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November 1, 2006


GREAT BARRINGTON, MA — Simon's Rock College will host a solo piano recital by Frederic Chiu on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 3 p.m. in the Daniel Arts Center. A pre-concert talk by Larry Wallach will begin at 1:30.

The program highlights are solo piano transcriptions of works originally for violin, voice, or orchestra, including Liszt's version of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and Chiu's version of Prokofiev's music for the film "Lt. Kije." Bach-Busoni Chaconne and Schubert-Liszt song transcriptions will form the rest of afternoon program.

Simon's Rock faculty member Larry Wallach will give the pre-concert talk about the program.

Frederic Chiu's wide-ranging interests and his background inform his work. He has an Asian/American/European background, and he has engaged in an exploration of artificial intelligence and human psychology, especially the body-mind-heart connection.

With over 20 CDs on the market, Chui's repertoire includes the complete work of Prokofiev as well as popular classics of Chopin and Liszt. Many of his recordings have been singled out as exemplary, including "Top 10 recordings" by the New Yorker. BBC Music Magazine said of his work: "Chiu is a stunningly virtuosic pianist with a dynamic range that almost defies the capabilities of modern recording techniques."

Chiu has been called "Best of the Year" by Stereo Review: "I cannot imagine more effective advocacy for [the Mendelssohn Piano Sonatas]. Chiu makes his enthusiasm for them brilliantly evident in his absolutely wonderful playing, which is instinctively elegant, charged with exhilarating vitality and at the same time unfailingly tasteful. This is the way to play this music."

Chiu has performed in concert halls throughout the world, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Kioi and Suntory Halls in Tokyo, Lincoln Center in New York and Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. His musical partners include Joshua Bell, Pierre Amoyal, Gary Hoffman and the St. Lawrence and Shanghai string quartets. He was the recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Petscheck Award of the Juilliard School, and was a fellow of the American Pianist Association.

He has also created unusual collaborations with non-musicians, such as the Shakespearean actor Brian Bedford and psychologist/writer/clown Howard Buten.

A composer, pianist and musicologist, Larry Wallach is also the head of the music program at Simon's Rock College. His compositions, mostly chamber music, have been performed in New York and Boston as well as in the Berkshires. He founded a baroque chamber ensemble, the Italian Connection, in which he plays harpsichord and organ. As a pianist he collaborates on chamber music performances with numerous musicians in the area.

Wallach's recent compositions include "So Much Depends Upon Distance," for solo piano; "Canzona," for mixed chamber ensemble; and "Hexagram: Wind Over Water" for flute, harp, vibraphone and piano.

Wallach's pre-concert talk at 1:30 p.m. will be held in the Liebowitz Studio Theater, followed by the concert at 3 p.m. in the McConnell Theater. Both theaters are in the Daniel Arts Center. Tickets will be available at the door, at $25; $20 for seniors; and free for all students. For information, call 528-7212.

Simon's Rock Media Contact:
Briee Della Rocca: 413 644-4706