Friday, June 4, 2010

John Chen

John Chen, age 16, is from Lovettsville, Virginia. His Solo program will be performed Saturday, June 5 at 2:45:

(Note to reader: the writing "John Chen #1" is only a number label for the order he sent pictures!)

FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN Nocturne no. 7 in C-sharp minor, Opus 27, no. 1

FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN Étude no. 23 in A minor, Opus 25, no. 11


LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Sonata in B-flat major, Opus 106, “Hammerklavier”
I. Allegro
IV. Largo – Allegro risoluto


John will perform his Duo, Concerto, and Solo program Monday at 4:35 p.m.

FRANZ LISZT Reminiscences de Don Juan, S.418

JOHANNES BRAHMS Sonata for violin and piano no. 2 in A major, Opus 100
I. Allegro amabile

FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN Concerto no. 2 in F minor, Opus 21
1. Maestoso



When he was five, John Chen moved from Beijing, China, to the United States. He discovered a new country and new love – playing the piano. His life has not been the same since. Today he is a high school junior in Virginia, a Jack Kent Cooke Young Scholar, and a student at The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division where he studies with Matti Raekallio. But John’s life has had challenges, too. One was finding a place to live where he could play the piano over eight hours each day.

Moving to a location where he could practice, he began to “play music for the world to enjoy.” By age eleven, he won the grand prize in the World Piano Competition. By twelve, he had performed in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall five times. He won first prize in Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association Concerto Competition and performed Camille Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto no. 2 in G minor with the World Festival Orchestra in Cincinnati. At thirteen, he performed Peter Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto no. 1 in B-flat minor in Russia’s State Glinka Capella Concert Hall with the Saint Petersburg Orchestra. After winning a concerto competition in The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division, John performed Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto no. 1 in E-flat major with the Pre-College Orchestra at Lincoln Center. Last February, John won first prize in the National Symphony Orchestra’s Young Soloist Competition. In July, he will once again perform Tchaikovsky’s piano concerto, this time with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D. C.

John still finds time to play at the Northern Virginia Sunrise Assisted Living residence and to give benefit concerts for Leesburg’s Loudoun Country Day School to provide scholarships for students of talent from diverse backgrounds.

What does he do in his spare time? John likes to read about everything, ride his bike, watch movies, and listen to operas, symphonies, and sound tracks of movie music. He says that one of the reasons he is participating in the PianoArts competition is because “it measures an all rounded musician instead of a playing machine.”

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