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Violinist Ray Chen In Concert

Program:

  • Pablo de Sarasate: Introduction and Tarentella
  • Camille Saint-Saëns: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso
  • with Julio Elizalde, piano
  • Violinist Ray Chen's blazing talent is still something of a secret in the U.S. — but we bet that won't be true for much longer.

    The Taiwan-born, Australian-raised artist can already tick off a list of pretty amazing accomplishments. He has won the two of the most prestigious and well-known violin competitions: the International Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2009 and the Yehudi Menuhin Competition in 2008. After the Menuhin, one of the jurors, the profoundly gifted Russian violinist Maxim Vengerov, became his professional mentor and champion. Chen's debut album Virtuoso won the much-coveted Echo Klassik prize in Germany. He spends his time touring as a guest artist with the world's top orchestras.

    And Chen was tapped to be the soloist at this year's Nobel Prize Concert in Stockholm on Dec. 8, an honor that in previous years has gone to such superstars as Yo-Yo Ma, Renee Fleming, Lang Lang, Martha Argerich and Joshua Bell. (Yes, that is the level of talent — and industry recognition — he has already reached.) And did we mention that Chen is just 22?

    So it's a special pleasure to bring you a sweet little taste of Ray Chen's talent, taped live in an intimate recital he gave at New York's (Le) Poisson Rouge in February that we've been waiting for just the right time to share. Consider it an early holiday bonbon: With the sparks that fly off his fiddle in these encores by Sarasate and Saint-Saens, this performance just might be the ultimate Christmas cracker.

    Credits:

    Producers: Mito Habe-Evans, Anastasia Tsioulcas; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Director: Garth Macaleavey/LPR; Production Assistant: Doriane Raiman; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann, Keith Jenkins

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Anastasia Tsioulcas is a reporter on NPR's Arts desk. She is intensely interested in the arts at the intersection of culture, politics, economics and identity, and primarily reports on music. Recently, she has extensively covered gender issues and #MeToo in the music industry, including backstage tumult and alleged secret deals in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against megastar singer Plácido Domingo; gender inequity issues at the Grammy Awards and the myriad accusations of sexual misconduct against singer R. Kelly.
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