Sa Chen with Greg Lemke

October 2, 2016

Please note: This concert has a special start time at 2:00 p.m.
Tickets available at the door starting at 1:30 p.m.



Sa Chen on October 2, 2016

Sa Chen

Sa Chen has established herself as one of the most charismatic pianists of her generation. She earned critical acclaim at the 2000 International Chopin Competition and the 2005 Van Cliburn Piano Competition, launching her professional performing career bringing evocative performances to audiences around the world.

In recent years, Chen has performed with many prestigious orchestras, including: the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, WDR Symphony Orchestra, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, and the NHK Symphony Orchestra with such renowned conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Myung-Whun Chung, Vasily Petrenko, Fabio Luisi, Semyon Bychkov, and Long Yu, among others.

As an enthusiastic chamber musician, Chen frequently collaborates with many great musicians. She recently appeared with Gidon Kremer and Natalie Gutman in many recitals at festivals including the prestigious Schleswig Holstein Festival, the Rurl Piano Festival in Germany, the Lockenhaus Music Festival in Austria, the Aix-en-Provence Festival in France and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville.

She recorded her first studio album Chopin Impressions for JVC in 2001, and the Complete Chopin Waltzes for IMC in Japan in 2006. Harmonia Mundi released her live performance from the Van Cliburn Competition in 2005. Her recordings with PentaTone include Chopin: the two Piano Concertos, and Russian Solo Compositions, released in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Classical FM selected her Chopin Album as the Best CD of the Month, extolling her “soulful Performance.” The concerto album, which includes Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No.2 and the Grieg Concerto, was released in 2011. Her latest CD, Memories Lost, which features modern Chinese compositions was released worldwide by BIS Records in January 2015, and described as “the most interesting and successful recording of new Chinese music” by BBC Music Magazine.

Chen is a Steinway Artist. She has been nominated for the esteemed Tokyo series “The 100 Greatest Pianists,” and was the cover artist for the launch of Gramophone magazine’s Chinese edition. In 2009, she was named one of the “Top Ten Chinese Artists” by the French magazine L’Officiel. In 2010, the Polish Government honored her with the Chopin Passport in appreciation of her uniquely beautiful interpretations of Chopin’s music.

Aside from her busy performance schedule, Chen involves herself in charity work. In 2007, she accepted an invitation from the World Bank and the Norwegian government to premiere the multimedia piano concerto Green Call with the China National Symphony Orchestra in Beijing as part of the environmental protection educational program. She also visits and performs for students with hearing disabilities at special schools in China. On April 22nd, 2015, she gave a performance in Washington, DC as part of the “Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day” event.

Born in China, Chen grew up in a musical family. Her mother is a professional dancer and her father is a French horn player. She received her first violin lesson from her father when she was six, and started piano lessons with Professor Dan Zhaoyi at the age of nine. At 16, she was accepted into the Leeds International Piano Competition as the youngest contestant, winning Fourth Prize. The following year, she received a full scholarship to study at the Guildhall School of Music in London with Joan Havill, where she earned a master’s degree in Performance. In 2000, she placed Fourth and also won the Best Polonaise Performance Award at the 14th International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, and in 2005 won the Crystal Award (Third) at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. She graduated from Arie Vardi’s Solo Class at the Hannover Hochschule fur Musik in Germany in 2007, receiving a doctorate degree in Performance.

In the 2016/17 season, Chen will perform Debussy’s complete Preludes (Books l and ll) in Beijing, Lisbon, Milan, Boston, Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as many other major venues. Other engagements include the Chamber Music Festival in Hong Kong, performances with the Ukraine National Orchestra, and a tour in China with the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra.

Greg Lemke
Professor, Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory
Françoise Gilot-Salk Chair

Greg Lemke, the Françoise Gilot-Salk Chair, is a professor in the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory. His lab uses molecular genetics to study the regulation of signaling networks that control nervous system development and immune system function.

Much of the Lemke lab’s work is focused on signaling through receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) of the TAM family. The systems biology of these RTKs in the mature immune system is a major focus of the lab. These receptors, and their integration and regulation of the innate immune response, were both initially described by Dr. Lemke’s group. They are currently studying the role that TAM RTKs play in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis in macrophages, dendritic cells, and B cells. The lab is particularly interested in the role that dysregulation of the TAM signaling network plays in (a) the development of autoimmune diseases such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis, and (b) the course of infection by influenza, West Nile, and dengue viruses.