Harvest Moon Concert – September 10, 2022

The Harvest Moon Festival (also known as Mid-Autumn Festival) is one of the most important festivals celebrated in East and Southeast Asia, including China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam. The festival falls on the 15th day of the eighth month on the Lunar Calendar each year. On this day, children in many Asian countries carry their lantern and play outside with their friends at night; families gather to have dinner and mooncake while gazing at the beautiful full moon shining brightly when it is closest to the autumnal equinox, also called the Harvest Moon.

On September 10, 2022, the AAPI Cultural Center celebrated the festival by hosting the Harvest Moon Concert featuring local AAPI musicians and educators: Dr. Risa Ando (violinist), Dr. Chi-hui Kao (cellist), Dr. Peir-Shiuan Tang (pianist), and Dr. Joyce Wu (pianist). The concert drew a large crowd to the ACC Highland Recital Hall and our performers received tremendous accolades for their talent, elegance and grace.

Dr. Kao and Dr. Tang opened the Harvest Moon Concert with a Taiwanese folk song, “Desire for Spring Breeze” (望春風). Originally written in Taiwanese, “Desire for Spring Breeze” is of great historical importance in Taiwan and remains a classic today.

Peir-Shiuan Tang (pianist) and Chi-Hui Kao (cellist)
Dr. Kao and Dr. Tang then performed three traditional Asian folk songs. The first, “Sakura, Sakura” (さくら さくら, “Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms”), is a traditional Japanese folk song that has been popular since the Meiji period and is frequently included in school music curricula all over Asia. The second, “Arirang” (아리랑), a Korean folk song that dates back about 600 years, is sung in both North and South Korea and represents the symbol of unity in the region. The last, “Jasmine Flower” (茉莉花), is a Chinese folk song dating back to Qianlong era (1725-1796) of the Qing Dynasty. The song is believed to be the first Chinese song to become widely known outside China.
Next, the musicians showcased the carefully selected “The Moon Represents My Heart” (月亮代表我的心) to highlight the theme of this afternoon’s concert. Sung by the late, iconic Teresa Teng in the ‘70s, “The Moon Represents My Heart” has been translated into Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Vietnamese, English, French, and Russian. It continues to be named one of the classics in Chinese popular music history. Dr. Kao and Dr. Tang wrapped up the first part of the concert with a rich and authentic performance of Romanian Folk Dances, composed by Hungarian composer Béla Bartók.

In the second part of the concert, Dr. Ando and Dr. Wu filled our Highland Recital Hall with legendary Japanese music. They began with “Haru no Umi” (春の海, “The Sea in Spring”), a traditional Japanese musical theme for the New Year’s holiday.

Risa Ando (violinist) and Joyce Wu (pianist)

Next, Dr. Ando and Dr. Wu brought us music from the Studio Ghibli films of Hayao Miyazaki, composed by Joe Hisaishi. The audience was taken to the magical Miyazaki world of Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke, Porco Rosso, and Spirited Away to experience the compassionate touch of Hisaishi’s film scores. The performances touched Hisaishi fans in the audience and made some shed a few joyful tears.

Dr. Ando and Dr. Wu finished the program with the works of the renowned Japanese composer, Taro Hakase, including his very well-known “Jounetsu Tairiku,” a theme song for a popular Japanese program bearing the same title. The playful wonderment and dramatic festivity of “Jounetsu Tairiku” mesmerized our listeners and provided a fitting finale for an absolutely memorable concert here at ACC Highland Recital Hall.

We would like to express our immense gratitude to our dedicated musicians and educators, Dr. Ando, Dr. Kao, Dr. Tang, and Dr. Wu for their continuing contribution to our community. And thank you, everyone, for coming out and making the concert a phenomenal success.

Concert Program

Cello & Piano

  1. Teng Yu-hsien: Desire for Spring Breeze (望春風)
  2. Japanese Folk Song: Sakura Sakura  (さくらさくら)
  3. Korean Folk Song: Arirang (아리랑)
  4. Chinese Folk Song: Jasmine Flower (茉莉花)
  5. Weng Ching-Hsi: The Moon Represents My Heart (月亮代表我的心)
  6. Béla Bartók : Romanian Folk Dances


Violin & Piano

  1. Michio Miyagi: Spring Ocean (Haru no Umi 春の海)
  2. Studio Ghibli movie music by Joe Hisaishi
    • Always with Me (from Spirited Away)
    • The Theme of Marco and Gina (from Porco Rosso)
    • Carrying You (from Laputa: Castle in the Sky)
    • Princess Mononoke (from Princess Mononoke)
  3. Japanese TV music collection – Music of Taro Hakase
    • Etupirka
    • Jounetsu Tairiku (情熱大陸)

Our Performers

A picture of Dr. Chi-hui Kao

Dr. Chi-Hui Kao (Cello)

Dr. Chi-Hui Kao is a teacher, soloist and performer in chamber music as well as professional orchestras. She performed in various chamber programs across the United States, Europe, and Asia. As a section cellist, she currently plays with Central Texas Philharmonic. She was the principal cellist of Abilene Opera, Texas Music Festival, and Asian Youth Orchestra. As a soloist, she played in Carnegie Hall in the winner’s concert of the “American Protégé” competition.

Born and raised in Taiwan, Dr. Kao holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Cello Performance from Michigan State University. Besides having studied with Suren Bagratuni, Rhonda Rider, Chien-An Chen, and Shiao-Mei Sun. Dr. Kao attended masterclasses from Yo-Yo Ma, Norman Fisher, Brinton Averil Smith, Alexandre Lecarme, Stefan Kartman, Muir String Quartet, Lynn Chang, Zuo Jun, and Deborah Moriarty.

A picture of Dr. Peir Shiuan Tang

Dr. Peir-Shiuan Tang (Piano)

A native of Taiwan, Dr. Peir-Shiuan Tang is a versatile performer and dedicated educator. She is a prizewinner of various competitions and scholarships, including the 2nd WPTA Finland International Piano Competition and the Mary Frances Bowles Couper Presidential Scholarship. In 2020, Dr. Tang gave a solo recital as part of the 12th World Piano Conference and the following year, she released a digital album, 24 Preludes, Op. 34 by Dmitri Shostakovich. In addition to her work as a solo pianist, she enjoys performing as a collaborative pianist.

As an educator, Dr. Tang works with students of all ages and levels. She has presented at MTNA National Conferences and MTNA Collegiate Piano Pedagogy Symposiums. Dr. Tang received her Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from The University of Texas at Austin under the tutelage of Prof. Gregory Allen. She currently serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor at Austin Community College.

A picture of Dr. Chi-hui Kao

Dr. Risa Ando (Violin)

Dr. Risa Ando is originally from Tokyo, Japan. She received her Bachelor Degree of Music in violin performance from the Tokyo Gakugei University, where she graduated with highest honors. She earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts in violin performance at UT Austin with summa cum laude. During the time of graduate studies, she participated in numerous master classes, including the Guarneri Quartet, St. Petersburg String Quartet, Miami Quartet, Miro Quartet, and Mikhail Kopelman of the Tokyo Quartet.

Dr. Ando is currently a tenured member of the Austin Opera. She gives lectures in Switzerland, Scotland, Italy, Germany, Austria, U.S.A., Taiwan, and Japan. She also actively performs in recitals and live concerts with rock bands and makes recordings. She works as a violin instructor of Round Rock ISD and her violin studio, Armstrong Community Music School, and continuously works with other musicians around Austin.

A picture of Dr. Peir Shiuan Tang

Dr. Joyce Wu (Piano)

Dr. Wan-Hsuan (Joyce) Wu is an active solo and collaborative concert pianist. She has appeared on concert stages in Asia, Europe, and North America. She is the co-founder and executive director of The Woven Sounds, a non-profit piano duo dedicated to promote awareness and recognition of musical works written by composers of Asian descent.

Dr. Wu enjoys working in diverse environments with students of all levels and backgrounds. She currently serves as an adjunct professor at the Austin Community College and provides instructions to American Music and Applied Piano courses.

Dr. Wu received both Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from The University of Texas at Austin under the guidance of internationally renowned pianist, Professor Nancy Burton Garrett.

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Our Vision

To support AAPI students in their academic journey at ACC and create opportunities for the community throughout the district to learn about and engage with the AAPI heritage and cultures.