[ Concerts ]

Hung-Kuan Chen performs the “Hammerklavier” and other Beethoven sonatas Feb. 8

“A virtuoso... with an enormous palette of tone colors.”
–Boston Globe
January 17, 2012

The Horowitz Piano Series at the Yale School of Music presents a recital by the pianist Hung-Kuan Chen on Wednesday, February 8. Chen, hailed as “a deeply probing, imaginative player with an enormous palette of tone colors” (Boston Globe), will perform an all-Beethoven program.

This recital will feature three of Beethoven’s sonatas: Nos. 27, 28, and 29. The Sonata No. 27 in E minor, Op. 90, was written in 1814 (toward the end of Beethoven’s middle period). Beethoven described its restless first movement as “a contest between the head and the heart.”

Beethoven had become almost completely deaf by the time he wrote the Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op. 101, two years later. The sonata, which Beethoven described as “a series of impressions and reveries,” is considered the first of his late-period sonatas.

The concert will columinate in Beethoven’s monumental Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major, Op. 106. Known as the “Hammerklavier,” it is widely viewed as one of the composer’s most important works – and one of the most difficult.

This concert takes place at 8 pm in Sprague Hall (470 College St., corner of Wall Street). The Horowitz Piano Series is directed by Boris Berman.

Tickets are $12–22, $6–9 with student ID. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit music.yale.edu or contact the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.

About Hung-Kuan Chen

Hung-Kuan Chen has been described as enigmatic, brilliant, and versatile, admired as both a performer of remarkable individuality and an inspiring teacher. Born in Taipei and educated in Germany and United States, Chen’s early studies fostered strong roots in Germanic classicism, which he tempered with Chinese philosophy. After winning the Young Concert Artists competition in 1987, Chen has performed in the major cities of Asia, Europe, and the Americas. He has appeared with the orchestras of Houston, Baltimore, Israel, Montreal, the Tonhalle, San Francisco, and Shanghai, among others. He has performed with such conductors as Hans Graf, Christoph Eschenbach, and Andrew Parrott as well as with colleagues including Yo-Yo Ma, Cho-Liang Lin, and David Shifrin. In 1992, Chen suffered an injury to his hand that caused neurological damage and eventually resulted in focal dystonia. Through meditation and research, he was able to heal. His first post-accident solo recital in 1998 received rave reviews, and he was described as a transformed artist. A 1991 recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, Chen is currently on the piano faculty of New England Conservatory, a visiting professor at the Yale School of Music, and co-director of the International Piano Academy of the annual Shanghai Festival.