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Stockton Symphony concerts offer passionate romantic works
Yi-Ja Susanne Hou - photo by Photo Contributed

STOCKTON — The Stockton Symphony continues its 85th anniversary season with Maestro Peter Jaffe conducting the second Classics concert featuring three passionate romantic works on Thursday, Oct.13, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Oct.15, at 6 p.m.

Violinist Yi-Jia Susanne Hou, the first violinist to capture three gold medals with unanimous decisions at three international violin competitions, makes a return engagement with the orchestra. She will perform The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto, a work that was once banned in China and now is its most-often performed concerto, that tells a timeless love story. The program will also include Brahms Symphony No. 3 and Smetana’s “The Moldau.”

Call the Symphony office at (209) 951-0196 to order tickets in advance, or purchase tickets online at Tickets begin at $22; tickets for children and students with an ID are half price.

Hou was born in Shanghai into a musical family – both her mother and father are violinists.  She began studying violin with her father at the tender age of four and gave her first public performance a year later. A graduate of Juilliard, Ms. Hou has traveled the world making solo appearances with major orchestras. Hou’s new music video “The Devil’s Delight” recently premiered on Bravo!TV, and she has appeared with Bowfire on PBS, Bravo!, and the TODAY Show. 

“My parents were both great violinists of a different time and world,” Hou said. “However, their career growth was stunted due to world circumstances (the Cultural Revolution in China), and they did not have the opportunities I do now. Their life experiences have had a deep impact on me and have been an unwavering source of inspiration. I have never taken for granted my ‘gift’ of being able to pursue what I love. Too often people take opportunities for granted because we live in such a free world, but growing up knowing both my parents nearly died for what they believed in gives me the utmost appreciation and respect for our gift of life and freedom of dreams.”


Meet the Maestro

Audience members are encouraged to attend a free pre-concert talk by the Maestro, Peter Jaffe, beginning 45 minutes before the “Swept Away” concert begins.


Masterclass instructor

Hou will teach a masterclass as part of the Masterclass Series presented jointly by the Stockton Symphony and the University of the Pacific. The class will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14, in the Recital Hall at Pacific. Violinists are encouraged to apply by calling the Symphony office at (209) 951-0196. The public is invited to observe the master class at no charge.

Private recital

In addition to her concerto performances with the Symphony, Hou will perform an intimate recital on Sunday, Oct. 16, at 2 p.m. in the home of Doc and Virginia Chen. Ms. Hou will perform pieces by Paganini, Kreisler, Elgar, Bach, and Ysaÿe. Tickets for the recital can be purchased for $75 through the Symphony office. Tickets for the recital are not available online.

 For further information about the Stockton Symphony, including future performances, guest artists, and how to volunteer, please visit To purchase tickets on performance Saturdays, please call or visit the Atherton Auditorium box office at 209-954-5110.