Monday, March 28, 2011

Taiwan News(2011,03,19):Austria-based pianist Chen to perform Russian ballet suites in Taiwan

Austria-based pianist Chen to perform Russian ballet suites in Taiwan By Yali ChenTaiwan News, Staff Reporter

2011-03-19 10:56 AM

Austria-based pianist Rueibin Chen is set to hold his recitals in Taiwan from March to April. Central News Agency

Internationally acclaimed Austria-based pianist Rueibin Chen is scheduled to hold his recitals in Taiwan from March to April. These concerts feature the world’s best-known Russian ballet suites. Playing famous orchestral scores on the piano was very challenging, Chen said, adding that but if a pianist plays really well, audiences will find greater pleasure in the pianist’s recital than in a 90-member orchestra performance. The first-half program of Chen’s concerts will open with Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Ballet Suite, Op. 75, followed by Russian pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff’s 18th Variation from Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, and Russian composer Peter Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker from the Ballet Suite Op.71a. The second half includes Polish composer Frederic Chopin’s Nocturne in C minor Op.48 No. 1 and Barcarolle in F-sharp major Op.60, and ends with Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s Three Movements from Petrushka Ballet Suite. A big fan of Russian classical ballet, Chen played Petrushka on the piano at the age of 17. When he was younger, he said, his performance of Russian music was focused more on technical skills and how fast his fingers could move on the piano. But as he matured, he began to play with a touch of Russia – he called it Russian spirituality. These pieces, Chen said, are also famous soundtracks to the films “The Pianist,” “Somewhere In Time” and “Fantasia,” as well as a Japanese television serial “Nodame Cantabile.” Chen, born in Tainan in 1967, learned to play the piano at the age of five under his father’s teaching. Eight years later, he went to Vienna, Austria, and obtained Austrian citizenship in 1999. The Tainan-born pianist, the only Asian disciple of the late Russian pianist Lazar Berman, has lived overseas for many years. He graduated from the Vienna Academy of Music City and the German National Institute of Music in Hannover in the eighties. After winning in the International Piano Competition of Rachmaninoff in 1984, the soloist began shining at many international piano competitions held in Warsaw, Tel Aviv, Salt Lake City, Athens, Vienna, Spain and Italy. Working with the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra at Shanghai Oriental Art Center, Chen was the first Taiwanese musician to perform the famous piece “Yellow River Piano Concerto” during the opening season of the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China. To mark the bicentennial birth date of Franz Liszt, the virtuoso Hungarian virtuoso pianist, Chen will perform some pieces of that composer’s works as his Taiwanese recitals’ encores. The concerts will be held at the National Concert Hall in Taipei on March 20, at the Sun Yat-sen Hall of the National Sun Yat-sen University in Kaohsiung on March 25, and Taichung Chung-hsin Hall on April 6. Tickets are now available at