Hung-Kuan Chen, piano

(1st prize winner of both 1982 Busoni and 1983 Authur Rubenstein Piano Competitions)

Saturday, March 17, 2001, 8:00pm
at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall


Ticket price: $25, $20, $15, with $2 off for senior and students. Group discount: 10%

Sonata in E-flat Major Op. 27 no. 2 Beethoven

Nocturne in B Major Op. 62 no. 1 Chopin
Nocturne in E Major Op. 62 no. 2 Chopin

Paganini Variations Op. 35 Brahms


Poem in F# Major Op. 32 no. 1 Scriabin
Sonata in C Major Op. 70 Scriabin

Three Movements from

Meet the Artist: Hung-Kuan Chen

Born in Taiwan in 1958 and raised in Germany, Hung-Kuan Chen is probably the most decorated pianist in Boston, winning prizes and awards in the Chopin, Geza Anda, the Montreal and the Queen Elisabeth competitions. He won the Gold Medal in the Arthur Rubinstein and the Busoni Competitions, as well as receiving the award of an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1991. He toured under
the Auspices of Young Concert Artists, performing with the Houston, Baltimore, Israel, Tonhalle, Montreal, and Pittsburgh Symphonies, the Royal Orchestra of Belgium, the Mozart Festival Orchestra of San Francisco, and many others. He has collaborated with such artists as Laurence Lesser, Yo-Yo Ma, Roman Totenberg, Denes Zsigmondy, Leslie Parnas, Bion Tsang and Tema Blackstone in concert. He has played recitals in major venues and made a widely praised CD of the Chopin Preludes on the BMG label. Mr. Chen's gifts as an extraordinary interpreter of Beethoven received high acclaim during a series of recitals in 1989 devoted to the performance of the thirty-two Beethoven sonatas. When the New York Times failed to cover Chen's Alice Tully Hall concert in New York, Ruth Laredo wrote a rave review in another publication welcoming a great new artist, exclaiming, "rarely have I heard such eloquence and musical understanding. Is anyone listening?"

Then, in 1992, one of the pianist's hands suffered serious neurological damage in an accident. He was told repeatedly that he could not expect to play again; just as repeatedly he refused to believe this. Instead, through a self-practice of Qigong (a traditional Chinese meditation technique), he has regained his ability to play again. His first solo recital in March of 1998 was received enthusiastically. Richard Dyer, Boston Globe wrote: "Back in the '80s, Apollo and Dionysus, Florestan and Eusebius, were at war in Chen's pianistic personality. He could play with poetic insight, he could also erupt into an almost terrifying overdrive. But now there is repose and the forces have been brought into complimentary harmony." In another review in January 1999, Mr. Dyer adds "This man plays music with uncommon understanding and the instrument with uncommon imagination!"

Mr. Chen joined the faculty of Boston University in 1984 and the New England Conservatory Preparatory Division in 1993. Recently, he has moved to Canada, and is now "Distinguished Artist in Residence" at Mount Royal Conservatory as well as University of Calgary.

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