Having recently played her critically acclaimed New York Carnegie Hall debut, pianist Jenny Q Chai has been selected to appear on Chicago’s esteemed Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, held at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Preston Bradley Hall. The concert, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Wednesday, August 8 at 12:15pm. Ms. Chai will perform Gyorgy Kurtág’s Les adieux, as well as Robert Schumann’s Kreisleriana. The Chicago Cultural Center is located at 78 E. Washington. For more information, visit www.chicagoculturalcenter.org.
On the occasion of her Carnegie Hall debut at Zankel Hall earlier this year, Ms. Chai was praised by the New York Times’ Anthony Tommasini for her “resourceful technique and sensitivity” as well as playing “admirable for its refinement and directness.” Chai is an active pianist specializing in contemporary music, and has played at New York venues such as Roulette, Symphony Space, and the Stone. Recipient of the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust’s 2011 Pianist/Composer Commissioning Project, first prize winner of the Keys to the Future Contemporary Solo Piano Festival, and recipient of the DAAD Arts and Performance award in 2010, Chai has premiered works by Nils Vigeland, John Slover, Ashley Fu-Tsun Wang, and Scott Wollschleger. Chai has also premiered “Marriage (Mile 58) Section F” from The Road by Frederick Rzewski in Ghent, Belgium, where she was given the Logos Award for the best performance of 2008. Recently, Chai 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. Chai has studied at the Shanghai Music Conservatory, at Curtis Institute of Music with Seymour Lipkin, and has received two degrees from the Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Solomon Mikowsky, Nils Vigeland, and Anthony de Mare. In Germany, she studied with Pierre-Laurent Aimard, and performed in Ensemble 20/21, directed by David Smeyers, as well as the group Musikfabrik. Now splitting her time between the U.S. and China, Chai is a board member of the New York City-based contemporary music organization Ear to Mind, and is founder of FaceArt Music InterNations in Shanghai. Future engagements for Ms. Chai include the National Performing Arts Center in Beijing, and the Oriental Arts Center in Shanghai.
The Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, produced by the International Music Foundation have been presented under the magnificent Tiffany stained-glass dome in the Chicago Cultural Center’s Preston Bradley Hall every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. since 1977, are broadcast live over WFMT Radio (98.7FM) locally, and are streamed globally over www.wfmt.com. The concerts are an important showcase for local, national, and international emerging classical artists, and follow in the tradition of Dame Myra Hess, one of the most eminent pianists of the 20th century, who started a daily concert series in London’s National Gallery that ran for 6 years during World War II.