Piano Virtuoso Frederic Chiu to Perform Debussy-Prokofiev ‘Smackdown’ at Simon’s Rock

Frederic Chiu (photo Chris Craymer)

Frederic Chiu (photo Chris Craymer)

(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Pianist Frederic Chiu will perform a program of favorite compositions by two 20th-century master pianist-composers, Claude Debussy and Serge Prokofiev, in his fourth appearance at South Berkshire Concerts in the McConnell Auditorium at Simon’s Rock College on Sunday, April 12 at 3pm. This performance is part of a series that Chiu has offered over the past several years that pits great composers against each other in a competition for audience preference. The event includes a polling of the audience following the performance to see which composer emerges as the favorite. Statistics from previous such concerts indicate a very close split in the vote among the listeners.

Frederic Chiu’s intriguing piano-playing and teaching springs from a diverse set of experiences and interests: his Asian/American/European background, musical training, and an early and ongoing exploration of artificial intelligence and human psychology, focusing on the body-mind-heart connection.

With over 20 CDs on the market, his repertoire includes the complete work of Prokofiev as well as popular classics of Chopin, Liszt among multiple others. 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. His most recent recordings demonstrate his wide range: Beethoven/Liszt “Symphony V”, “Carnival of the Animals” with David Gonzalez, and “Hymns and Dervishes”, music by Gurdjieff/de Hartmann.

Frederic Chiu has toured in Europe and the US, performing with major orchestras, and his musical partners include Joshua Bell, Pierre Amoyal, Elmar Oliveira, Gary Hoffman, David Krakauer, Matt Haimovitz and the St. Lawrence, Shanghai and Daedalus string quartets.

Chiu is also committed to expanding the place of classical music. He has created unusual collaborations with personalities outside the world of Classical music, such as the Shakespearean actor Brian Bedford and psychologist/writer/clown Howard Buten. He worked with the hip-hop artist Socalled in the Messiaen Remix project. He does extensive work with children through concert/lectures for schools, and has brought classical music to places where it is rarely heard. Currently, he is performing with David Gonzalez in the classics “Peter and the Wolf” and “Carnival of the Animals”, transcribed for solo piano and narrator.

Admission to this concert is free with a suggested donation of $10. For further information, call 413-528-7212.

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