawa to lead MFSO strings section in 2nd Plaza pop-up event

David Effron Conducting Fellow Ryo Hasegawa leads members of the Music School Festival Orchestra in a pop-up performance Friday on Bestor Plaza. HG Biggs/Staff Photographer

Zoe Kolenovsky
Staff writer

Students of the Music School Festival Orchestra plan to delight the Chautauqua community with another self-driven, pop-up performance. 

At 7 p.m. tonight, 2023 David Effron Conducting Fellow Ryo Hasegawa will lead members of the strings section through five classic works for anyone who happens to be on Bestor Plaza.

“We had such great support from people here in Chautauqua,” said Hasegawa, who organized two informal performances — the one tonight and one last week.

The night will begin with the prelude from Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg’s Holberg Suite, followed by the first movement of Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.” Next will be the first two movements of Antonin Dvořák’s “Serenade for Strings,” then Felix Mendelssohn’s String Symphony No. 4. The students plan to close out the evening with the second and fourth movements of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings.”

“That string serenade is a very well-known tune,” said Hasegawa. “I think the players are very excited to play some difficult pieces.”

The musicians for the evening will include members of the Music School Festival Orchestra on four different instruments.

On viola will be Owne Xayboury, Joia Findeis, Lily Jonsson, Hofei Ng, Mack Jones and Mira Vaughn. They will be joined by cellists Sofia Puccio, Griffin Seuter, Layla Morris, Jooahn Yoo, Adrian Hsieh and Ari H. Scott.

The violinists make up the largest section, with Amelia Posner-Hess, Caroline Cornell, Evan Schuman, Noah Arcenas, Matt Musachio, Eric Yun, Jaewon Jun, Noah Ghosh, Valerie Xu-Friedman, Emma Johnson, Sarah Yang, Gabriel Roth and John Heo all performing. Rounding out the group for the evening will be Danny Sesi and Jane Hanneman on double bass.

“I just wanted to get as many people as possible since we’ll be playing quite a bit of music,” Hasegawa said. “It’s just one big group, almost like a full strings section.”

The first performance in this two-part series took place Friday, with a large turnout of Chautauquans to hear the talents of some of the School of Music’s woodwind and brass sections.

“This (summer) might be our first and last time playing music in Chautauqua,” Hasegawa said. “We’ve been just having a great time with them, being able to experience some of the things that we wouldn’t have if we didn’t get to connect with these people. … We just wanted to give back to people.”


The author Zoe Kolenovsky