Violinist Sarah Chang recorded her first album in 1991 at the age of 10, so for more than two decades music fans everywhere have had access to her interpretations of the world's best-known classical works.
But when Chang, 32, comes to Orlando this weekend to perform with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, fans will hear something new. Chang will play Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto — a recent addition to her repertoire.
"You learn so much repertoire at a very early age that it's embedded in your head," said Chang, who was raised in New Jersey and debuted with the New York Philharmonic at age 8. "I'm happy that I did not learn the Barber Concerto until last year. It slipped through the cracks."
It wasn't that she had any dislike of the concerto, composed in 1939 by Barber, a Pennsylvania native. Far from it.
"I love the piece so much," Chang said. "For years, I'd been saying, 'I've got to learn the Barber, just for myself.'"
Most of her repertoire was learned in childhood, as a student. It feels different, she said, when she performs pieces she learned as an adult.
"I appreciate them more," she said. "It's your choice to learn them, and you approach them from a more mature view."
She suggested the work to the Philharmonic.
"I thought it would be really nice to go with something that's truly American and iconic and so beautiful," she said. "I love how beautifully balanced it is, between its lyricism and its fiendish last movement, which is famously known for being a monster to play."
Chang keeps up a hectic schedule.
"I'm touring nonstop, I'm constantly jetlagged," she said, laughing. "I've been in Asia, now I'm in Detroit, after I go to Orlando, I'll be going back to Europe."
Despite regularly playing with the world's biggest and best-known orchestras, such as the Berlin and Vienna philharmonics, Chang said, she has a soft spot for concerts in midsize cities such as Orlando.
"In those biggest places, it's beautifully organized but it sometimes feels like a job," she said. "What I love about the smaller cities is how the communities seem to rally around the orchestra."
The personal touch in smaller communities can affect her performance, she said.
"It just feels different. Even if you're only in a city for two days, there's a nice feeling of being home," she said. "It colors the way you perform. It feels like you're more spontaneous. You almost play as if you're playing for family and friends."
• What: The violinist performs Barber's Concerto with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. Also on the program: Rossini's "Semiramide" overture and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5.
• When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26; 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27 (limited tickets remain for Saturday)
• Where: Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St., Orlando
• Tickets: $14.24-$55
• Call: 407-770-0071
• Online: Orlandophil.org