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Frederic Chiu Returns to the South Berkshire Concerts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2009

Contact:  Alice Myers
               Events Editor and Publicist
               Bard College at Simon’s Rock
               alicem@simons-rock.edu
               (413) 538-7443

Frederic Chiu Returns to the South Berkshire Concerts

GREAT BARRINGTON, MA—On Saturday, March 28, South Berkshire Concerts at Simon’s Rock will feature artist-in-residence Frederic Chiu in a program of solo piano music commemorating the 200th birthday of Felix Mendelssohn.  Mr. Chiu’s concert will take place at 8 pm in the McConnell Auditorium of the Daniel Arts Center, and will be preceded by a conversation with series director and faculty member Larry Wallach.  The conversation will begin at 7 pm in the adjoining Liebowitz Theater.  Admission to the concert is free, with a suggested donation of $10.  For further information and directions to the campus, call 413-528-7212, or look on the web at southberkshireconcerts.org.
   
The program begins with two major piano works of Mendelssohn’s, one not so familiar and the other well known.  The less-frequently-heard piece is the Sonata in E major, op. 6 which Mendelssohn composed at the age of 17 as an “homage” to Beethoven, whose Sonata op. 101 provided a kind of model.  Mendelssohn was perhaps the greatest musical prodigy of Western music who wrote some of his finest works, such as the “Midsummer Night’s Dream” overture and the Octet for strings within a year of this work.  The more famous item on the program is the Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso which is loved by generations of up-and-coming piano students for its emotional richness and delightful sparkle, but which at the same time is cursed by them for its tricky digital challenges.  Completing the program will be a selection of Chopin’s Etudes, three major works by Liszt from his collection “Years of Pilgrimage, Italy,” and Mr. Chiu’s own piano transcription of an excerpt from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.  Mr. Chiu’s previous appearance at Simon’s Rock in November 2006 featured an entire program of transcriptions, including some done by the pianist himself.  
  
 Frederic Chiu's intriguing piano-playing and teaching springs from a diverse set of experiences and interests - his Asian/American/ European background, his musical training, and an early and ongoing exploration of artificial intelligence and human psychology, especially the body-mind-heart connection. With over 20 CDs on the market, Frederic Chiu’s repertoire includes the complete work of Prokofiev as well as popular classics of Chopin, Liszt and others, and lesser known masterpieces of Mendelssohn and Rossini, with a special place for the piano transcription. Many have been singled out, such as "Record of the Year" by Stereo Review, "Top 10 recordings" by the New Yorker, with raves from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, including a review of a chamber music concert at Lincoln Center on March 9 in which Vivian Schweitzer wrote “The fine pianist Frederic Chiu played the fiery chromatic scales of Prokofiev’s dark-hued Étude No. 3 in C minor (from Four Études for Piano, Op. 2) with aplomb….”