Sunday 26 April at 2.30pm

John Chen – Piano

“With playing that engaged the music fully, the pianist carried his audience with him right to the end, earning, and richly deserving, rapturous acclaim from all sides. Bravo!” – Peter Mechen, Middle C, 2018.


Chopin: Four Mazurkas, Op 50
Chopin: Three Mazurkas, Op 63
Chopin: Two Polonaises, Op 26
Chopin: Polonaise, Op 53
Schumann: Sonata No 3

We are privileged that John chooses to perform in Waikanae during his infrequent return visits to New Zealand. John started piano lessons when he was three and made his official orchestral debut at the age of fifteen, performing Prokofiev’s third Piano Concerto with the NZSO. In 2004 he became the youngest-ever winner of the Sydney International Piano Competition. Since then his schedule has taken him around the world, including performances at prestigious festivals and a period with the award-winning Saguaro Trio.

Passionate about teaching, John gives masterclasses and presentations on music education and from 2011 to 2013 was Lecturer in Chamber Music at the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater Hamburg. He now lives in Zambia, where both he and his wife teach at Chengelo Secondary School. Teaching music and maths in Zambia might be an unexpected career move for a supremely talented concert pianist, but as he put it in an Upbeat interview, he’s “a bit of a radical when it comes to life.” Nothing, however, has lessened his commitment to the piano, as we heard at his magnificent recital for us in 2018.

Now we look forward to hearing him again in a romantic feast of Chopin, plus Schumann’s ferociously difficult third sonata.