Frederic Chiu, piano, with Dr. Hsing-Lih Chou, poetry recitation

    Saturday November 2, 2013 @ 6:00 PM
    Price: $35.00
    Member Price: $31.50

    “When you are ignorant about something, to know that you are ignorant about it – that is knowledge.” - Confucius

    “Remove it all, that I might see.” - Paul Valéry

    Frederic Chiu’s approach to ignorance comes from two angles meeting in the same place – the acknowledgement of ignorance in French and Chinese cultures, as expressed through music. The French school of Impressionism in music acknowledges the absence of absolute truth, even as it tries to provide a multitude of precise impressions of that truth. The piano becomes an abstract instrument, as the search for colors and shades – be it in Debussy’s Clair de Lune or Ravel’s Miroirs – transcends the actual physical sound in its search for emotional impressions. Chinese music, once a profound influence on the French Impressionists, now builds on Western music’s innovations, at once honoring and evolving. The idea of ignorance, of vagueness, of impressions left by absolute truth – Gao Ping explores these ideas in his Distant Voices, his nostalgic Outside the Window suite and in his heady Soviet Love Songs for Vocalizing Pianist. Adding a more literal and literary angle to the theme of “ignorance”, singer/poet Dr. Hsing-Lih Chou overlays beautiful classic Chinese texts (including the above quoted Confucius) that bring the program to a close with the realization that, despite our attempts to pin it down, “Life is like a dream.”

    Frederic Chiu will be performing the following pieces:

    Gao Ping – 2 Soviet Love Songs for vocalizing pianist, Out the Window, Distant Voices

    Claude Debussy – from Preludes, Images I, Images II, Estampes, L’isle Joyeuse, Suite Bergamasque

    Maurice Ravel – from Miroirs

    About the Musician

    Frederic Chiu performs in major venues on five continents, such as Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, The Chatelet in Paris, or the Mozarteum in Buenos Aires, as well as touring extensively in smaller and unusual venues. He last performed at the Rubin in a concert devoted to the music of Georgi Gurdjieff.  He collaborates with friends Joshua Bell, Pierre Amoyal, Gary Hoffman and the St Lawrence String Quartet from the Classical world, as well as non-Classical friends like jazz pianist Bob James, writer/storyteller David Gonzalez, Shakespearean actor Brian Bedford, and the clown Buffo, trying to bring the vivid live concert experience to as many people as possible. In addition to his usual recital programs, Frederic Chiu also presents “Classical Smackdown”, a multi-year series where composers face off in head-to-head comparisons, with listeners voting for their favorite composer. The current Smackdown is between Debussy and Prokofiev, with results tracked at  Frederic Chiu has released over 20 recordings, including the complete piano works of Prokofiev, and works of Chopin, Liszt, Ravel, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Rossini and Grieg. His most recent recordings include the Beethoven/Liszt Symphony V and the solo piano version of Carnival of the Animals. His next project is “Hymns and Dervishes”, music of Gurdjieff/de Hartmann. He is a regular on St. Paul Sunday and Performance Today. Chiu's teaching program Deeper Piano Studies – a philosophic and holistic approach to piano playing – has been presented at the Juilliard School, Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, the New England Conservatory and the Banff Centre, among others.


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