With her prodigious technique, sensitive musicality and an adventurous sense of programming, pianist Jenny Q Chai is a welcome, excellent addition to the Ariel roster. Her passionate performances of a wide range of music and styles – from Beethoven, Schumann, and Debussy through Cage, Ligeti, Marco Stroppa, and Nils Vigeland – offer contexts that illuminate, inspire and delight.
“Some young performers specialize in contemporary music because they think it is important to do so or to acquire a hip professional profile. The best reason to play new music is because it fascinates you. The Chinese-born, 28-year-old American pianist Jenny Q Chai demonstrated true affinity for contemporary music throughout the challenging program she played on Thursday night at Zankel Hall.” – Anthony Tommasini for THE NEW YORK TIMES
“Chai is known for her playing and her programs that demolish distinctions between past and present and show that the Western classical tradition is an endless flow…She plays the music with great skill, intelligence and commitment, but she doesn’t belabor her points or our need to hear what she hears, and as a critical listener I have utmost respect for that.” – George Grella, SEQUENZA 21
Watch video here from the recital Grella is reviewing, from May 2013 at SpectrumNYC.
Chai has performed at New York venues such as Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, (le) Poisson Rouge, Roulette, Symphony Space, and the Stone, and recently made her Chicago debut playing Schumann’s Kreisleriana at the Dame Myra Hess Series (listen to that performance on WFMT.)
Splitting her time between New York City and Shanghai, Jenny Q Chai serves on the Board of Directors for the New York City-based contemporary music organization Ear to Mind and is the founder and president of FaceArt Music InterNations in Shanghai, CHINA, a contemporary performance space, educational center, and cultural exchange organization dedicated to contemporary music. Chai played the first contemporary solo piano concert in China last June at the National Performing Arts Center in Beijing; and she also had the privilege of introducing the concept of prepared piano to a Chinese audience, with the world premiere of Mallet Dance by John Slover in Shanghai Concert Hall.
This September, she will perform her lecture/recital program,“Infinity of Piano,” with works by Debussy, Kurtag, Scarlatti, Marco Stroppa, Henry Cowell, Annie Gosfield and others at the Shanghai Concert Hall, and in August she will hit the recording studio with Nils Vigeland to record works he wrote specifically for her, for future release by Naxos.
Read more Jenny Q Chai news.