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A Note from Stephanie

Dear Friends,

Ten years after being stationed at the Verdun front as a truck driver during WWI, Maurice Ravel traveled to New York. During his 1928 trip, he heard spirituals and jazz with a “rich and diverting rhythm” that would continue to be a source of inspiration.

After he returned to Europe, he wrote the opening of the Piano Concerto in G on a train. It took him another year to complete the concerto — three years after Monet, the father of impressionism, died. Monet’s luminous style of layering paint was not so different from how Ravel layered colors.

His piano concerto relies on a palette of syncopated rhythms and soaring jazz riffs. The concerto’s three movements use a harmonic language rooted in a classical tradition. The first movement swells into a jazzman’s improvisation and a cadenza that takes center stage.

I invite you to close your eyes and imagine yourself in a smoky Harlem jazz joint. Let your paintbrush go wild October 4 at First Impressions: Music & Monet.

Headshot Image for Stephanie Cheng

Stephanie Cheng

Piano

Taiwanese-American pianist Stephanie Shih-yu Cheng has performed at major...

Taiwanese-American pianist Stephanie Shih-yu Cheng has performed at major music centers across the world to critical acclaim, including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York, Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago, Opera City Hall of Tokyo, National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and National Concert Hall of Taipei.

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