Young flutists from San Diego’s Vivian Bergova Flute Studio, dressed in Chinese traditional clothing, gathered for the first annual flute festival to play both Chinese classical and folk music, and Western classical music, on the evening of June 9. The festival was held at After School Learning Tree, a Chinese school providing comprehensive enrichment programs to San Diego communities.
The students, ranging from ages 5 to 18, performed classic Chinese pieces such as Buffalo Boy’s Piccolo, Poplars and Willows Are Green, Singing in the Fishing Boat in the Dusk, Scenery of Northern China, and Spring of Grassland. Some played Tchaikovsky’s Barcarolle and Meditation De “Thais” by J. Massenet. Others played folk music from Czech Republic and Israel. The performance was well received by enthusiastic friends and families.
Most of the players started learning flute at a young age. Some of them, including 9th-grader William Oh, 8th-grader Allison Liu, 7th-grader Anastasia Shiryaeva, and 6th-grader Athena Tsai, won first and second place in the Spring Flute Competition held by the San Diego Flute Guild this April. Additionally, many students won seating placements in the San Diego Youth Symphony and New Youth Orchestra. David Pu just graduated high school and has been accepted by UCLA. He is very happy to continue his flute career in the UCLA orchestra.
“I am so glad to see my students benefit from playing flute. One of my students was granted a $100,000 scholarship from a private university in Cleveland, OH. She will major in Biology and will play in the school orchestra,” said Ms. Bergova.
Growing up in Prague, Ms. Bergova and her three siblings received early music training. Even though their parents were not musicians, all four children become professional musicians.
Ms. Bergova has enjoyed a long teaching career. She held teaching positions in Czech Republic for 12 years and in Germany for 2 years. In 1990, she moved to San Diego and established Bergova Flute Studio. Apart from her home studio in La Jolla, she has had a studio in After School Learning Tree for the past 7 years.
“I have a lot of Chinese students,” said Ms. Bergova. “Their parents would bring me books of Chinese music. This is why I decided to organize a Chinese music festival. I am so grateful for the parents’ help. And I feel especially fortunate to have the support from After School Learning Tree all these years.”