PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Being able to figure skate and play the violin are both beautiful, artistic skills that can take a lifetime to perfect. CBS3 found a local high school student who has achieved some amazing feats by taking on both.
Both skills are so difficult individually, it takes someone special to master the two.
So what’s more difficult — a triple axel or performing a piece of Beethoven in front of a packed house?
Coming up at 6:40am on @CBSPhilly
A kid from West Chester who is really smart and talented and musically inclined. Gotta see this kid in action. pic.twitter.com/jme6VrXKL9
— Pat Gallen (@PatGallenCBS3) February 20, 2020
To join the ranks of Team USA Figure Skating takes extraordinary focus and determination. To play the violin with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra requires a steady hand and intense attention to detail.
Nick Hsieh, a junior at Bayard Rustin High School, is doing both.
“I think I started skating when I was about 12 years old,” Hsieh said.
Hsieh joined Team USA Figure Skating a few years ago, taking his talent global. He’s represented his country all across North America, Europe, and Asia — but he started in an odd place.
“My first time skating was actually on a cruise ship,” Hsieh said. “I remember getting on the ice and immediately falling down and not being able to skate at all.”
He eventually connected with Viktor Pfeifer at the Skating Club of Wilmington who says he’s already a leader at a young age.
“He’s also kind of a role model to other people at the rink because his attitude is really good,” Pfeifer said. “Even if he’s struggling, the jumps aren’t great, he’s always very classy, very professional.”
Somehow, Nick also finds time to be one of the best young violinists in the city.
“Violin runs in my family,” Hsieh said. “My dad played violin when he was in high school. And my three older cousins also all played violin. They were all, actually, in PYO also. So I’m really just following their footsteps.”
The junior at Bayard Rustin High School in West Chester loves that figure skating and music share so many common themes.
“Playing in the orchestra, I learned how to take in the new music, play it and also express it out towards the audience,” Hsieh said. “Which is also what I do right here on the ice.”
Beyond the rink and the stage, Nick has his sights set on yet another lofty goal.
“I would love to major in aerospace engineering,” Hsieh said. “Of course dream colleges would be MIT, Stanford, Michigan, Georgia Tech.”
If he puts his mind, or feet, or hands to it, chances are Nick will accomplish it.
“He has to be on the ice for hours every day and then he does off ice all that other stuff, traveling for competitions. Then, he does all the violin stuff. So quite honestly I don’t know how he does it but he gets it done somehow,” Pfeifer said.
If you’re interested in seeing Nick’s skills in action, the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra has a concert Sunday, Feb. 23 at 3 p.m. at the Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center.