Countdown to Carnegie: Medicine by Day, Music by Night: The Duo Life of Michael Hung

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May 13, 2024

Michael Hung standing with a flute in front of a building

On June 2nd, Michael Hung will travel to New York with the Texas Wind Ensemble to perform at Carnegie Hall. His path to this iconic stage differs from that of many musicians driven by a singular passion. Michael's journey began with a love for medicine, but it took an unexpected turn in 6th grade when he was introduced to wind instruments by his band teacher. The flute's enchanting sound deeply resonated with him, prompting Michael to declare it as "The prettiest sound that I had ever heard." Reflecting on this, he reminisces, "There was something about the flute that really inspired me." His first flute, acquired second-hand from a family friend, brought more than just enchantment; he vividly recalls it as "magical."

Yet, Michael's love for medicine remained unwavering. Instead of giving up one passion for the other, he embraced the ambitious vision of pursuing excellence in both fields: as a professional musician and a physician. Michael took weekly lessons with his private instructor, Linda Caillavet, who helped him see the flute outside of traditional band performances. After school, which was full of science classes for a career in medicine, he would come home where Linda helped Michael with everything from repertoire to technique to applications to school.

Michael Hung playing the flute

Michael Hung Playing the Flute

High school marked a period of musical exploration for Michael, where his aspirations gravitated towards two iconic destinations: the conductorship of Jerry Junkin leading the Butler School's wind ensemble, and the illustrious stages of Carnegie Hall. Recalling his childhood fascination with renowned names like Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, Michael saw Carnegie Hall as the epitome of classical music excellence. While watching performances on YouTube, he found himself equally mesmerized by the performances of the Texas Wind Ensemble under the baton of Jerry Junkin. Reflecting on these experiences, Michael recalls the infectious energy and musicality that permeated every concert.

Michael had long envisioned The University of Texas at Austin as the nexus where he could pursue his dual passions of music and medicine. After years of dedicated practice on the flute, meticulous preparation of his application and audition materials, and diligent study of the sciences throughout high school, Michael found himself waiting to hear back from the Butler School of Music. The pivotal moment arrived when he received an email notification from the Butler School, signaling that his application status had been updated. Overwhelmed by a mix of excitement and apprehension, Michael did not open the email. Rather than immediately opening it, he went to study with friends. However, the study session proved pointless, as Michael's mind remained preoccupied with the email. Finally, spurred by a nudge from one of his friends, Michael had one of his friends open the email. The acceptance left him speechless with the realization that his dreams were on the verge of fruition. Michael and his friends abandoned their study session to celebrate.

Michael Hung Opening getting Accepted to the Butler School of Music

Michael still has a lot to celebrate. He will play at 2 pm in Carnegie Hall in the Isaac Stern Auditorium on the Ronald O. Perelman stage, with the Texas Wind Ensemble. He also just graduated with a double major in Biology and Music. He plans to teach and play flute for the next year while applying to medical schools. Let’s hope he is braver or has friends nearby when the medical school acceptance email comes through.

 

If you are going to be in New York for the Concert and would like to go there is a 40% off discount code that people can use on the Carnegie Hall website to purchase tickets:  DIS44417

 

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