[ Concerts ]

Beethoven Concerti at Yale Dec. 11

Featuring faculty pianists Wei-Yi Yang, Hung Kuan Chen, and Melvin Chen, with the Yale Philharmonia and conductor Shinik Hahm
November 18, 2013

beethovenThe Horowitz Piano Series at the Yale School of Music presents an evening of Beethoven concerti performed by faculty pianists Wei-Yi Yang, Hung-Kuan Chen, and Melvin Chen on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 8 pm. The concert will also feature the Yale Philharmonia, conducted by Shinik Hahm.

The concert is part of the Beethoven Concerto Project, an inter-series effort to perform the complete cycle of Beethoven’s concertos for piano and orchestra over four concerts in the 2013-14 season. On September 20, the project began with Boris Berman’s performance of the Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major.

This concert will feature pianist Wei-Yi Yang performing the Concerto No. 1 in C major, pianist Hung-Kuan Chen performing Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, and pianist Melvin Chen performing Beethoven’s piano arrangement of the Violin Concerto, Op. 61a.

In order to complete the cycle, Peter Frankl will join the Philharmonia on January 24 to perform the Concerto No. 4 in G major. The last performance will be April 4, when Yale School of Music Dean Robert Blocker will perform the Concerto No. 3 in C minor with the Yale Philharmonia.

This concert takes place at 8 pm in Morse Recital 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 The Faculty Soloists

Pianist Wei-Yi Yang has earned worldwide acclaim for his captivating performances and imaginative programming. Most recently, he was praised by the New York Times as the soloist in a “sensational” performance of Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie at Carnegie Hall. Gold Medal winner of the San Antonio International Piano Competition, Mr. Yang has also performed at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and across Europe, Australia, and Asia. A dynamic chamber musician with a diverse repertoire, Mr. Yang has collaborated with the Pacifica, Cassatt, and Tokyo String Quartets; as well as Frederica von Stade, Clive Greensmith, and Richard Stoltzman, among numerous others.

Mr. Yang has curated inventive interdisciplinary projects, including a collaboration with actress Miriam Margolyes as part of the “Dickens’ Women” world tour; lecture-recitals on the confluence of Czech music and literature; and multimedia performances of Granados’ Goyescas with projections of Goya’s etchings. He has given world premieres of new works by contemporary composers, including Howard Boatwright, Jonathan Cole, Daniel Godfrey, and Ezra Laderman. Mr. Yang studied first in the United Kingdom and then with Arkady Aronov in New York. Under the guidance of Boris Berman, he received his D.M.A. from Yale in 2004.

Wei-Yi Yang frequently presents master classes and performances in Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Korea, and at Princeton University, Ithaca College, and the Hartt School. He has adjudicated the Isidor Bajic Piano Memorial and the San Antonio International Piano competitions. Mr. Yang regularly appears at festivals across the United States, from Norfolk to Napa Valley, and abroad, including Germany, Serbia, Montenegro, Mexico, and Scotland. In 2005 he joined the faculty of the Yale School of Music.


Hung-Kuan Chen is one of the great personalities of the music world: enigmatic, brilliant, and versatile. He is a pianist of uncompromising individuality and a remarkably inspiring pedagogue. Born in Taipei and raised in Germany, Mr. Chen’s early studies fostered strong roots in Germanic Classicism which he tempered with the sensibility of Chinese philosophy; the result is a dynamic and imaginative artistry. He is regarded as an extraordinary interpreter of Beethoven’s music.

Mr. Chen’s career was launched when he won First Prize in the Young Concert Artists’ Auditions which presented him in his New York debut on the Young Concert Artists Series and followed it with a second major New York concert at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. One of the most decorated pianists of his generation, Mr. Chen won top prizes in the Arthur Rubinstein, the Busoni and the Geza Anda International Piano Competitions, along with prizes in the Queen Elisabeth, Montreal, Van Cliburn, and Chopin International Competition. He is a recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Hung-Kuan Chen has appeared in the music capitals of Asia, Europe and the Americas and collaborated with many major orchestras including Houston, Baltimore, Israel, Montréal, Pittsburgh, the Tonhalle, San Francisco and Shanghai. He has performed with highly esteemed conductors; Hans Graf, Christoph Eschenbach, George Cleve, Josef Silverstein, Andrew Parrett and Sui Lan; and colleagues including Yo-Yo Ma, Cho-Liang Lin, Roman Totenberg, Denes Zsigmondy, Bion Tsang, Anthony Gigliotti, David Shifrin, and Laurence Lesser and pianists Tema Blackstone and Pi-hsien Chen.

Mr. Chen has served as the chair of the piano department of the Shanghai Conservatory and is the director of the International Piano Academy in Shanghai. In 2009, he was appointed to the piano faculty of the New England Conservatory in Boston. He is a visiting professor at the Yale School of Music.

In 1992 Hung-Kuan Chen suffered an injury to his hand which caused neurological damage and eventually resulted in focal dystonia. Through meditation and his own research, he was able to heal. His first post-accident solo recital in March of 1998 received rave reviews, and he was described as a transformed artist. Following a concert at Jordan Hall in 2006, Richard Dyer wrote in The Boston Globe, “Hung-Kuan Chen is back in prime technical form after years of struggle following an injury, but those years have made him a different pianist, and a better one. This man plays music with uncommon understanding and the instrument with uncommon imagination.”


A native of Tennessee, pianist Melvin Chen has 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, Merkin Concert Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Kennedy Center, and Boston’s Jordan Hall, in addition to other appearances throughout the United States, Canada, and Asia.

Mr. Chen’s performances have been featured on radio and television stations around the globe, including KBS television and radio in Korea, NHK television in Japan, and NPR in the United States.  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. Recordings of the Shostakovich piano sonatas and Gordon’s Orpheus and Euridice were released in 2007.

An enthusiastic chamber musician, Mr. Chen has collaborated with such artists as Ida Kavafian, David Shifrin, Pamela Frank, Peter Wiley, and with the Shanghai, Tokyo, Miami, Penderecki, and Miro quartets. A performer in numerous music festivals, he has performed at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Bard Music Festival, and Music from Angel Fire, among others.

Melvin 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. Previously, he attended Yale University, receiving a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and physics, where he also studied with Boris Berman, Paul Kantor, and Ida Kavafian. Mr. Chen was previously on the piano faculty of the Bard College Conservatory of Music, where he was also associate director. He is also the artistic director of the chamber music program at the Hotchkiss Summer Portals. In 2012 he rejoined the faculty of the Yale School of Music, where he serves as Associate Professor (Adjunct) of Piano and Deputy Dean.