By  on December 15, 2008

To classify Anna Hu as an overachiever would be an understatement. The New York-based Taiwanese jeweler, who will open her first U.S. store at the Plaza today, holds two master’s degrees — in art history from Parsons The New School for Design and in arts administration from Columbia — and is an award-winning concert cellist. (She studied at the New England Conservatory of Music and has played alongside the likes of Yo-Yo Ma.) She’s also a mother of two.

Hu, 31, maintains that music was her first love, and her heart was set on stardom. “I didn’t want to be a chamber or orchestra player,” says Hu, who, while soft spoken, is not shy about her ambitions or accomplishments. “I always wanted to be a soloist.” Her career as center-stage cellist never happened, not for lack of trying — Hu’s grueling practice schedule, up to eight hours a day, resulted in tendinitis in her shoulder in 1997. With her musical options limited to a seat in the orchestra or teaching, she enrolled in summer school at the Gemological Institute of America, located at 580 Fifth Avenue, where her father, a diamond dealer, kept a Stateside office.

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