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Mendelssohn & Schumann

Sean Chen

Sean Chen

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Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM
Sunday, March 8, 2015 at 2:00 PM

George Hanson, conductor
Sean Chen, piano

Beethoven: String Quartet No. 16, Lento assai (arr. Bernstein) TSO PREMIERE!
Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No. 1
Schumann: Symphony No. 2

George Hanson comes full circle with Schumann’s uplifting Symphony No. 2 from the first TSO program he conducted, February 2, 1995. Sean Chen, an American Pianists Association award winner, was also a prize winner at the 2013 Cliburn Competition, the first American to make the finals since 1997. He will make his TSO debut performing Mendelssohn’s Italianate, technically virtuosic First Piano Concerto with its rapturous themes.

Winner of the 2013 American Pianists Association’s DeHaan Classical Fellowship, Sean Chen is being hailed as a rising star with a “million--‐volt smile” and a “formidable set of fingers” (Dallas Morning News). The 27-year-old pianist has appeared as soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under Gerard Schwarz, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin, the  Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Corpus Christi, New West, Phoenix and San Diego symphony orchestras, and the Suwon City Philharmonic in South Korea. Last season Chen performed in recital at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

Highlights of Chen’s 2014-15 season include debuts with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, the symphony orchestras of Hartford,  Santa Fe, and Carmel, and his return to the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. He appears in recital in the Steinway Series at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Chen grew up in Los Angeles and earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Juilliard, where he won the 2010 Gina Bachauer Piano Competition.

Felix Mendelssohn was twenty-one years old when he composed his first piano concerto and dedicated it to a beautiful, young pianist, Delphine von Schauroth. The concerto was an instant success when he performed it in Munich and Mendelssohn remains among the most popular composers of the Romantic era.

In his work on the uplifting Symphony No. 2, Robert Schumann found relief from his poor health and ringing in his ears and even discovered renewed energy. He wrote to Mendelssohn, who conducted the premiere, “Although I began to feel like myself while working on the last movement, I recovered totally only after completing the entire piece.”

As he concludes his tenure as TSO Music Director and Conductor, George Hanson comes full circle with Schumann’s Symphony No. 2: he conducted it on his first TSO program, February 2, 1995. He chose the opening piece on this program, Beethoven’s final work, String Quartet Op. 135 Lento assai, as a way to look forward to Mahler’s Symphony No. 3. As he explains, “Mahler took Beethoven’s ‘farewell’ quartet and transformed a goodbye into a work looking to the future and all its possibilities. It seems an appropriate time for both me and the TSO to perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 as we all look ahead to the future.” Hanson will conduct Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 on March 13 and 15.

Concert Comments with the conductor and/or guest artists occur one hour prior to each performance.  Complimentary with purchase of concert ticket.

Sean Chen is teaching a master class for the TSO.  Master classes are free and open to the public.  Click here to learn more.