Wednesday, August 11, 2010

CNA(2010/08/10): Taiwanese pianist expresses deep affinity with two 'river' concertos

Taiwanese pianist expresses deep affinity with two 'river' concertos
2010/08/10 CNA
The music inspired by two rivers on either side of the Taiwan Strait should be performed back to back at one concert to highlight the similarities and unique differences in sentiment and influences, according to a renowned Taiwanese musician.
Concert pianist Rueibin Chen, who has played both the Yellow River and Love River concertos for international audiences, said the two pieces resonate deeply with him.
The Yellow River Piano Concerto is always a big challenge because of the emotional associations it elicits, he said in a recent interview with the Central News Agency."I must control the overwhelming emotions evoked by the epic music, which, in my mind, becomes scenes that reflect the legacies of contemporary Chinese history," he said.
Three of Chen's most recent concerts featured the Yellow River Concerto, which is the best-known Chinese composition in the world. He performed as the piano soloist in a 200-member orchestra of mostly Chinese instruments in Hong Kong early this year, and later was accompanied by a symphony orchestra at a concert in the northern Chinese city of Tientsin. His most recent performance was in Shanghai in May."
I first learned about the Yellow River concerto when I was a music student in Vienna in the early 1980s," he said.A Chinese musician told Chen the story of the concerto, which is based on the Yellow River Cantata that was composed by Xian Xinghai of China during World War II (1937-1945) when Sino-Japanese conflict was at a peak."I was deeply moved by the story of the struggle of the nation and the people, and have since tried to comprehend the nuances which reflect a very Chinese sentiment."Although he moved from Taiwan to Vienna at the age of 12, Chen said, he is still very Chinese."
Also, probably because I have traveled to China many times since the 1980s on concert tours, I feel very connected to the music, " he said.Chen's first visit to China was more than 10 years ago, long after the Cultural Revolution that inspired some of the music that was later added to the concerto."
Over the past years, I've seen changes in the land and among the people, and the music of Yellow River always conjures up many images of the past, " he said. "Like a river of history, it reveals so much about the misery, frustration and perseverance of the people and the land.
"The fourth movement of the concerto, which has been described by critics as too politically loaded and militaristic, has been edited many times and the various editions have been given different interpretations by pianists and orchestras.
But Chen said that for him the most moving version of the piece is the original Yellow River Cantata composed by Xian Xinghai.However, at his recent concerts in Hong Kong, Tientsin and Shanghai, Chen performed a version that was edited in the 1960s and in which the melody of The East Is Red -- the de facto anthem of the People's Republic of China during the Cultural Revolution -- recurs consistently.
"The Yellow River Piano Concerto arranged by Yin Chengxong and Chu Wanghua in 1969 has become popular again in China after being banned on concert stages when the Cultural Revolution ended, " he said.The East Is Red music in the fourth movement is no longer considered taboo because it is now associated more with China's rising power in the 21st century than with the haunting memories of the Cultural Revolution, Chen said."Some renowned Chinese and Western pianists have picked up the piece and made it the best known Chinese piano concerto in the world," he said.
Not that there are many piano concertos by ethnic Chinese composers, he noted. One of the few is the Love River Piano Concerto, composed by Taiwanese Lu Liang-hui in 2006."The mood of the Love River Piano Concerto is comparable to the Yellow River Piano Concerto because they both combine Western music methodology with elements of Chinese music," he said.
The Love River Piano Concerto uses piano and Chinese musical instruments to portray the seasonal scenery along the Love River in southern Taiwan.Chen and the Kaohsiung City Chinese Orchestra have given a series of highly acclaimed performances of the piece in Taiwan, the United States, Australia and New Zealand."
I can detect the influence of Russian Romanticism in both concertos -- Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov in particular, " Chen said. "Actually, I was amazed when a music critic in Tientsin told me that he was sure my interpretation of the Yellow River music was inspired by Russian Romanticism."He admitted that despite his training in Austria and Germany and his admiration for Beethoven, he always falls for the passion of Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Liszt and Rachmaninov.
The pianist said that he would like to perform the two "river" concertos, which are each approximately 20 minutes long, at one concert.The Yellow River Piano Concerto has never been performed in Taiwan, and people on mainland China probably do not know about the Love River composition, he said.
"I always believe that music is the best medium through which to forge affinity," Chen said. "In the Yellow River and Love River pieces, you can find similarities, and at the same time, appreciate the uniqueness of each."

Friday, July 30, 2010

CNA News(2010/07/27): Greater Tainan to host chamber music festival in December

Tainan, July 27 (CNA) Several heavyweight musicians from Europe will perform and give master classes at the First Chamber Music Festival hosted by Greater Tainan City on Dec. 6-11, a cultural ambassador of Tainan County told the Central News Agency on Tuesday.

Pianist Rueibin Chen said he and the county government's Department of Cultural Affairs have planned the music event to celebrate the merger and elevation of status of the Greater Tainan region.The music festival -- the first of its kind in southern Taiwan -- will be held immediately after the Dec. 4 election for mayors of the island's five major cities.

Chen, a Taiwanese-Austrian musician, was brought up in Tainan as a child before he moved to Austria 30 years ago. He told CNA he was excited to be able to invite renowned musicians, including violinist and conductor Manuel Briega from Spain, German cellist and conductor Peter Bruns, French violist Pierre Lenert and British violinist Justine Chen, to bring a musical sensation to southern Taiwan.

During the six-day festival, chamber music groups from Europe and Asia will present a series of concerts at the Tainan County Music Hall.The sponsor will also select three chamber music groups, each with two to four young musicians aged between 16 and 28, to take the stage with the masters from Europe.
"It is a marvelous opportunity for local chamber music groups aspiring to have international encounters," Chen said.Music groups interested in the contest should contact the Department of Cultural Affairs before Aug. 6, he added.

Source: CNA News

Taiwan News(2010/06/02):Pianist Rueibin Chen to Perform Chopin's Works

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pianist Rueibin Chen's "Love is spreading" concert on June 19 in Tainan City

Pianist Rueibin Chen's Love is Spreading Concert

Programmes: Piano Solo/Soprano/Two-piano Performance

Time: June 19, 2010

Relevant News Stories:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

June 19 : Pianist Rueibin Chen's Let Love Spread - A Two-piano Concert in Tainan Municipal Cultural Center

Koh-Chang Education Foundation Pianist Rueibin Chen’s

Let Love Spread - A Two-piano Concert
Time: 2010/06/19 19:30
Venue: Tainan Municipal Cultural Center
Ticket Information: Please click here
Pianist - Rueibin Chen  and Soprano -Fan-Fung Huang
Puccini: Oh! Mio babbino caro
Puccini: Quando m'en vo (Musetta's Waltz) from Opera La Boheme
Puccini: Chi il bel sogno di Doretta from Opera La Rondine
Mozart: Der Hoelle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen
Gounod: Je veux vivre from Opera Romeo et Juliette
Piano Solo:  Pianist Rueibin ChenBach: Gounod : Ave Maria
Chopin : Nocturne in C sharp minor ,Op posth.
Chopin : Ballade No.1 in g minor
Two-piano performancePianist Rueibin Chen & guest Pianist
Brahms : Sonata for 2 Pianos in f minor Op.34b
Tainan Municipal Cultural Center
Address:No.332, Sec. 3, Jhonghua E. Rd., East District, Tainan City 701, Taiwan (R.O.C.) TEL:06-2692864

Relevant information in Chinese, please click here.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

(CNA NEWS:2010/06/01)Taiwanese pianist to commemorate Chopin in Taipei concert

Taiwanese pianist to commemorate Chopin in Taipei concert
(CNA NEWS: 2010/06/01 23:07:12)

Taipei, June 1 (CNA) World renowned Taiwanese pianist Chen Ruei-bin gave a mini-concert at a press conference Tuesday as a preview to a June 6 solo concert in Taipei to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Polish composer and pianist Frederic Chopin's birth.

The pianist, who comes from southern Taiwan and honed his musical skills in Austria and Germany, told CNA he is excited to play in front of local music lovers for the first time in three years in Taiwan's first full Chopin concert held at the National Concert Hall.

Chen, who was taught piano by his father from the age of 5 and went to Vienna, Austria aged 12 on a state-funded scholarship, has won 18 medals in various international competitions. He has spent most of his career overseas and most of his time traveling and performing.

The virtuoso launched a Chopin 200 commemoration tour in 2008 that has taken him from the United States to Australia and New Zealand and from Europe to China and Hong Kong during the last three years.

Chen said he has played Chopin since he was a teenager, when his interpretations of Chopin received high acclaim from Austrian media and music critics.

"Looking back, my performance at the time would not even interest me now because it was not that good. As I'm now older and have experienced setbacks, challenges and heartache, I think I am able to interprete Chopin's works better, " he said. (By Chris Wang) ENDITEM/J

Also see here: CNA NEWS

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

All Chopin Solo Recital ~ on June 6

Chopin Solo Recital
(Video from the press conference)

Please join us on 6/6 for Pianist Rueibin Chen's solo Chopin recital - a concert dedicated to his parents and particularly his father who was his piano teacher until leaving Taiwan for Austria as the youngest student at the time to attend the  Vienna Conservatory.

Pianist Rueibin Chen - Chopin Solo Recital at Taiwan's National Concert Hall on June 6

To commenmarate Chopin's 200th annivesary, Pianist Rueibin Chen has been touring around the world in the last three years performing his much sought-after All Chopin solo recitals.  As a grand finale to his 3-year long world tour; on June 6, 2010, he will be invited by Yuanta Foundation to perform in Taiwan's first ever All-Chopin concert held at the National Concert Hall.

The concert is almost completely sold out with a very limited number of mostly single seats available. 
For more tickets information: please click here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pianist Rueibin Chen to perform the Yellow River Concerto on May 21 for the World Expo in Shanghai

It is a great honour for Pianist Rueibin Chen to be invited to perform the famous "Yellow River Concerto" in Shanghai, China during the opening ceremony of 2010 World Expo on May 21 (Friday) in Shanghai, China. He will be collaborating with Shanghai Chinese Orchestra at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center.
This will be a great concert as a follow-up to the sold-out performances of the same concerto in Hong Kong and Tianjin, China. 
Soloist Rueibin Chen & the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra
Conductor:Wang Hujian
The Yellow River Concerto
The Tender Music of Spring II
Dated:    May 21 (Friday) 19:30 pm
Venue:   Shanghai Oriental Art Center in Shanghai, China

Relevant tickets and progamme information in Chinese, please click here
More News Stories about the Performance for your references:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pianist Rueibin Chen - All-Chopin Solo Recital at Taiwan's National Concert Hall on June 6

(Please click on the above link for a video of the Live Performance at the press conference)

To commenmorate the 200th anniversary of Chopin's birth, world-renowed Pianist Rueibin Chen has been invited by the Yuanta Foundation to perform in Taiwan's first ever All-Chopin concert to be held at the National Concert Hall.   Please join us on 6/6!