Press Release

Jie Chen Performs “Classics From the East and West”

PianoArts concert reaches across musical and cultural boundaries

By - Jun 15th, 2017 09:05 am
Jie Chen. Photo courtesy of PianoArts.

Jie Chen. Photo courtesy of PianoArts.

Acclaimed Chinese pianist Jie Chen will perform “Classics From the East and West” at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, 1584 North Prospect Avenue, Milwaukee, on Friday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Jie Chen is known for her performances of western classics and for her transcriptions of Chinese classics on the “Naxos” label. Her program will include Franz Schubert‘s Piano Sonata in G major, D. 894 and three pieces by Chinese composers arranged for piano by Ms. Chen. The concert opens with Schubert’s sonata Ð a musical mirror of a person’s life. After the intermission, the program is devoted to timeless Chinese music, including “Butterfly Lovers,” based on a legend of tragic love.

As a special feature, at 6:00 p.m., Joel Xue, director of the youth orchestra at the Milwaukee Chinese Community Center, will demonstrate the art of performing Chinese instruments, followed by a conversation at 6:30 p.m. about the music Ms. Chen will perform.

The concert is the festive opening for the 2017 Wisconsin Youth Piano Competition, for ages 10-16, co-presented by PianoArts and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra with the JoAnne Krause Education Endowment Fund. During her 2017 Milwaukee residency, Ms. Chen will serve as the competitionÕs jury head and give master classes for Wisconsin youth.

Jie Chen, alumni of the Curtis Institute of Music, is an active soloist and chamber musician. She made her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Wolfgang Sawallisch, at age 16. Her performances in some of the world’s leading concert halls include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center. She has collaborated with the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra and Osmo Vanska, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Neemi Jarvi, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia of Poland, and Hong Kong Philharmonic, among others.

In 2003, Ms. Chen won first place in the PianoArts National Competition based in Milwaukee. She went on to win prizes in eleven more prestigious international competitions. Ms. Chen was named “Top 30 under 30” in the classical music world by KDFC Radio in California. Her debut album, “Chinese Piano Favourites” was released to critical acclaim on the “Naxos” label. Her second album under the Naxos’s “Marco Polo” label, “The Yellow River/Butterfly Lovers,” won her “Best Album of the Year” awarded by the Asian Hi-Fi Society. Also a dedicated educator, Ms. Chen is founder and director of the music department at the University of Shanghai Science and Technology,

A champion of Chinese music and advocate of Sino-US cultural exchanges, Ms. Chen is credited with presenting the Curtis Chamber Music group to China in 2012 and 2016. During her 2017 United States tour, she also will perform at New York City’s Hunter College for the International Keyboard Institute and Festival. The Organization of Chinese Americans-Wisconsin is sponsoring Ms. Chen’s appearance here. Additional funding is through the Milwaukee Music Teachers Association.

Tickets for “Classics From the East and West” can be purchased online and at the door prior to the concert. Adults $25, Students $15. More information at www.PianoArts.org.

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