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In Ravel's 1931 G major Piano Concerto, soloist 21-year-old John Chen, winner of the Sydney International Piano Competition (2004), combined sizzling bravura and communicative, limpid sensitivity. The central (Adagio assai) movement proved absolutely breathtaking; in sum a stunning performance with crackling orchestral accompaniment. Chen currently studies at the Colburn School of Performing Arts (UCSC) with noted Californian piano teacher, John Perry.

John Chen
John Chen

The VWO's concluding work, Ravel's Ma Mère l'Oye (complete), failed to sparkle as shimmeringly as it should, yet the orchestra's distinguished winds and brass displayed passages of truly delectable artistry.

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Copyright © 21 November 2007 Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand

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Cadenza Programme Note Library - Programme Notes by Mike Wheeler