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L-R: Pittsburgh Symphony Violinist Chris Wu with his wife, Annette, daughter, Grace and son Wes. Chris met his wife at church. At that time, she was a widow with a five year old son. This weekend Chris will play at the wedding of Wes to his college sweetheart. He plans to travel to Dallas this fall for a benefit concert for the Dallas Police and hopes to give away his classical music to newborn babies at Parkland Memorial Hospital and Magee Women's Hospital in Pittsburg to help children grow up with an appreciation of beautiful music.

Veteran Symphony Violinist Hopes to Heal Dallas With Beautiful Music, Give Newborns A Gift that Lasts a Lifetime

 

Chris Wu Knows Music.

"Where words fail, music speaks." -- Hans Christian Anderson

Chris Wu knows music can calm a screaming child.

He knows because when his daughter was born, and "Wailing away in the delivery room," according to her mother, Annette, Chris began playing his violin. It's what he does.

"And she immediately stopped crying," he says with a smile. Wu is also the First Violinist of the acclaimed Pittsburgh Symphony.

Now he wants to do this for other children, what he did for his new born baby girl. He wants to calm crying babies with soothing music, and he wants to give that gift of music to every newborn child in America.

"I think music in itself is healing. It's an explosive expression of humanity. It's something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we're from, everyone loves music." Billy Joel.

His goal is to help children learn that music heals the soul; it inspires; it delights; it can change your life. "I want children--and their parents--to hear good symphonic music." he explains. "So much of what children hear is run-of-the-mill lullabys and--as they grow older--rock, rap and hip hop."

Wu feels soothing, soaring music is a better way to go than the angry--and often profanity-ridden--music heard by the public. "Wouldn't it be great if, when a teenager gets upset at school or at home, instead of downloading an angry song full of graphic lyrics, instead he or she listens to a piece of music meant to calm and soothe the soul?"

"Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness." Maya Angelou

Wu has been playing the violin since he was five. He was living in Chicago with his family, and it was his mother's idea. He hated the practice, and all he wanted to do was play outside with his friends. But his mom knew better. "My mom made me practice an hour a day." It took a while, but he admits he always loved playing for people, and making a deeper connection. For him, it was always about the music. Sharing his talent with others, not winning awards.

But he did win awards. At age 14, he started winning local competitions. He was scared to play for others, because he might mess up--and disappoint them. But he did well. "Not as a credit to me, but as a gift that was given to me to share," Wu says.

And that's what he wants to do now, with his gift. After 28 years with the Pittsburgh Symphony, and watching the decline of Orchestras around the country, Wu thinks he has an opportunity to change the culture in America today, by introducing quality classical music to infants on their birthday.

Research clearly shows the positive effects of classical music on a child's brain. Wu thinks that good music at birth can start a child on the right path toward a better life: good music, good moods, good learning, good life.

"If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music." Albert Einstein.

To do this, he is raising funds to create CDs to give away to new parents as they leave the hospital with their new born. He believes that if crying infants hear good music, it can soothe their soul and help them to relax, de-stress, and sleep. This, in turn, will help the child's parents to have an avenue to soothe their child--and their household--in later years. Ultimately, the music becomes a gift of a lifetime. It could reduce child abuse, marriage turmoil, and save lives.

He envisions families going to concerts at the Symphony, enjoying the music and family time together, building stronger bonds among family members--a win-win for all.

As Wu begins his 29th Concert season with the Pittsburgh Symphony he understands that classical music is misunderstood, because of a lack of education or lack of exposure to it.

"Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything." Plato.

Wu would like to start giving the gift of classical music at his local hospital, Magee Women's Hospital in Pittsburgh, and at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, where more babies are born each year than any other in the United States. He's aware of the recent turmoil in Dallas, the tragedy of five police officers being gunned down in the city, and wants to share with their families, and Parkland, where three of the fallen officers were brought, some beautiful music. As a father, he was devastated to learn all five police officers who died on July 7th were also fathers. He can’t imagine not being around for his son and daughter. This weekend, he'll be playing at his son's wedding.

He'll be back playing in the Pittsburgh Symphony this fall for his 29th year. But he hopes to come to Dallas soon, to play in a concert to benefit the fallen officers, and making his dream of a gift of music to the newborn babies--in both Pittsburgh and Dallas—a reality. “I know music can change your mood, change your attitude, change your life,” he says. “Maybe good classical music can restore some of the sanity and peace in a city in mourning.”

Chris Wu knows classical music—and wants you to know it, too.

 

 

 

Chris Wu lives in Pittsburgh and is planning to come to Dallas to play for the benefit of the fallen Dallas Police Department officers. To find out more information, or to donate to his “Gift of Music for the Newborn,” contact him at cwu1227@aol.com

 

Judy Porter lives in Dallas, and is a local writer and volunteer. Contact her at judy-porter@sbcglobal.net.

 

 

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