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It has been 20 years since Christopher Wang, a Flushing High School graduate and concert violinist, was given a helping hand by members of the Flushing Rotary Club as he struggled to adjust to life in the United States as a young boy. Wang was a child prodigy in his native Taiwan and came to the country at just 10 years old to continue his musical development. As a Flushing resident he attended Flushing High School in the late 1980s and New York University in the early 1990s, Wang received several cash donations from members of the Flushing Rotary Club, a charitable organization who target needy cases in the community. The donations allowed him to showcase his talent to the world by entering competitions and traveling across the globe to perform."As a result [of the donations] I was able to generate momentum for my professional concert career," Wang said. "I would not be living the life I am right now if I had not met the wonderful, inspirational, exemplary people at the Flushing Rotary."Over the last 20 years Wang, now in his 30s, has crisscrossed the globe receiving multiple international honors and awards while performing at some of the world's most prestigious venues. His performances with orchestras include appearances with the Oregon Symphony in Portland, Ore., the Queens Symphony Orchestra in New York City, the North Carolina Symphony in Greensboro, N.C., the Broadway Symphony in Seattle, Wash., and the Seattle Philharmonic in Seattle, Wash. As a recitalist, his performances include appearances at Schubert Hall at the Vienna Concert Hall in Austria, the National Concert Hall in Taipei, Taiwan, and in New York City at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and Merkin Concert Hall.On Saturday, Wang returned and performed at Flushing Town Hall as part of the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts' Lunar New Year celebration. Wang said the concert was a thank you to those who helped him two decades ago, the proceeds of which will be given to the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts and the Flushing Rotary Club. "He always said when I make it big, I'm going to come back here and put on a benefit to give it all back," said Frank Macchio of the Flushing Rotary Club. Wang said coming back to Flushing to perform was more than returning a favor, however."My heart has always been here and always will be here," he said. "The people from the Rotary are people you meet once in a lifetime." He added "I think it would be vulgar not to share what I've become. Whatever stardom and prestige I have now I'm very grateful for." Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at Sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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