Wednesday, May 17, 2023 3:32AM
NEW YORK (WABC) — Music can connect us, heal us and give us a reason to dream. As part of the celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Month, there is a new look at a film about a daughter honoring her Chinese-immigrant father through their common bond of music.
Classical pianist Donna Weng Friedman always treats audiences to the beautiful Waltz in C# minor by Frederic Chopin. Not only because it is lyrical and uplifting – and the perfect encore piece, she offers it as an homage to her late father.
“He came to this country, he had no money, no friends – he barely spoke the language,” said Weng.
Sin-tzu Weng was born into poverty in China.
“He was a blue baby – umbilical cord tied around his neck. S they threw him in the garbage,” she said.
Except he started crying in the trash later that night and proved himself quite a survivor.
In his early twenties, Weng immigrated to New York where he worked punishing hours for pennies. His spirits started sinking when he splurged on a radio.
“That changed his life – what the music did for him was give him hope,” Weng said.
In addition to concert pianist, Weng can now add filmmaker to her resume. ‘Never Fade Away’ is about her father’s American dream as it pivots around one in a spring waltz.
Clips have already been played on the big screen in Times Square.
“I feel like the story shines a light on the creativity, resilience, the grit of all those who came before us,” Weng said.
‘Never Fade Away’ makes its premiere at NYU Tisch School of the Arts on May 31 and will continue running until June 2.
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