Arts4All Blog

Get to Know Mandy Chiu

Posted November 6th, 2018  |  By A4A.admin

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CSMA welcomes pianist Mandy Chiu for a free concert in Tateuchi Hall on Saturday, November 10 at 7:30pm. Her performance will celebrate the work of French composer Claude Debussy.

Mandy Chiu has an accomplished career as a soloist, chamber music artist, ballet accompanist and teacher. She has been a CSMA faculty member since 2015. We spoke with her to learn more about her background and what the audience can expect from her Tateuchi Hall performance.

Mandy Chiu, Pianist

How did you begin playing and performing music?

I started playing the piano at the age of three. Before that, I sat in the back of my older sister’s group keyboard class and watcher her, dreaming of the day where I would be old enough to be accepted by the school. 

Did you have access to music education in school? If not, how did you find your way into music?

Yes, I was fortunate to be selected and attended the Sydney Conservatorium High School (in Sydney, Australia), where music performance was the primary focus. We had orchestra, choir, chamber music,  and private lessons during the school day.

Tell us about a great music teacher you had.

Neta Maughan played an essential role in shaping my career. Her kind smile, her abundance of patience and encouragement pushed me forward through and through. I would not be where I am without her guidance.

How often do you practice and/or rehearse?

I wish to practice more these days. Teaching takes up much time.
During recital preparation time I would practice at least five hours a day. I meet with my group once a week for rehearsals, starting one month before the concert.

What advice do you have for young, aspiring musicians?

My advice is to go see concerts. Developing a critical ear and understanding the depth of tone colors is a significant advantage as a pianist.

Why did you choose the music of Debussy for your program?

Debussy is one of my favorite composers. He introduced an entirely new sound canvas. Playing his work feels like walking through a gallery full of precious paintings. The concert ‘En Mémoire de Debussy’ is to commemorate Debussy’s centennial anniversary since death.

What can the audience expect during the performance in Tateuchi Hall?

‘En Mémoire de Debussy’ highlights some of Debussy’s most celebrated works, including ‘Arabesque,’ for piano, ‘Clair de Lune’ and ‘Plus Que Lente’ arranged for violin and piano, Sonata for cello and piano, and Moreover, a delightful trio piece which should be more popular in concerts.
Special thanks to my friends Lisa Lee on violin, and Kevin Yu on cello for their fabulous playing!  It’s been an enchanting experience playing with them.

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