Festival Friday Radio is a weekly blog series showcasing Spoleto Festival USA’s 2017 visiting artists. Each Friday, tune in for these hand-selected playlists that highlight a musician’s top 10 tracks—or get exclusive, artist-curated lists that reflect their own listening preferences.

In February, we watched as pianist-turned-violinist Alice Hong auditioned during the Festival’s Annual Auction to secure a spot in the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra. Although she admitted then that auditions can be “so nerve-racking,” she certainly impressed auction attendees, and the Festival is excited to welcome her back for the 2017 seasonmaking it her second time playing with this renowned group of musicians.

Between score studying, practicing, auditions, and performances, Hong doesn’t have ample time to relax, so we wanted to find out what she enjoys listening to when she does find time off. Tune in to hear her 10 go-to tracks and keep reading to find out why each is special to her.

Catch the Spoleto Festival USA orchestra all throughout the Festival:
CLICK HERE for tickets to Mozart’s Great Mass
CLICK HERE for tickets to Mahler 4 and Dreaming
CLICK HERE for tickets to Cinema and Sound
CLICK HERE for tickets to the Spoleto Celebration Concert
CLICK HERE for tickets to Eugene Onegin
CLICK HERE for tickets to Farnace
CLICK HERE for tickets to Quartett
CLICK HERE for tickets to Music in Time | Tempus Fugit
CLICK HERE for tickets to Music in Time | Sounding Peace
CLICK HERE for tickets to Music in Time | Lecture on the Weather
CLICK HERE for tickets to Tatyana’s Ball

“Attaboy,” by The Goat Road Sessions: “This used to be my morning alarm. It never failed to put me in a good mood and get me up for the day.”

“Un Jour Mon Prince Viendra,” by Quatuor Ébène: “During my time at the Cleveland Institute of Music, I was lucky enough to see this band live. The entire concert was incredible, but the most enchanting part was when the quartet began a song from their album, Fiction, with their instruments down—they sang as a quartet as beautifully as they played. Their musicianship and diversity inspires me, and this song—from Snow White—brought back a lot of great childhood memories.”

“Fantasy,” by Alina Baraz and Galimatias: “This album stands as the epitome of what I love about electronic music. It’s atmospheric, simple but catchy, and intimate. This particular song just puts me in a good mood!”

“Woods,” by Bon Iver: “This is my go-to song for quieter times of the day.”

“Strawberry Swing,” by Coldplay: “An oldie but a goodie; it always reminds me of summertime, my favorite time of year!”

Symphony No. 5, by Sergei Prokofiev: “This has my favorite symphonic ending of all time! And regardless whether I’m playing in the orchestra or listening from the audience, it’s equally exciting.”

String Quartet in A minor, op. 13, composed by Felix Mendelssohn, recorded by Quatuor Ébène: “This quartet is among my favorites. Mendelssohn wrote this when he was still a teenager, so while it’s crafted with compositional mastery beyond his years, it still has the passion of a teenage boy in love. The piece is encompassed by quotations from his song, “Ist es wahr?” (“Is it true?/that you wait for me in the arbor by the vineyard wall?”) and has some breathtaking, heart-wrenching moments that give me goosebumps no matter how many times I listen to, read or play it.” 

“Reflects dans l’eau,” no. 1 from Images: Book 1 by Claude Debussy: “Back in the day when I still played piano, these were my favorite works to play. The writing is picturesque and the harmonies are so colorful.”

“Ich bin will meine Steele tauchen” from Dichterliebe by Robert Schumann: “Short but tragically beautiful; I love the whole song cycle.”

Photo (at top) courtesy of the artist