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 John ChenRare musical feat promised at John Chen Concert - May 28, 2013

Concert-goers are promised a rare musical feat, when New Zealand concert pianist John Chen returns to play in Paekakariki next month. Featuring in the Mulled Wine Concert Series June Concert, the popular award-winning pianist will play all 24 Preludes and Fugues in Book 1 of J.S.Bach's "Well Tempered Klavier". MWC Organiser Mary Gow says while people who have grown up learning to play Bach Preludes and Fugues will be familiar with the music, it is very rare to hear all 24 played in one concert. "In nearly 35 years as a concert pianist and organiser, in New Zealand and Europe, I've never heard the whole book performed," she says.

Malaysian-born John Chen (27) has a number of significant firsts to his name. He began his piano studies in Auckland at the age of three, won his first piano competition at the age of nine and made his first orchestral debut aged 15, performing Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Aged 16, he won the Paekakariki Piano Competition in the Memorial Hall, where he will perform again at 2.30pm on June 23. In 2002, aged 18, John Chen was awarded a Masters in Music from the University of Auckland and that year he was the youngest-ever winner of the Sydney International Piano Competition.

John Chen has performed across Europe, Asia, North America, and extensively in Australia and New Zealand, including performances at significant festivals such as Klavierfestival Ruhr Germany 2005 and Singapore International Piano Festival 2006. He has performed concertos with all the major orchestras in Australia and New Zealand as well as the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Hong Kong Philharmonic, amongst many others. He has also recorded CDs for Naxos (complete solo piano works of Henri Dutilleux) and Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Debussy and Ravel).

John Chen is deeply committed to New Zealand music, and has given world premieres of works by New Zealand composers Jenny McLeod, Ross Harris, Gao Ping, Robin Toan, Claire Cowan and Tony Lin. An active chamber musician John collaborates regularly with eminent musicians such as cellist Ronald Leonard, and the New Zealand String Quartet. He has worked as an orchestral pianist for the Auckland Philharmonia, and his performances are frequently broadcast on New Zealand's Concert FM Radio.

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