An artist of singular vision, pianist Jenny Q Chai is widely renowned for her ability to illuminate musical connections throughout the centuries. With razor-sharp intention, Chai integrates her prodigy’s training with personal fascinations in the latest in live electronics, artificial intelligence, and environmental research, creating layered multimedia programs and events which explore and unite elements of science, nature, and art. “Jenny Q Chai, who has studied with Pierre-Laurent Aimard, is following the more eclectic path…” The New York Times
Based both in Shanghai and New York City, Chai’s instinctive understanding of new music is complemented by a deep grounding in core repertoire, with special affinity for Schumann, Scarlatti, Beethoven, Bach, Debussy, and Ravel. She is also a noted interpreter of 20th-century masters Cage, Messiaen, Kurtág, and Ligeti. And her career is threaded through with strong relationships and close collaborations with a range of notable contemporary composers, including Marco Stroppa, Jaroslaw Kapuscinski, György Kurtág, among others. With a deft poetic touch, Chai weaves these wide-ranging composers and repertoire into a gorgeous and lucid musical tapestry.
Chai has won acclaim for performances in New York City, at Carnegie Hall (Zankel), (le) Poisson Rouge, Roulette, and Symphony Space. She has appeared throughout the US, Germany, Belgium, Spain; and at the Gaudeamus New Music, the Festival Leo Brouwer in Cuba, and the Darmstadt International Festival for New Music. In China, she has appeared regularly at the Shanghai Concert Hall, and is widely known as a leading advocate for contemporary music, having given the Chinese premiere of numerous contemporary masterworks, including works by Messiaen, Cage, and the very first prepared piano concert in the country. Chai is also an active lecturer on topics such as music and technology and music entrepreneurship at venues such as Harvard University, New York University, Manhattan School of Music, Chicago College of Performing Arts and Fudan University in China.
Her immersive approach to music is also channeled into her work with FaceArt Institute of Music, the Shanghai-based organization she founded and runs, offering music education and an international exchange of music and musicians in China and beyond. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the New York City-based contemporary music organization Ear to Mind.
Chai’s talents have been showcased on recordings for labels such as Deutschlandfunk, Naxos and ArpaViva. Her next album on the solo piano music of Marco Stroppa and György Kurtág will soon be released.
The recipient of the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust’s 2011 Pianist/Composer Commissioning Project, the DAAD Arts and Performance award in 2010, and first prize winner of the Keys to the Future Contemporary Solo Piano Festival, Jenny Q Chai studied at the Shanghai Music Conservatory, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, and in Cologne University of Music and Dance with Pierre-Laurent Aimard. Her teachers include Aimard, Seymour Lipkin, Solomon Mikowsky, and Anthony de Mare, as well as close consultation with Marilyn Nonken, Chai’s thesis adviser for her doctoral dissertation, Manifesto on Marco Stroppa’s Miniature Estrose.
Looking forward, Chai will appear as the soloist to perform Philippe Manoury’s concerto at the inaugural concert of Warsaw Festival with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra.
You can download a PDF with more information about Jenny here.