Peijun “June” Xu Classical Violist talks to About Insider
HI, WELCOME TO ABOUT INSIDER! THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO CHAT WITH US! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF, WHO IS JUNE XU IN YOUR OWN WORDS?
Hi, I am Peijun Xu, popularly named June in the United States. I was born in Shanghai, China, and grew up playing the violin. Currently, I am a classical music artist specializing in playing viola and am studying for my Doctoral Degree in Musical Arts at the University of Florida. Six years ago, I founded MARKER AND PIONEER International Culture Exchange Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Los Angeles, California, USA, which continued my childhood mission as a cultural exchange ambassador to promote performing arts by creating projects and events, serving as a trustable consulter for teachers and students in performing arts area.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND IN MUSIC AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED PLAYING THE VIOLIN AND VIOLA?
I start music learning when I was four years old. I was a violinist in a youth orchestra in Shanghai at the age of 11 when classical music learning has just started being popular in China. Due to some reasons, I didn’t continue my musical career when I turned to college. However, I picked it up after five years of working in international tourism management. I started my music study in the United States in 2016 with the Master’s Degree Program of Music Education at Azusa Pacific University. My passion for playing music in the symphony orchestra led me to transfer my profession to violin performance. However, the COVID pandemic changed my view of the world, and at that moment, I decided to transfer my profession to viola performance.
HOW HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE STUDYING MUSIC IN THE UNITED STATES IMPACTED YOUR CAREER?
I actually really appreciate that the United States provided such a great environment for me to receive an education in music. As I mentioned in my documentary film “June’s Destined Path,” I came to the United States to become a student majoring in music education and music performance, starting from nothing in a new country. But the core of Inclusion, Diversity, and Acceptance built the value of the U.S. society, which led me to great achievements in music performance and the music business, where I am going to contribute the rest of my life with my enthusiasm to work in it.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR PARTICIPATION IN THE MASTERWORKS FESTIVAL, AND THE TAVANI FELLOWSHIP YOU RECEIVED?
“MasterWorks Festival changed my life,” I firmly believe that everyone who has participated in MWF will have this same kind of admiration. MWF’s vision is equipping the classical performing arts world to know God and make Him known, the mission at MWF is to see the classical performing arts world full of the Love of God, and empowered with the message of Jesus Christ, and finally, the purpose of MWF is to train the next generation to be excellent in their artistry and their Christian witness and share that excellent performing artistry and impact with the community.
2020 was my first year attending the MWF, which was the only in-person/live music festival that happened throughout the whole country when the whole world was facing the crisis of COVID-pandemic.
I was awarded the apprenticeship position for the MWF 2020 Orchestra Program in Viola, which include a full tuition waiver ($4500) and an additional payment of a $1000 stipend. This position was for the most well-qualified and responsible applicants with significant education, performance, and leadership experience. I was honored to be awarded. Definitely, the MWF 2020 took an important role to maintain the artists’ confidence in facing such a crisis for the whole industry.
Continually, I participated in the MWF 2021, keeping make efforts in my area, and was selected as one of the finalists of the concerto competition.
That was a turning point in my life, in MWF 2022, I won the Tavani Family Fellowship, a highly competitive award that is recognized in the string instrument field of expertise. (masterworksfestival.org/tavani-family-string-fellowship/)
MWF accepts applications from all over the world, but the acceptance will be based on an audition for the application; only string instrument players who have completed acceptance are eligible to apply for the Tavani Fellowship, and additional highest-quality audition materials were required to submit for the application to the Tavani Fellowship. Annually among about thirty eligible string players, only one will win the Tavani Fellowship, which is extremely competitive.
Therefore, MWF and the Tavani Fellowship made my endeavor recognized.
LET US TALK ABOUT YOUR RECENT COMPETITION WINS AT THE CHARLESTON INTERNATIONAL MUSIC COMPETITION, KING’S PEAK INTERNATIONAL MUSIC COMPETITION, AND THE AMERICAN PRIZE NATIONAL NONPROFIT COMPETITIONS IN THE PERFORMING ARTS.
Since the above three competitions are not able to provide official statements to demonstrate my excellent skills in viola performance, I cannot realize if they are strong enough to take a role in supporting top-level musicians. But they are all good platforms for young musicians to find their path in learning music.
I am honored and appreciated being awarded First Prizes in Charleston and King’s Peak International Music Competition, and 3rd Place at the American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts. They were great experiences for me to build my “destined path.”
CAN YOU DISCUSS YOUR FUTURE GOALS AND ASPIRATIONS AS A MUSICIAN AND VIOLIST?
Do you know what’s the main character of the viola instrument? – Playing the role of the harmony part in a complex music work. Therefore, a violist has an innate ability to bring harmony to the community.
Do you know what’s the main role of a musician? – Playing the role of the cultural exchange ambassador with the universal language – music.
Therefore, have “To be a good violist and to be a good musician” as my mission and goal in my life.
WHAT’S SOMETHING WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU THAT MIGHT SURPRISE US?
I don’t know, lol… But I know God always amazed me every day by following His instruction.
WHAT IS ONE MESSAGE THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO GIVE TO YOUR FANS?
Love classical music, love God, then enjoy your everyday beloved.
WHERE CAN OUR READERS FIND YOU ONLINE?
My personal social media links:
Documentary Film “June’s Destined Path:” poweroffilm.xyz/events/88
Facebook: @June Xu
MAP’s official social media links:
MAP Official Website: markerandpioneer.com
MAP Official Facebook: @MARKER AND PIONEER International Culture Exchange
MAP Official Instagram: @map_icec
MAP Official YouTube: @mapinternationalcultureexc4778