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Arx Duo: Atlas with Qing Jiang and Sean Chen, piano & Nick DiBerardino, composer
November 18, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
Community Outreach And Educational Events
|Monday, November 18||3:45 Masterclass at Bellevue West High School
6:30 Pre-Concert Talk with Nick DiBerardino, composer
7:00 p.m. Arx Duo In Concert
Reception & Post-Concert Q&A with Performers
This thirty-minute musical odyssey will be composed in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Its adventurous new music will contemplate space in all its multifaceted meanings: it will evoke “space” in the cosmic, celestial sense, “space” in the sense of (sometimes-vast) emptiness, and “space” in the more personal sense of those connections and distances we experience amongst and between one another. The work will be designed around a single piano, so that each of the four players meaningfully navigates the space on stage, charting many possibilities for interaction between percussion, piano, performer, and audience. As the listeners experience a sonic journey that travels through imaginary worlds both immense and intimate, the performers will also move, configuring in ways that spread them far apart and cluster them close together, sometimes even elbow to elbow. The piece will celebrate the art of creation, exploring sonic spaces with a sense of wonder about the universe, the spaces we inhabit within it, and the spaces we might someday traverse.
About Nick DiBerardino, Composer
Rhodes Scholar Nick DiBerardino (b.1989) depicts vivid, fantastical journeys, transporting listeners to imaginary places with a distinctive sense of harmony, melodic lyricism, and intricate contrapuntal layering. He crafts his pieces around broad, often overtly dramatic narrative arcs, embracing idiosyncratic forms and always working to engage and challenge listeners with his art. Nick’s chamber music has been performed by the Zora, Iris, and Brentano String Quartets, arx duo, Sandbox Percussion, the Israeli Chamber Project, the New College Choir, Tony Arnold, Blair McMillen, Tara O’Connor, Soovin Kim, the American Composers Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, and many other ensembles and artists. He has received recognition from many institutions, including ASCAP and the American Composers Forum, and his chamber music has been premiered at prestigious venues around the world, including Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and London’s Barbican Centre.
Nick DiBerardino Online
Listen to Nick’s orchestral work “Of All This Unintelligible World” on YouTube
Listen to Nick’s solo cello work “Oracle” on YouTube
About arx duo
Aspiring to expand the genre of percussion chamber music, arx duo is dedicated to the creation and presentation of new works involving percussion, as well as the education of young artists striving to engage with audiences through the creation of new works. They have had premiere performances throughout the globe, conducted workshops on three continents, and worked with a variety of composers and artists to bring new creations to audiences everywhere.
Early in 2018, arx duo premiered Dominic Murcott’s Harmonic Canon at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in the U.K. This summer, they will perform as the Ensemble in Residence at Artosphere Music Festival in Fayetteville, Arkansas. They continually perform recitals and collaborative concerts throughout the U.S. As members of The Percussion Collective Robert van Sice, now in its opening season, they premiered Garth Neustadter’s Seaborne this year, and have presented concerts and master classes at multiple universities.
With a repertoire ranging from established masters to today’s newest compositional voices, arx duo has worked closely with composers such as Alejandro Viñao, James Wood, and Ted Hearne. Mari and Garrett have served as artists in residence at Michigan State University and Lake George Music Festival, and currently are Faculty at the Young Artist Summer Program at Curtis Summerfest.
The name “arx duo” comes from the artists’ desire to forge new connections and artistic pathways or “arcs” within the genre, expanding the opportunities for their music to reach new audiences.
arx duo online
Listen to arx duo perform Stravinsky’s ‘Tango’ on YouTube
Watch arx duo perform ‘Table Talk’ by Alyssa Weinberg on YouTube
About Qing Jiang
Praised by the New York Times as a “fiery musician” whose playing is “vigorous and passionate,” pianist Qing Jiang enjoys a diverse career in solo, chamber, contemporary music. She has appeared in Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Jordan Hall, Steinway Hall, and the Isabella Gardner Museum, as well as in the UK’s Snape Maltings Hall, and China’s Central Conservatory in Beijing. In 2015-16, Ms. Jiang received glowing reviews for her concerto performance with the Chattanooga Symphony, the Adrian Symphony, and the Britten-Pears Orchestra in England under Maestro Oliver Knudsen. Upcoming engagements include a six-city concert tour in China with Laurie Smukler, Roger Tapping, and Natasha Brofsky, concerto performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Bucknell University Orchestra, and solo recital at the LACMA “Sundays Live” series in Los Angeles. Ms. Jiang has worked directly with composers Brett Dean, Jennifer Higdon, Jorg Widmann, Colin Matthews.
Listen to Qing Jiang performances on SoundCloud
About Sean Chen
A “thoughtful musician well beyond his years” (The Republic), pianist Sean Chen shares his “alluring, colorfully shaded renditions” (New York Times) and “genuinely sensitive”
(LA Times) playing with audiences around the world in solo and chamber recitals, concerto performances, and masterclasses. After winning the 2013 American PianistsAwards, placing third at the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and being named a 2015 Annenberg Fellow, Mr. Chen is now a Millsap Artist in Residenceat the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.
Mr. Chen has performed with many prominent orchestras, including the Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Kansas City, San Diego, Knoxville, Hartford, Louisiana Philharmonic, Milwaukee, North Carolina, Pasadena, Phoenix, Santa Fe, and New West Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Chamber Orchestras of Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and South Bay. He has collaborated with such esteemed conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Michael Stern, Gerard Schwarz, Nicholas McGegan, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Marcelo Lehninger, and James Judd. Solo recitals have brought him to major venues worldwide, including Jordan Hall in Boston, Subculture in New York City, the American Art Museum at theSmithsonian in Washington, D.C., the National Concert Hall in Taipei, Het Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Salle Cortot in Paris.
Mr. Chen has served on the juries of notable piano competitions, including the Thailand International Piano Competition, West Virginia International Piano Competition, Cleveland International Piano Competition for Young Artists, and Steinway competitions around the country. Given his natural inclination for teaching and approachable personality, Mr. Chen is particularly in demand for residencies that combine performances with master classes, school concerts, and artist conversations, which have brought him to such institutions as the Cleveland School of Music, Indiana University, University of British Columbia, University of Houston Moores School, Spotlight Awards at the Los Angeles Music Center, Young Artist World Piano Festival,and several Music Teachers’ Associations throughout the country.
Mr. Chen has been featured in both live and recorded performances on WQXR (New York), WFMT (Chicago), WGBH (Boston), WFYI (Indianapolis), KPR (Kansas), NPR’s From the Top, and American Public Media’s Performance Today. Additional media coverage includes a profile featured on the cover of Clavier Companion in May 2015, recognition as “One to Watch” by International Piano Magazine in March 2014, and inclusion in WFMT’s “30 Under 30.”
His CD releases include La Valse, a solo recording on the Steinway label, hailed for “penetrating artistic intellect” (Audiophile Audition); a live recording from the Cliburn Competition released by harmonia mundi, praised for his “ravishing tone and cogently contoured lines” (Gramophone); an album of Michael Williams’s solo piano works on the Parma label; and a recent album of Flute, Oboe, and Piano repertoire titled KaleidosCoping with colleagues Michael Gordon and Celeste Johnson. Mr. Chen has also contributed to the catalog of Steinway’s new Spirio system.
A multifaceted musician, Mr. Chen also transcribes, composes, and improvises. His transcriptions of such orchestral works as Ravel’s La Valse, Mozart’s Overture to the Marriage of Figaro, and the Adagio movement of Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2, have been received with glowing acclaim and enthusiasm, and his encore improvisations are lauded as “genuinely brilliant” (Dallas Morning News). His Prelude in F# was commissioned by fellow pianist Eric Zuber, and subsequently performed in New York. An advocate of new music, he has also collaborated with several composers and performed their works, including Lisa Bielawa, Jennifer Higdon, Michael Williams, Nicco Athens, Michael Gilbertson, and Reinaldo Moya.
Born in Florida, Mr. Chen grew up in the Los Angeles area of Oak Park, California. His impressive achievements before college include the NFAA ARTSweek, Los Angeles Music Center’s Spotlight, and 2006 Presidential Scholars awards. These honors combined with diligent schoolwork facilitated offers of acceptance by MIT, Harvard, and The Juilliard School. Choosing to study music, Mr. Chen earned his Bachelor and
Master of Music from Juilliard, meanwhile garnering several awards, most notably the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. He received his Artist Diploma in 2014 at the Yale School of Music as a George W. Miles Fellow. His teachers include Hung-Kuan Chen, Tema Blackstone, Edward Francis, Jerome Lowenthal, and Matti Raekallio.
Mr. Chen resides in Kansas City, Missouri with his wife, Betty, a violinist in the Kansas City Symphony. When not at the piano, Mr. Chen enjoys tinkering with computers, and exploring math, science, and programming. Mr. Chen is a Steinway Artist.