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Pianist Jenny Q Chai Appointed To The Piano Faculty Of The University Of California, Berkeley

Pianist Jenny Q Chai Appointed To The Piano Faculty Of The University Of California, Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley School of Music today announces the appointment of pianist Jenny Q Chai to the piano faculty, beginning with the 2019-2020 school year. An artist of singular vision, pianist Jenny Q Chai is widely renowned for her ability to illuminate musical connections throughout the centuries.

Chai brings a unique skillset to the faculty, including a wealth of experience in fusing traditional piano performance with cutting edge technology such as Artificial Intelligence software. She is a noted interpreter of 20th-century masters Cage, Messiaen, and Ligeti, and her career is threaded through with strong relationships and close collaborations with a range of notable contemporary composers, including Berkeley composition department chair and Guggenheim fellow Cindy Cox, Annie Gosfield, Jaros?aw Kapu?ci?ski, Andy Akiho, and György Kurtág. Students at Berkeley will have the opportunity to learn how to meld classical music and technology in live multimedia concert performances that unite elements of science, nature, fashion, and art.

Jenny Q Chai says, "I'm very excited to join UC Berkeley, to be alongside the pioneers who are composing and researching with cutting edge technology. I look forward to being a part of this wonderful community and hope to contribute my part to push forward the development of classical contemporary music together with my colleagues."

Of Chai's appointment Cindy Cox says, "We are delighted to welcome Jenny Q Chai to our faculty, and expect our students to benefit from her expertise in contemporary and traditional repertoires.

Chai is a vital champion and early tester of the groundbreaking synchronous score following software program, Antescofo. Developed at IRCAM by scientist Arshia Cont, the software offers a real time computer and animation response to live performance elements, enabling performers to create multimedia presentations of sophisticated and expressive fluency. Chai explored and helped hone Antescofo in residence at IRCAM alongside frequent collaborator Jaros?aw Kapu?ci?ski, and has since toured internationally with the software offering multimedia performances in Shanghai, New York, Havana, and elsewhere. In September 2019, Chai is giving a TEDx Talk in Shanghai titled When Classical Music Meets Technology.

Chai is an official career mentor at Manhattan School of Music and her immersive approach to music is also channeled into her work with FaceArt Institute of Music, the Shanghai-based organization she founded and runs, offering music education and an international exchange of music and musicians in China and beyond. In summer 2019, Chai oversees FaceArt's first ever month-long Co-Creation Summer Festival, which invites International piano and composition faculty. Additionally, Chai served on the Board of Directors of the New York City-based contemporary music organization Ear to Mind, and has published a doctoral dissertation on Marco Stroppa's Miniature Estrose.

Based in both Shanghai and San Francisco, Chai's instinctive understanding of new music is complemented by a deep grounding in core repertoire, with special affinity for Schumann, Scarlatti, Beethoven, Bach, Debussy, and Ravel. With a deft poetic touch, Chai weaves this wide-ranging repertoire into a gorgeous and lucid musical tapestry.

Other notable highlights include her 2012 Carnegie Hall recital debut; many performances at (le) Poisson Rouge, including a 2016 Antescofo-supported program, Where's Chopin?; her 2018 Wigmore Hall debut with a program exploring the relation between color and sound; lectures and recitals at Shanghai Symphony Hall, Shanghai Concert Hall, and Shanghai Mercedes Benz Arena; a featured performance at the Leo Brouwer Festival in Havana, Cuba; Philippe Manoury's double-piano concerto, Zones de turbulences, at the Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music with duo partner, pianist Adam Ko?mieja and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra; and much more.

Chai has recorded for labels such as Deutschlandfunk, Naxos, ArpaViva and MSR. In 2010, she released her debut recording, New York Love Songs,featuring interpretations of works by Cage and Ives among others, and her most recent recording, (S)yn(e)sth(e)te, was released by MSR Records in 2017. She can also be heard on Michael Vincent Waller's Five Easy Pieces and Cindy Cox's Hierosgamos.

The recipient of the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust's 2011 Pianist/Composer Commissioning Project, the DAAD Arts and Performance award in 2010, Chamber Music America commissioning award and first prize winner of the Keys to the Future Contemporary Solo Piano Festival, Jenny Q Chai studied at the Shanghai Music Conservatory, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, and in Cologne University of Music and Dance. Her teachers include Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Seymour Lipkin, Solomon Mikowsky, Marilyn Nonken, and Anthony de Mare.

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*Photo by Lêa Giradin

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