106. Tzu-yi Chen 陳孜怡, Pianist/2014/12

Tzu-yi Chen 陳孜怡, Pianist

Tzu Yi Chen musicAt the age of three, Tzu-yi Chen idolized her five-year-old brother. She wanted everything he had and even studied his first-grade textbooks. She insisted on sitting with him during his piano lessons instead of waiting with her mother. The teacher observed this quiet, attentive, toddler who showed an uncanny understanding, and soon enrolled her in private study. Tzu-yi said, “I was overtaken by the music.”

In 2006, Tzu-yi Chen joined the ranks of some of history’s greatest musicians, receiving the Premier Prix upon graduation from the Paris Conservatory. Before relocating to the Washington D.C. area, she studied with Van Cliburn gold medalist Alexander Kobrin at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music in Columbus, Georgia.

After graduation, Tzu-yi founded the International Friendship Ministries’ Arts Academy to teach children and youth, drawing out of them the same things she discovered as a child. Though she grew up in Taipei, Tzu-yi’s parents were from a more rural and traditional part of the country, and raised her with those values. The friendly people and welcoming atmosphere of the Deep South reminded her of home.

Tzu-yi studied Ravel with the Parisian masters, Beethoven at the National Karlsruhe Music University in Germany, and Rachmaninoff from the Russian Kobrin. She believes that the best way to approach a piece of music is to understand the culture, the folklore and the language of its composer.

She won the International Piano Competition of Mauro Paolo Monopoli in Italy, and the Scholarship Competition of the Pro-Mozart Society of Atlanta, and Scholarship Competition of Atlanta Music Club. Among others, she placed at the Darmstadt International Chopin Competition, the International Chopin Competition in Taipei, the International Gina-Bachaeur Piano Competition for young artists in USA and the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition for young artists in Russia,

A citizen of the world, Tzu-yi has been based in the D.C. area since summer 2014. She performs internationally, teaches piano at the Levine School of Music, and serves on the music staff at Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Washington D.C. (Information source: http://www.dciny.org/2014-guest-artists/tzu-yi-chen.html)