H y g g e S e s s i o n s
Hygge (HOO-Gah) is the Danish word for “cosy” or “comfortable”
These informal music concerts connect people together through food and drink, audience participation, and talks from musicians.
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What is Hygge Sessions?
A concert series of music that connects people together through audience participation, informal settings, and talks from the musicians.
Created and directed by Erik Fauss amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, this project started virtually and seeks to address worldwide feelings of isolation and fear. Expect the unexpected. This is not a typical classical music event. Preconceptions of “audience” and “performer” are challenged, and participants are encouraged to share their feelings and responses to the music. Performers may speak about the repertoire, ask questions to the audience, and/or remain available after the concerts for questions and conversation.
What is hygge?
Roughly translated as “cosiness,” it is a Danish word used to express feelings of contentment, wellness, and conviviality. The term may have stemmed from the Old Norse word “hygga” or “hugge,” meaning to embrace, hug, or comfort. Today it is a way of life that is practiced throughout Scandinavia, especially during the long and dark winter months. Friends and family gather together in blankets and fluffy pillows around candles and fairy lights, drinking hot chocolate or mulled wine, and delighting in a cheerful camaraderie with one another. It’s a time to indulge, rest, and rejuvenate.
Countdown until Hygge Session 7.0
[not in order]
Sonata for Viola and Piano in D minor by M. Glinka
Sonata for Viola and Piano in C minor by F. Mendelssohn (1st and 2nd movements)
“Canciones Populares” by M. De Falla
Suite in Jazz Style by D. Tabakova
“She Moved Through The Fair” folk song lyrics by Padraic Colum
“Meant to Be” by John Scofield
“And I love her” by the Beatles
Meet the Musicians!
Hygge Sessions features Erik Fauss, Shile Liu, and Deven Cui, recent graduates of the Royal Academy and Royal College of Music
Chinese collaborative pianist Shile Liu studied with Kathron Sturrock, Simon Lepper, and Roger Vignoles at the Royal College of Music as a Frederick Cox Scholar. He was awarded Distinction for his Master of Performance degree and Artist Diploma at the RCM. He represented the RCM to join the Leeds Lieder Young Artists Programme, which formed a key element of the 2021 Leeds Lieder Festival, held at Leeds Town Hall. He was the Highly Commended Artist in the Joan Chissell Schumann Competition 2020 and a finalist in the Lies Askonas Competition 2021, in which his singer won the second prize. He has taken part in masterclasses with Helmut Deutsch, James Gilchrist, Anna Tilbrook, Alasdair Beatson, Ann Murray DBE, Amanda Roocroft, and Clara Andrada. He has also performed in many activities, such as the North London Festival, RCM at St.Mary Abbots, the Kingston Upon Thames Festival of The Performing Arts, the Christmas Concert at the Queen Alexandra’s House and the ‘Russian Masterpieces’ concert at the Russian House.
Before studying at the RCM, Shile studied piano performance at Xiamen University in China. He has performed in Kulangsu Concert Hall, Banlam Grand Theatre and Xiamen University Art College Concert Hall. He was also the accompanist of the Dream Children’s Choir. He participated in the 13th China International Chorus Festival with the choir and won second prize in junior group.
As a piano teacher, his students have won many awards in well-known piano competitions. Shile was awarded teaching prizes, including Kyoto International Music Competiton, the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition (China Region) and Seiler & Samick Piano Competition.
Erik Fauss is an award-winning violist, songwriter, and artistic director currently freelancing in London. He studied music in California, Vienna, and recently finished his Masters at the Royal Academy of Music. Active in his faith, he works as the worship and outreach minister with East Sheen Baptist Church and performs regularly with the Kings Chamber Orchestra (a professional Christian ensemble). He recently formed an indie-folk band with Audrey Tambudzai, and the two are currently producing their first album. Having finished a research project on audience-performer dynamics, he is now launching a chamber concert series called Hygge Sessions that seeks to break down the barrier between performer and audience through informal settings, facilitated discussion, and improvisation. Fauss hopes to continue creating and collaborating with other artists.
Zhibo (Deven) Cui
Zhibo Cui is a Chinese-born pianist and based in London. In 2010 he won the 2nd prize of Sylvia Gigue International Piano competition in the United States of America. In 2014, he won the 3rd prize of the cup of Shenyang Conservatory of Music in China.
In July 2019, He took part in the Piano Summer Festival that was held by Royal Academy of Music. He performed Prelude by Bach, a transcript by Brett Dean, and Peace Piece by Bill Evans. Later in July 2019 he had his debut at St George’s Headstone in London.
He studied Master of Arts at the Royal Academy of Music from 2018 to 2020 and studied Professional Diploma at the Royal Academy of Music from 2020 to 2021.