An artist of singular vision, pianist Jenny Q Chai begins the season with a a global slate of concerts and a new album.
Already this month, Chai completed a residency in Paris at the Centre Pompidou’s IRCAM with composer Jaroslaw Kapuscinki, where they collaborated on a music/visual art/artificial intelligence program, Antescofo, designed by Marco Stroppa. (Watch a video of Chai in action with Antescofo here.)
Now she heads to New York to celebrate the release of a new digital album from Naxos, Life Sketches: Piano Music of Nils Vigeland with a special performance at Spectrum. (In that program, she’ll interleave works by Vigeland with new and recent works by some of her other close composer collaborators, Marco Stroppa and Kapuscinki.)
The album is the result of a long collaboration between Vigeland and Chai; they first met when he served as her theory professor while she was studying for her master’s degree. During that time, she studied and performed his Life Sketches (1994), and this led to him writing his 2010 work Five Pieces, written for, premiered by, and dedicated to her. As Vigeland explains, “The different texture of each of the pieces was intended to give Jenny every opportunity to utilize her varied and remarkable gifts of touch and timbre.”
In October Chai circles the globe, appearing at the Festival Leo Brouwer in Cuba, and performing her “Piano Steampunk” at the Center for New Music in San Francisco, and at the Logos Foundation in Ghent, Belgium. Then she brings Kapuscinki’s “Juicy” — the very work they worked on at IRCAM — to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.
Watch Chai in action, in this brand new video portrait.