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Release: Immediate

Pianist Chen plays Bach, Chopin, Schubert, Janacek and Rachmaninov in April 9 UI concert

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Pianist Wendy Chen, winner of the 1997 Young Concert Artists (YCA) International Auditions, will complete a three-day residency at the University of Iowa with a concert at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 9 in Clapp Recital Hall on the University of Iowa campus. The concert, which is part of Hancher Auditorium's Mercy on Call Rising Stars Series, will feature works by Bach, Chopin, Schubert, Janacek and Rachmaninoff.

As the YCA winner and winner of the Bruce Hungerford Prize, Chen opened the 37th YCA Series last October in New York City. The Hancher concert program closely mirrors her New York concert. The program features the Busoni arrangement of J.S. Bach's Three Organ Chorales; Chopin's Andante Spianato and Grand Polonaise in E-Flat Major, op. 22; two impromptus by Schubert; Janacek's Four Pieces from "On an Overgrown Path"; and the Sonata No. 2, op. 36, by Rachmaninoff.

Chen's current success was predicted when she performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the age of 15, and at the age of 17 she won the Gilmore Young Artists Award and the National Chopin Competition, leading to her Lincoln Center debut. A native of Los Angeles, she is a scholarship graduate of the Peabody Conservatory, where she studied with Leon Fleisher.

The critic of the Santa Cruz Sentinel in California concluded, "Wendy Chen has launched a career that promises to skyrocket. Her technical precision and musical sensitivity make a winning combination." Responding to her YCA recital in New York, Allan Kozinn of the New York Times wrote, "she struck a fine balance between muscularity and lyricism, and her account of the Rachmaninoff Second Sonata had all the sweep, sparkle and emotionalism the work demands."

Mercy Iowa City and Mercy on Call are the corporate sponsors of the Rising Stars Series, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets for Wendy Chen's concert are $17 ($13.60 for UI students and senior citizens, and $8.50 for audience members 17 and younger).

Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and 1-3 p.m. Sunday. From the local calling area or outside Iowa, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance within Iowa and western Illinois is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction.

People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box office personnel prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair access and seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.