Hans Jørgen Jensen rejoins the faculty alongside former student Sihao He

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Jensen (left) Todd Rosenberg, He (right) Daniel Delang

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The Robert McDuffie Center for Strings in Mercer University’s Townsend School of Music in Macon, Georgia has welcomed two new members to its string department.

Cellist and alumnus Sihao He joins the faculty as distingushed artist and lead cello teacher, beginning in the Autumn term.

He completed his undergraduate degree at the McDuffie Center before studying for his masters at Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. He spent the majority of his studies under the tutelage of Hans Jørgen Jensen who returns to the McDuffie Center to teach alongside his former student. 

’I am coming back because I really love the Center, but also because I want to support Sihao He,’ Jensen said. ’Sihao and I have worked together for many years since he was a freshman student at the McDuffie Center. Sihao is an incredible cellist and teacher.’

The professional bond between the two cellists has remained strong throughout He’s studies. He said: ’I graduated from the Center seven years ago under the incredible guidance of Prof. Jensen. Now I have the opportunity to give back to the very school that shaped the beginnings of my career.’

He has performed with orchestras including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Munich Radio Orchestra and Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also won the National Cello Competition, China; the Grand Prize at the Third Gaspar Cassadó International Cello Competition, Japan; and was a laureate of the Queen Elizabeth International Cello Competition and the Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians.

As a soloist, Jensen has performed with the Danish Radio Orchestra, the Basel Symphony Orchestra, the Copenhagen Symphony and the Irish Radio Orchestra working with conductors including Mstislav Rostropovich. Jensen’s teaching career spans over 40 years, with his students winning multiple competitions including the Klein Competition, the Sphinx Competition, the Casado International Competition in Japan and the Johansen International Competition. Some of his students are currently principal cellists of The New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony and the Detroit Symphony.

’All of us at the McDuffie Center are thrilled beyond belief to welcome back both Sihao He and Hans Jensen,’ founder Robert McDuffie said. ’Hans played such a major role in the early success of our school, with Sihao as one of his most illustrious students.  To have them working together to teach and inspire the next generation of gifted cellists makes me incredibly happy and proud.’

The McDuffie Center opened in 2008 and since then its graduates have gone on to occupy orchestra seats across the world including first violin with the Berlin Philharmonic, principal bass with the Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester in Sweden, and principal violin with the San Francisco Symphony. 

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