Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Young pianist Ku and his proud parents


Taiwanese-Austrian pianist to perform with disabled teenagers

Taipei, March 19 (CNA) Taiwanese-Austrian pianist Rueibin Chen will perform with three young disabled musicians at two concerts later this week in Taiwan, event organizers announced Monday.

The unique events mark the first time that Chen, who has won many international awards, will do so with mentally or physically challenged people, they said at a news conference.

With exceptional musical skills, the three high school students were selected from dozens of teenage applicants around
Taiwan, they added.

Describing how tough it was to choose three from many talented applicants, Chen said it was really touching to listen to the recordings of their performances with his eyes closed.

"I hope the events will help the public to experience the special talent of disabled musicians," Chen said at the news conference, where he played two classical pieces with one of the students, Ku Yuan-kai, who suffers from autism.

During practice sessions with Ku in the run-up to the concerts, Chen said that the 17-year-old did not always reply to his instruction verbally, but showed his response through his musical performance.

"I felt that he was responding to my instruction with his heart," Chen said.

Chen also offered advice to the young musical talents on how to play before a large audience.

"Your music has to be heard by a member of the audience who is sitting in the most distant corner of the concert hall," Chen said.

A total of 650 free tickets will be provided for mentally or physically challenged students, as well as social welfare groups that help the disabled, the organizers said.

Titled "Rueibin Chen and Friends," the 1.5-hour concert will debut in the southern Taiwanese city of
Tainan March 23, followed by one in Taipei the next day.

(By Elaine Hou)