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August 28, 2019

Jenny Chen debuted at Carnegie Hall last spring. She was the Young Artist in Residence on American Public Media’s “Performance Today,” and she has played solo recitals and as a chamber musician in concert halls around the world, including here at Tippet Rise. But the pianist lets none of this get to her head. She is modest, sincere, and exuberantly playful…and she was all of these things while performing a recent concert for children and their families at Tippet Rise.

“Let me teach you the basket dance,” Jenny said enthusiastically to the children gathered at the foot of the stage in the Tiara Acoustic Shell on Sunday, August 18. With much laughter—most of it her own—she did. In between dance lessons and storytelling, she played works by Chopin, Brahms, Liszt and Debussy. She quizzed the children (“is this music happy or sad?”) and, at one point, encouraged the entire audience to create a “human sea wave…like they do at baseball games” as she played Chopin’s Barcarolle, or boat song.

You’re beautiful!” she shouted to the audience as they “waved” while she played.

By the end of the concert, the entire audience had truly experienced the music—by dancing, clapping, laughing, and waving to it—and the children were huddled with Jenny around the piano, fascinated by her playing and by the instrument.

Jenny Chen.jpeg

This was the summer’s second concert for children and their families; these special performances take place every year at Tippet Rise and are just a part of the art center’s arts education and outreach efforts. To receive information about these and other opportunities to visit Tippet Rise, please sign up for our e-newsletter. For details on education and outreach at Tippet Rise and throughout the region, please click on the link below.