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Pianist Brings Classical Smackdown to LSC-Kingwood

Lone Star College-Kingwood invites the community to its biggest music event of the year.

Frederic ChiuFrederic Chiu, an internationally-acclaimed concert pianist, will perform “Classical Smackdown” featuring pieces from 20th-century composers Sergei Prokofiev and Claude Debussy on April 11 at 8 p.m. Chiu will play the classical pieces on the college’s new Yamaha CFX Concert Grand Piano in the Music Instructional Building Recital Hall. At the end of the concert, the audience will vote on which composer won the smackdown. Results will be posted on Classical Smackdown.

"Audience members will feel immediately comfortable with Mr. Chiu and his performance,” said Jay Whatley, music professor. “The music will be classical, but the atmosphere will be very relaxed."

Following the recital, a reception will be held for the audience to meet the pianist and have him autograph CDs for sale. Prior to the main performance, Chiu will hold master classes for piano students from LSC-Kingwood and the greater Humble and Houston areas on April 12 in the Recital Hall. Classes for intermediate students are from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. in 20 minutes slots and sessions for advanced students are from 2-4 p.m. in 30 minute slots. The master classes are free.

"The opportunity to host an artist of such international fame doesn't come along every day; neither does the opportunity to hear and learn from an artist of this caliber,” Whatley said.

Chiu is a frequent guest artist at concert venues in Europe, South America, and throughout the United States. He is devoted to enhancing the live concert experience for diverse audiences. Throughout his career, the pianist has created many innovative programs, often showcasing transcriptions and rarely-programmed repertoire. Also a skilled collaborator, Chiu has performed with many friends in classical music such as Joshua Bell, Pierre Amoyal, Gary Hoffman, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet; as well as with artists in other genres including the jazz pianist Bob James, writer/storyteller David Gonzalez, actor Brian Bedford, and the clown Buffo.

“An American pianist, Frederic Chiu has built a formidable reputation on his ability to update concert traditions for our time,” said Maria Guralnik, Chiu’s personal manager.

Chiu has released more than 20 CDs and many are available on the harmonia mundi usa label. His CDs include the complete piano works of Prokofiev, as well as works of Chopin, Liszt, Ravel, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Rossini and Grieg. His most recent recordings include the Beethoven/Liszt Symphony No. 5, and the solo piano version of Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals with David Gonzalez as the narrator. In addition, he frequently has a presence on popular radio shows such as St. Paul Sunday Morning, Performance Today, and WNYC’s Greene Space.

General admission is $50 and reservations are required. Proceeds from the tax-deductible contribution will fund music scholarships for LSC-Kingwood students. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 281-312-1709. Pianists interested in the master classes may contact Jay Whatley at Jay.K.Whatley@LoneStar.edu.  For more information on Chiu or to see votes from previous smackdowns, visit Frederic Chiu.

Register now for credit classes online through myLoneStar.  Classes are offered days, evenings, or weekends in traditional, Internet, video, TV and independent study formats. For more information on how to register online, visit www.lonestar.edu/registration.

For general information about Lone Star College-Kingwood, call 281.312.1600 or visit http://lonestar.edu/kingwood.htm.

Lone Star College System has been opening doors to a better community for 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSCS remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion. Today, with 78,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 90,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and the fastest-growing community college system in the nation. Dr. Richard Carpenter is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, five centers, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.