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Cape Girardeau native Liesl Schoenberger, partner set the mood at River Campus
Violinists Liesl Schoenberger and Ching-Yi Lin enchanted a nearly full house Sunday at the Shuck Music Recital Hall, where couples celebrating Valentine's Day shared their love for one another and for the violin.
While their musical selections weren't necessarily about love, Schoenberger said they were chosen as ones that would best captivate the audience of around 160 for the Sundays at 3 concert at the Southeast Missouri State University River Campus.
The pair opened the 3 p.m. recital with the Duo concertants Op. 57 in G minor, which are played in three sets, as arranged by Charles de Beriot. They ended the afternoon with a concerto for two violins in D minor, also made up of three movements, by Johann Sebastian Bach. Both pieces displayed the expressive relationship violin duos must share.
"There's a lot of repertoire for two violinists, but we wanted to do something very crowd pleasing to encourage people to come to concerts and enjoy themselves," said Schoenberger, a Cape Girardeau native who's pursuing an artist diploma from Yale University.
Schoenberger has played inside the reputable Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and across Europe. She met Lin while studying under the instruction of Mimi Zweig at Indiana University. She also played the Sundays at 3 concert series in 2008.
Lin said if the pair could get through college together, they could do anything.
During the set before intermission Sunday, Schoenberger demonstrated her talents, which she's been perfecting since the age of 2.
"I love playing for people ... and if it weren't for the audience then we wouldn't have a purpose as much as we do," Schoenberger said. "The biggest gift to us is when people show up and listen to us. Any artist wants that."
Lin, a professional-in-residence at Western Kentucky University, said the best part of performing is being able to put all of her hard work on stage and express herself in a way she's most comfortable with.
The sounds of Schoenberger's violin weren't new to some that attended the recital, which drew numerous local couples seeking the tranquil and romantic melodies a violin can often deliver.
"I love it; I think it's very soothing," said Jean Moroni, who attended the recital with her husband, Thomas, of 47 years.
Ken and Shirley Ruff, whose granddaughter Chloe Kasten studies under Schoenberger, agreed that the violin "is really what music is all about."
"It's the soul of the orchestra, it's the lead," said Shirley Ruff, who has been married to Ken for 55 years.
The couple shared a special meal Saturday evening, added Ken Ruff, and the recital was the last of their weekend Valentine's Day activities.
"We've had a nice weekend," he said.
The final concert of the Sundays at 3 series will be April 18 and will feature a guitar recital by Patrick Rafferty.