[ Concerts Faculty ]

Yale School of Music Professor Melvin Chen performs Beethoven, Tower, and Mussorgsky Mar. 27

March 1, 2013

“A pianist whose playing is powerful and driven.”
–The New York Times

The Horowitz Piano Series at the Yale School of Music presents a recital by faculty pianist Melvin Chen on Wednesday, March 27. Chen, lauded as “raw and roaring” by The New Yorker, will perform a program of music by BeethovenMussorgsky, and Joan Tower.

This concert will open with Beethoven’s Bagatelles, Op. 126, the composer’s last work for piano. The Bagatelles are a set of six short character pieces written for the composer’s brother, Johann.

Chen will then perform two pieces by Grammy Award-winning American composer Joan Tower, Steps (2011) and Ebony and Ivory (2008). Chen gave the first performance of Steps, an homage to Debussy, in February 2012. Ebony and Ivory, which is about the black and white notes of the piano, was written for the San Antonio Piano Competition. The New York Times noted, “It is the kind of work that sounds as if it required more than ten fingers, not to mention the agility to shift quickly between styles.”

The program will conclude with Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, a virtuoso piece beloved by audiences. Dedicated to Russian artist Viktor Hartmann, the piece depicts a tour of an art collection, with individual movements based on paintings by Hartmann.

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 $20–30, $10–15 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 Melvin Chen

Deputy Dean and Associate Professor (Adjunct) of Piano at the Yale School of Music, pianist Melvin Chen is recognized as an important young artist, having received acclaim for performances throughout the United States and abroad. As a soloist and chamber musician Mr. Chen has performed at major venues in the United States, including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Kennedy Center, and Boston’s Jordan Hall.  Mr. Chen’s performances have been featured on radio and television stations around the globe, including KBS in Korea, NHK in Japan, and NPR. Solo recordings include Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations on the Bridge label, praised as “a classic” by the American Record Guide, and a recording of Joan Tower’s piano music on the Naxos label. A recording of the Shostakovich piano sonatas was released to great acclaim in 2007.

Mr. Chen completed a doctorate in chemistry from Harvard University, and also holds a double master’s degree from The Juilliard School in piano and violin, where he studied with Seymour Lipkin and Glenn Dicterow, respectively. At Juilliard, he was the recipient of the U.S. Department of Education Jacob Javits Fellowship, as well as the William Petschek Piano Scholarship and the Ruth D. Rosenman Memorial Scholarship. Previously, he attended Yale University, receiving a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and physics. Upon graduation he was awarded the New Prize by the fellows of Jonathan Edwards College. During his tenure at Yale he studied with Boris Berman, Paul Kantor, and Ida Kavafian.