February, 13, 2022
Sean Chen on piano
with Professor Martyn Goulding

Concert starts at 4:00 p.m.Sean Chen  
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About the Artists

Hailed as a charismatic rising star with “an exceptional ability to connect with an audience combined with an easy virtuosity” (The Huffington Post). American pianist Sean Chen is an acknowledged master of the keyboard and winner of the 2013 American Pianists Awards and third-prize winner at the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. He has continued to earn accolades for “alluring, colorfully shaded renditions” (The New York Times) and “genuinely sensitive [playing]” (Los Angeles Times). He was named a 2015 fellow by the prestigious Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for the Performing Arts.

Chen has performed with many prominent orchestras. He has collaborated with esteemed conductors Leonard Slatkin, Michael Stern, Gerard Schwarz, Nicholas McGegan, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Marcelo Lehninger and James Judd.

His worldwide solo engagements include appearances in major venues such as Jordan Hall in Boston, Subculture in New York City, the American Art Museum at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., the National Concert Hall in Taipei, Het Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Salle Cortot in Paris.

A multifaceted musician, Chen also transcribes, composes and improvises. His 2021 performances include the premiere of “Daydream No. 1 – Steps,” written in honor of longtime American Pianists Award President Joel Harrison. His transcriptions of such orchestral works as Ravel’s “La Valse,” Mozart’s overture to “The Marriage of Figaro,” and the Adagio from Rachmaninoff’s “Symphony No. 2,” have been received with glowing acclaim and enthusiasm. His “Prelude in F#” was commissioned by fellow pianist Eric Zuber, and subsequently performed in New York. An advocate of new music, he has also collaborated with several composers and performed their works, including Lisa Bielawa, Jennifer Higdon, Michael Williams, Nicco Athens, Michael Gilbertson and Reinaldo Moya. Chen’s recordings include the 2021 all-Ravel album, featuring the Sonatine and Le tombeau de Couperin, a follow-up to La Valse. He has also recorded an album of Michael Williams’ solo piano works on the Parma Recordings label, an album of flute, oboe, and piano repertoire titled KaleidosCoping with Michael Gordon and Celeste Johnson. He has also contributed to the catalog of Steinway’s new Spirio system.

Given his natural inclination for teaching and his approachable personality, he is particularly in demand for residencies that combine performances with master classes, school concerts and artist conversations such as the Cleveland Institute of Music, Indiana University, University of British Columbia, University of Houston Moores School, Spotlight Awards at the Los Angeles Music Center, Young Artist World Piano Festival, and Music Teachers’ Associations throughout the country.

Chen was born in Florida and grew up in the greater Los Angeles area, in Oak Park, California. His impressive achievements before college include the NFAA ARTSweek, Los Angeles Music Center’s Spotlight and 2006 Presidential Scholars awards. These honors combined with diligent schoolwork facilitated offers of acceptance by MIT, Harvard and The Juilliard School. He earned his bachelor and master’s of music from Juilliard, earning several awards, most notably the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. He received his artist diploma in 2014 at the Yale School of Music as a George W. Miles Fellow. Chen is the Millsap Artist in Residence at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. He is a Steinway Artist, and is represented by Jonathan Wentworth Associates, Ltd.

Joseph Noel

Joseph Noel Joseph Noel Joseph P. Noel, the Arthur and Julie Woodrow Chair, is a Salk professor in the Chemical Biology and Proteomics Laboratory. His research focuses on the chemistry, biochemistry, structural biology and evolution of metabolism in plants that has given rise over 450 million years with incredible diversity of natural chemicals. These natural chemicals often called specialized metabolites are key to the emergence and rapid expansion of chemical diversity in plant ecosystems. Many of these natural chemicals are used for “communication” with other species in their environment and some are used for their own defense – both as natural chemical weapons against other organisms or as chemical strategies to adapt to challenging physical environments.

More recently, Noel’s research has concentrated on plant natural polymers that may serve as carbon storage devices in plants ranging from food crops to freshwater and marine wetlands. The work is focused on reaching an atomic resolution understanding of the structure and function of these natural plant polymers and their metabolic systems used for their biosynthesis. This level of understanding is also used to predictably improve their chemical structures and increase their production to provide plants with greater tolerance to environmental stresses such as drought, flooding, salt and disease. Moreover, as carbon-rich, beneficial components of soils and aquatic sediments that resist decomposition, they may serve as efficient and scalable solutions to mitigate atmospheric levels of greenhouses gases such as carbon dioxide.


Duo Piano
Sunday, January 12, 2020

Fantasy in F minor, D. 940 (1828)Franz Schubert
Petite Suite, L. 65 (1889)
En Bateau (Sailing): Andantino
Cortège (Retinue): Moderato
Menuet: Moderato
Ballet: Allegro giusto
Claude Debussy


Pétrushka Ballet Suite
arranged for four hands (1910–11)

The Shrovetide Fair
Pétrushka’s Room
The Moor’s Room
The Shrovetide Fair (evening)
Igor Stravinsky
Milonga del Angel (1965)Astor Piazzolla / Bax / Chung
Libertango (1974)


3:30 PM Registration opens
4:00 PM Concert begins in the Conrad T. Prebys Auditorium
4:45 PM Intermission
5:00 PM Faculty speaker
5:15 PM Concert resumes
6:00 PM Concert concludes