Reminiscent of the glory days, when the train brought notables traveling north to south and south to north, when F Scott Fitzgerald would encamp there between rides to visit Zelda recovering from tuberculosis in Asheville, three friends had coffee in the condominium where the hotel had been. The topic of conversation was a lad of 19 who plays the cello. His name is Zlatomir Fung. We could see the tracks below.
I listened as Gwen Suesse, Tryon Concert Association President, explored with a retired university professor the significance of seeking out this youth and the importance of nourishing his kind. The results can be very rewarding. And it’s been a tradition of TCA to reach out to organizations fostering such development.
Young Concert Artists, Inc. in New York is one of these. Zlatomir Fung became sponsored by them in 2017, along with three other musicians and a group. Gwen and Carole Bartol attended the auditioning and met him there. Since then, he’s really blossomed, playing all over the world with prestigious orchestras and ensembles, and winning competitions of a high order. Others having been sponsored by YCA are, for example, Pinchas Zukerman, violinist, in 1966, and Emanuel Ax, Pianist, in 1973.
So, on Thursday. January 31, at 8:00 p.m., Mr. Fung joins the ranks of former YCA sponsored young musicians who have played at the Tryon Fine Arts Center under TCA’s auspices. These include Dick Hyman, pianist, Carter Brey, cellist, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Jeremy Denk, pianist, George Li, pianist, the Brentano String Quartet, and most recently, Paul Huang, violinist.
For Gwen, it’s a short walk from her place by the tracks to the Fine Arts Center, unlike the trip to find our artist – when, of course, there wasn’t a train to take her. For a long time, the trains hadn’t been carrying passengers, anyway. They carried cargo. Finally, they stopped altogether. Which is interesting, we think, because that’s just about the time our artist, at age 3, picked up the cello. He’s going places.