Performances - Rancho La Puerta
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Week of May 25, 2019

Classical Smackdown
Classical Smackdown gives the audience the opportunity to make a statement! They listen to two composers and mark their votes for their favorite. The pieces have been selected to make the choice very difficult, for listeners of all levels of music appreciation.

By inviting the audience to delve deeper into the music through their personal involvement, Frederic Chiu continues his pioneering efforts to champion the piano recital as a special genre that gets people talking.

Bach vs. Philip Glass


Romeo & Juliet
Frederic Chiu has been recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on the music of Prokofiev for decades. His recent world premier performance of Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet ballet with live piano music demonstrates again his incomparable way of making this music relevant and captivating.

With a selection of scenes from the ballet, Frederic Chiu introduces all the major characters in Shakespeare’s classic tragedy and the major storyline, including the never performed “happy ending” of Prokofiev’s original version for piano.

Resilience: Beethoven’s Symphony VII
First developed through Frederic Chiu’s arts non-profit, Beechwood Arts, this program around the theme of “Resilience” includes music, readings and a special creative workshop to create an art installation on the grounds of Rancho La Puerta. Starting with the idea of resilience being nurtured through artistic creativity, we start with the fantastic optimism and energy of Beethoven’s Symphony VII, in the context of his growing deafness. We finish with the creation of an inspiration tree, with listeners contributing their own inspirational writings and sayings.

Stage Fright: A Practitioner’s Perspective
As a concert pianist, Frederic Chiu deals daily with one of the most extreme Stage Fright situations: going on stage, alone, playing from memory, performing classic works familiar to everyone, on an instrument that he does not know, for live audiences frequently numbering into the thousands. Through his experience of many thousands of performances, his understanding of Stage Fright and its components digs deep. He shares some of his worst experiences, as well as methods and perspectives developed over decades “on the road.”


Frederic Chiu performs in major venues on five continents: Lincoln Center in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington, The Chatelet in Paris, the Mozarteum in Buenos Aires, as well as touring extensively in smaller and unusual venues. He collaborates with Classical music friends Joshua Bell, Pierre Amoyal, Gary Hoffman and the St Lawrence String Quartet, as well as non-Classical friends like jazz pianist Bob James or storyteller David Gonzalez, to bring the vivid live concert experience to all audiences. He is known for his innovative programming, including “Classical Smackdown,” where composers face off in head-to-head comparisons, with listeners voting for their favorite composer: Debussy vs. Prokofiev, Bach vs. Glass, etc. Results tracked at He created the arts non-profit, Beechwood Arts & Innovation, to further the collaboration across art genres and the use of the arts to create community. Frederic Chiu has over 27 recordings, including the most extensive complete piano works of Prokofiev, and works of Chopin, Liszt, Ravel, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Rossini and Grieg, as well as the Beethoven/Liszt Symphony V and the solo piano version of Carnival of the Animals. His latest projects include “Hymns and Dervishes,” music of Gurdjieff/de Hartmann, and Distant Voices: Music of Claude Debussy & Gao Ping. A regular on St. Paul Sunday and Performance Today, he is a favorite of public radios across the country.