IU 2020 Series: Emily Leung

A student playing the violin

Summer has never been a break for me, and 2019 was certainly no exception.

Concert season

As soon as I returned to Perth, preparations were in full swing for several concerts of mine: the first, a recital, and the second, a particularly special set of concerts as soloist with the Fremantle Chamber Orchestra. This orchestra have supported me for many years – since before I came to study at IU – and they have invited me back to play a concerto as a soloist with them every summer that I have returned. It is a wonderful opportunity to build up a long-term relationship with an orchestra and their directors, as well as being special for me to share my progress and development year after year with my community. It was touching to have so much feedback from members of the audience saying that they couldn’t believe the transformation I had made since beginning studies at Jacobs.

Immediately following these concerts (very much immediately: going straight from the concert hall to the airport!) I flew off to Kronberg, Germany, for a very special series of violin masterclasses.

IU 2020 goes global

The Kronberg Academy master classes occur every two years and gather five of the world’s finest violin teachers to give intensive master classes for a week. It was truly eye-opening for me, as well as being a very useful platform for making contacts. Following my degree at IU, I would love to continue my graduate studies in Europe. I loved many of the teachers there, but there was one in particular whose teaching style resonated with me. I was fortunate enough to be able to play for him, and I hope to study with him in Vienna in 2020! IU 2020 project goes global!

Following a hectic couple of months of concerts and travel, it was a welcome change to spend the last part of the summer in beautiful Perth with my family.

‘I Still Call Australia Home’

Studying abroad has been one of the most important influences in my life, and it seems like I will continue to live and study overseas,  but Australia will always be foremost in my heart. There’s a very cheesy song we used to sing in primary school called “I Still Call Australia Home.” Now I think I really understand the meaning of this. I could not be more grateful to IU, the Wells Scholars Program, and to my teacher, Professor Fuks, for the opportunities they have given me. But now, coming to the end of my degree, I also appreciate just how lucky I was to have the upbringing, education, and community support that I had in Perth.

Coming to America

Studying in America was  always a childhood dream for me – one that seemed wonderful, crazy, and pretty improbable.

A sequence of extraordinary events and people allowed me to make this dream come true: my mentor, Karen Gomyo, introducing me to Professor Fuks; Professor Fuks taking me under his wing; Professor Christoph Irmscher at the Wells Scholars Program allowing me to have the financial support I needed to study in the United States; and most of all, my family, for backing me every step of the way to allow me to continue down the path that I had chosen as an 11-year-old: this crazy dream of being a violinist. I don’t think I could have dreamt of just how much being at IU would give me.

And, most importantly, it’s taught me that dreaming isn’t just for children. We can chase our dreams, and make them happen, with hard work, a love of what we do, a little bit of luck, and a whole lot of support.

Emily Leung head shot
Emily Leung

Emily is a senior studying violin in the Jacobs School of Music. She’s one of 12 Indiana University students featured in the IU 2020 Series, a four-year documentary film produced by student interns in the Office of the Provost for the IU Bicentennial.

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