Bard at Beattie season opens with piano prodigy - Columbia-Greene Media: News

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Bard at Beattie season opens with piano prodigy

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Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 2:43 am

CATSKILL — Catskill’s home to the best in classical music will open its doors again on Sunday, Feb. 10, as Beattie-Powers Place kicks off its 2013 season of “Bard at Beattie” with an afternoon performance by award-winning Taiwanese pianist Chi-Hui Yen.

Chi-Hui is in her fifth year of study at Bard College’s Conservatory of Music, learning under the skills of master piano performers and instructors Melvin Chen and Peter Serkin, both of whom are well recognized as such in the classical music world.

She has also studied under famed German-born pianist Rolf-Peter Wille and noted Boston-based cellist Ming-Hui Lin.

Sunday’s concert by Chi-Hui will feature five works — two by Bach, and one each by Beethoven, Ravel, and Schumann — and will fill the performance area with the sounds of an artist whose talent has already won her significant awards.

Chi-Hui began playing piano at the age of four, and at age 11 won three major titles — the 2002 Taipei International Chopin Piano Competition, in which she was also the youngest competitor, the 2002 Mauro Paolo Monopli International Piano Competition, in Barletta, Italy, and the 2002 Young Artists Concerto Competition.

The very next year, 2003, she made her solo debut at Taipei Zhongshan Hall, and in 2009, after coming to Bard — where she is pursuing a B.A. in Economics — she won the Bard College Conservatory of Music’s Annual Concerto Competition, performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1.

Then, in the autumn of 2010, Chi-Hui played two subscription concerts at Bard College’s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts with the American Symphony Orchestra, and later she was selected in the summer of 2012 to participate in Switzerland’s Verbier Festival.

Following that, she took grad-level coursework as part of a “study abroad” program with Central European University, and then studied with Hungarian master pianist Andras Kemenes at the Liszt Academy of Music, in Budapest.

In addition, she has participated in a strong selection of master classes during her studies, all taught by similarly great instructors.

Sunday’s program at Beattie-Powers will include both Bach’s Fantasia and Fugue in A minor (Bach Works Catalogue 904), as well as Beethoven’s Piano Sonata #30 in E major (Opus — meaning work or labor — 109), and Ravel’s suite of waltzes, “Valses nobles et Sentimentales” (Waltzes, Noble and Sentimental) -- and all before the intermission.

After the break, Chi-Hui will perform Schumann’s Carnaval (Op.9).

The performance is free, with donations welcome at the door, and begins at 2 p.m.

Beattie-Powers Place is located on Prospect Ave., at its intersection with Bridge St., in Catskill.

For more information, visit


To reach reporter Jim Planck, call 518-943-2100, ext. 3324, or e-mail

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