The Department of Music at the State University of New York at New Paltz presents “Classical Smackdown,” an innovative musical experience performed by pianist Frederic Chiu. The event will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 8 p.m. in McKenna Theatre on the SUNY New Paltz campus.
The concert features the work of two composers, Prokofiev and Debussy, in a duel style match prompting audience participation. The program includes Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 3 and the brilliantly effective Toccata, along with Debussy’s Suite Bergamasque and L’isle Joyeuse.
Chiu, who has built a formidable reputation on his ability to update concert traditions for our time, will present pieces from both composers and juxtapose them during his live performance. Audience members will then vote online for their favorite at: http://www.fredericchiu.com/Classical_Smackdown/Welcome.html
“I feel that one’s calling for art and this kind of creation and performance is not to become a specialist in that performance or art but to expand that art to a general lifestyle,” said Chiu. “I think this is something everybody should experience and have some involvement in.”
Chiu is a recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Petscheck Award of the Juilliard School, and was a fellow of the American Pianist Association. The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Stereo Review and The New Yorker have recognized many of his CDs with rave reviews.
Chiu has toured in Europe and the U.S. with the Orchestre de Bretagne and Stefan Sanderling. He has performed with the Hartford Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony, BBC Concert Orchestra, Estonia National Symphony, China National Symphony and the FOSJE Orquesta in Ecuador, among others.
Chiu has collaborated with numerous artists outside the world of Classical music including Shakespearean actor Brian Bedford and psychologist/writer/clown Howard Buten. He has also worked with the hip-hop artist Socalled in the Messiaen Remix project. He is currently performing the classics Peter and the Wolf and Carnival of the Animals. The pieces have been transcribed for solo piano and narrator and feature the multi-talented David Gonzalez.
Tickets for the performance are $8 general admission, $6 for seniors and New Paltz faculty/staff, and $3 for students. Tickets can be purchased at the door 30 minutes prior to the concert. For additional information, visit www.newpaltz.edu/music or call (845) 257‑2700.