Aug. 16, 2011 – Award-winning pianist Alec Chien will perform the first in an eight-concert series focusing on the major works of Franz Schubert and Frederic Chopin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10, in Shafer Auditorium at Allegheny College. The concert is free and open to the public.
The program will include Schubert’s Sonata in D Major and four works by Chopin: the Scherzo No. 3, in C# Minor, Op. 39; Scherzo No. 1 in B Minor, Op. 20; Scherzo No. 4 in E Major, Op. 54; and Scherzo No. 2 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 31.
Chien will give two concerts each academic year, in September and in March, with the final concert offered in 2015, when Allegheny will celebrate its bicentennial.
“This is a small token of the gratitude I feel for the Allegheny and Meadville communities, in which I will have spent 35 years by 2015,” said Chien, who is artist-in-residence, professor of music and chair of the music department at Allegheny College. “Chopin is a focus because I gave two all-Chopin recitals my first year at Allegheny. Schubert’s music was very close to my beloved late father, whose passing in fall of 2010 influenced me to dwell much more on the wealth of the gems by this Viennese romantic poet.”
The series will include Schubert’s nine sonatas, eight impromptus, Moment Musicaux and Wanderer Fantasy and Chopin’s four scherzi, four ballades, two sonatas, the 24 preludes, four impromptus, Bercuse, Barcarolle, selected etudes, nocturnes, mazurkas, polonaises and fantasies.
The second concert is scheduled for Saturday, March 10, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. in Shafer Auditorium.
Chien received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctor of musical arts degrees from the Juilliard School of Music, where he studied under Adele Marcus. Grand Prize Winner of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition and prize winner of the Sydney International Piano Competition, the Paloma O’Shea International Piano Competition and the Affiliate Artists Xerox Piano Program, he has performed in solo and chamber recitals and as soloist with orchestras on four continents, in concerts in Australia, Austria, China, Greece, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Poland, Spain and Taiwan.
Among the major symphony orchestras that have featured him as soloist are the Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Utah Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, New Zealand Symphony, American Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic.
In 1988 Chien was one of 25 Steinway artists to perform at the gala concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City to celebrate the piano company’s 135th anniversary as well as its 500,000th piano. That commemorative piano has been brought to Allegheny twice for his solo recitals.
He also actively performs in chamber music, having appeared with members of the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra as well as with the Alexander String Quartet, the Cavani String Quartet and the Ariel Woodwinds Quintet.
Honored in 1986 as Meadville’s “adopted native son,” Chien has brought his music to the Crawford County school districts, performing and speaking to students in both the high schools and elementary schools. His recitals have also been part of the bicentennial celebrations of the cities of Meadville and Erie.
In 2008 he concluded a seven-concert series in which he performed all 32 of the piano sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven.