Today’s opening concert sponsored by Patricia and Michael Frederick, marks the 21st year in which they have provided local residents a rare opportunity to enjoy a live classical performance. Besides featuring a guest performer, a piano from the Frederick collection is transferred from the study hall to the church for each performance.
The piano selected from the Frederick collection for today’s performance was a Streicher (Vienna) from 1846.
I would like to extend a special thank you to today’s guest performer, Shuann Chai. This was Shuann’s first performance at the Historical Piano Concert in Ashburnham MA. After reading her lengthy bio, I felt extremely fortunate being present for her performance.
I sat a few rows back watching her graceful virtuoso performance and delighted in listening to her expressive musicality that captivated and delighted the entire audience.
Shuann performed works by Beethoven; Sonata Op. 101 Amaj and other works published by Beethoven but later transcribed by Liszt. Her program ended with Schumann’s Fantasy, Op. 17 in C maj.
Here are a couple of pics of Shuann taken after her performance;
I must add, her performance was as beautiful as her smile!
And here is the bio taken from the program booklet:
Boston-based pianist Shuann Chai’s recent engagements include recitals at Steinway Hall (Seattle), King’s Chapel (Boston), St. Peters Church (New York City), and collaborative concerts on the prestigious Embassy Series in Washington DC and the Norwegian Seamen’s Church (New York City) with cellist Aage Kvalbein. She has performed across the globe from Beijing, China (as a Guest Artist at Qinghua University) to Kiev, Ukraine (where she was the soloist for performances of the Schumann A minor and Tchaikovsky B-flat major Concertos), and has played live on WGBH Boston (with cellist Pieter Wispelwey), NPR, and Radio-Sherbrooke. In recent years she has expanded her experience to include compelling performances on a range of historical instruments in addition to her work on the modern piano. As a harpsichordist she has been broadcast on Radio-Canada and performed at Boston’s historical Old South Meeting House and the Harpsichord Gallery outside of Atlanta, and in the past year Shuann has performed over 100 concerts and lecture-recitals in public libraries, museums, and senior communities on both the modern piano and her 1775 Stein fortepiano replica by Philip Belt.
Upcoming appearances include a 6-concert tour with the MiN Ensemble of Norway and solo recitals at the Cobbe Collection Series (Surrey, England), the Axminster Concert Series (Devon, England), The Gallery Concerts of Seattle, the Helikon Festival (Belgium), and the University of California at Davis. Shuann completed her undergraduate work in her hometown at Oberlin College, majoring in Piano Performance and Biology. After choosing music over medical school, she moved to Boston to study at the New England Conservatory. Presently Shuann is completing a Ph.D in Musicology at Brandeis University, where she was awarded the Gershwin Foundation Prize. When time allows, she and her husband David enjoy reading, cooking, and cheering for the Boston Red Sox.