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Guest Artist Jihye Chang

Masterclass Wednesday, October 16 @ 3:00pm in the Daniel Recital Hall FREE

Recital Thursday, October 17 @ 8:00pm in the Daniel Recital Hall Tickets $10/7

Continuum 88: Season IV—Miniatures and Variations

This will be the first concert of Part IV of Chang’s ongoing solo piano project, "Continuum 88," in which she commissions, programs, premieres and performs new works by young composers along with masterpieces of the important genres of the piano literature. She will premiere four new works written for her and the series in this concert along with miniatures and variations by Chopin, Kurtag, Schubert, Juri Seo, and Schumann.

About Jihye Chang

Pianist Jihye Chang enjoys a diverse career as a performer, educator, scholar, recording artist, and advocate for new music in the United States and abroad. She has shared the stage with renowned musicians such as Chee-Yun, Frank Cohen, Andrés Diaz, Anton Kuerti, Giora Schmidt, and Richard Young, among others. She is a recipient of the Henry Kohn Award from the Tanglewood Music Center, an Honorary Fellowship from the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra, the Aaron Copland Recording Grant, and first prize of the Mikhashoff International Pianist-Composer Competition. She has appeared as a soloist with the Brevard Sinfonia, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Fargo Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, Montgomery Symphony Orchestra, Virtuosi of Festival Internacionale de Musica in Recife (Brazil), Wonjoo Philharmonic Orchestra (South Korea), and New Mexico State University Philharmonic. Recent performances and engagements include the Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth, Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series, Blue Candlelight Music Series in Dallas, San Francisco Center for New Music, Old First Church Concert Series of San Francisco, Ilshin Hall and Kumho Art Center in Seoul, and Tuesday Concert Series at Seoul National University.

Portrait of Jihye Chang.
Jihye Chang.

Her recordings can be found on labels including Sony/BMG Korea, Albany, Centaur, and Ravello/Parma. She has appeared in music festivals such as Virtuosi X Festival and Festival Inverno de Garanhuns in Brazil, Orleans Festival in France, Nuevo Mundo Festival y Academy in Aruba, and Lowcountry Chamber Music Festival. As a dedicated performer and a researcher of contemporary music, she has been invited to new music festivals and series at Studio 2021 Seoul National University, University of Louisville, Ball State University, and Brandeis University. Her specialty is piano etudes, and she has given recitals and lectures on this topic in various institutions and festivals. She collaborated on this topic with visual artist Min Oh, Hermes Foundation’s Artist of the Year 2017-8, resulting in a book entitled Etudes, published by Spectr Press in 2018. In 2019-2020, she will present a program of works by women composers, with concerts at Texas Christian University, U. C. Berkeley, and Boston Conservatory, among others.

Chang is currently in the midst of a multi-year project entitled "Continuum 88," an exploration of the solo piano literature in collaboration with young composers from Australia, Korea, and U.S.A., with concerts in Korea, Taiwan, and various venues in the U.S.A. The program for the 2018-2019 season focused on fantasies, and she led a short residency at University of Alabama-Huntsville as well as a guest artist concert at Georgia State College and Lipscomb University. In 2019-2020, she will focus on miniatures and variations with concerts in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Taiwan, Seoul, and Brevard.

Chang is also passionate about sharing music with younger audiences and has been working with the Rosemary Beach Foundation and its "Music in Pictures" project since 2012, which has reached more than 400 students every year. She is working on a series of books on famous classical composers for children in Korea. In the fall of 2019, Chang will launch the "Concerts with Daddies" project, bringing younger audiences and families together with musicians who are also daddies.

Chang graduated from Seoul National University, where she received the President’s Award, and earned her Master’s and Doctorate degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of György Sebök, Reiko Neriki, and Edward Auer. Chang served as a Visiting Assistant Professor in 2014 and is a Visiting Assistant Professor in lieu of lecturer at Florida State University since 2012. She is currently a faculty member at the Brevard Music Center and a core member of the Intersection Contemporary Ensemble. She is also the Artistic Director of "Piano Intensive at BMC," an intensive program for young pianists to focus on techniques and physical aspects of piano playing as well as the psychological aspects of being a musician.

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Guest Artist Robert Thies

Masterclass Wednesday, November 13 @ 3:00pm in the Daniel Recital Hall FREE

Recital February 21st @ 8:00pm in the Daniel Recital Hall Tickets $10/7

A pianist of "unerring, warm-toned refinement, revealing judicious glimmers of power," Robert Thies is an artist renowned for his consummate musicianship and poetic temperament. As a Steinway Artist and frequent recitalist in the United States and abroad, Robert has developed a reputation as a "genuine" and "sincere" artist, creating delicately balanced programs and performing in a manner to draw focus to the composer rather than to himself.

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About Robert Thies

Robert Thies first captured worldwide attention in 1995 when he won the Gold Medal at the Second International Prokofiev Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia. With this victory, Thies became the only American pianist to win first prize in a Russian piano competition since Van Cliburn’s famed triumph in Moscow in 1958.

Portrait of Robert Thies.
Robert Thies.

This victory brought accolades from the White House, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Governor Pete Wilson, and Mayor Richard Riordan. The Los Angeles City Council declared February 16, 1996 "Robert Edward Thies Day,"and Robert was featured on the July 1996 cover of Piano and Keyboard magazine. His win was announced in the International Herald Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times wrote a feature article,"Another American Pianist Invades Russia, Successfully."

Conductor Jorge Mester hails Robert "a genius", and Maestra JoAnn Falletta touted after a recent performance, "Conducting the Brahms Second Piano Concerto with Robert Thies was one of the most beautiful and deeply satisfying musical experiences of my life."

Praised for his "thoughtful and intensely moving interpretations" Thies enjoys a diverse career as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. He has already performed forty concerti with orchestras all over the world. In one season alone he performed thirteen different concerti, garnering consistent critical acclaim. He has appeared with such orchestras as the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, Liepāja Symphony (Latvia), Mexico City Philharmonic, the National Symphony of Mexico, Auckland Philharmonia (New Zealand), Louisville Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Pasadena Symphony, Des Moines Symphony, and the Naples Philharmonic. His concerts have been broadcast throughout the United States, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Bolivia, Hungary, Mexico, and New Zealand.

Under the sponsorship of Community Concerts, he completed a forty-city tour of the United States in 2001. In May 1999, he was honored with a special invitation to perform in the Hermitage Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, built for Empress Catherine the Great. His South American debut occurred in Cochabamba, Bolivia in 2002, and he has given recitals in Mexico, Germany, Austria, and Hungary.

Thies’s "grace and unsurpassed lyricism"are in high demand at festivals and special celebrations. In 2002, in conjunction with the Hollywood premiere of Roman Polanski’s film The Pianist, he performed WładysławSzpilman’s Concertino for Piano and Orchestra with the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony. That same year Thies earned national recognition for his collaboration with noted cultural historian and author, Joseph Horowitz, in the Pacific Symphony’s Dvořák in Americafestival. To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Arnold Schoenberg’s death, Thies was invited to Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artesin 2001 to perform the composer’s seldom-heard Piano Concerto with the National Symphony of Mexico, a memorized performance for which he received high critical acclaim. During the fall of 1997 Mr. Thies worked alongside distinguished late Polish composer Henryk Górecki in the United States premiere of his Piano Sonata. This collaboration was later documented in a 2012 Polish documentary entitled Please Find Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. In a commemorative gesture just after Górecki’s recent passing, Thies’ performance was broadcast on KUSC 91.5 FM Classical Radio. Thies has performed at the music festivals of Ravinia, Aspen, Sedona, Cape May, Music Academy of the West, Mostly Mozart, the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, High Desert Chamber Music, and the Port Townsend Chamber Music Festival.

In Los Angeles, Thies has worked with film composers James Newton Howard, the late James Horner, Danny Elfman, Mychael Danna, John Williams, and Lalo Schifrin, among others. His playing can be heard prominently in the 2015 film, Concussion, as well as in Mychael Danna’s Oscar winning score to The Life of Pi. In 2017 he was a featured soloist in Philip Glass’s score to Jane, a documentary about Jane Goodall, which was played live to picture at the Hollywood Bowl. He was a featured pianist on Danny Elfman’s concert piece: Serenada Schizophrana, and in 2015 and 2016, he was a featured musician inlive performances of Elfman’s A Nightmare Before Christmas at the Hollywood Bowl. In 2010 the Grammy winning conductor, Lucas Richman, invited him to join a full symphony orchestra on a North American tour of John Williams’ Star Wars in Concert.

Thies’s recordings can be found on the Centaur, Albany, Golden Tone, and Denouement Records labels. In 2017 he recorded Brahms’ two Sonatas for Clarinet and Piano with clarinetist David Sapadin. In 2015 with violinist Linda Wang, he recorded recently discovered masterpieces by Ravel and Messiaen. In 2014, he recorded two works of composer, Bruce Babcock, and a sonata by Bruce Broughton. He has also made numerous classical recordings for Yamaha Disklavier, featuring the music of Prokofiev, Ravel, Brahms, and Beethoven. He has premiered and recorded works written for him, such as Stu Phillip’s Variations for Piano and Orchestra, and Kevin Kaska’s Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra, and premieredand recorded many works by Grammy-nominated composer, Gernot Wolfgang.

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