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Traverse Symphony soloist Sean Chen on Rachmaninoff and more

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Pianist Sean Chen

Sean Chen appears with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra this weekend. He joined us at Interlochen Public Radio for music and conversation.

On Sunday, Sean Chen will perform Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra.

He joined us at Interlochen Public Radio to discuss his approach to one of the most famous piano concertos. He performed solos and spoke about several aspects of his career.

Pianist Sean Chen
Sean Chen in Studio A

Sean Chen believes making deliberate decisions is important when approaching a well-known piece like the Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 3.

"You try to bring your own opinions and principles to the piece and interpretation," he explained. "I think it's more rewarding artistically to dig in and make choices."

Chen is on the faculty at the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory. He spoke of what he finds effective in helping students perform their best, and he is philosophical in his view of teaching.

"Being a teacher informs you," he shared. "It teaches you about yourself as a pianist and a person."

Our conversation topics also included his favorite composers and the type of music he listens to with his family.

The music Sean Chen played in Studio A:
"Reflets dans l'eau" by Claude Debussy
Impromptu E flat major op. 90 no. 2 by Franz Schubert
Etude in D minor op. 39 no. 8 by Sergei Rachmaninoff

Hear his performance and conversation with IPR on demand, or subscribe to the Studio A podcast.

Sean Chen and the Traverse Symphony Orchestra will perform this Sunday, January 22, at 3 p.m. at Corson Auditorium in Interlochen.

For tickets and more information, please visit the Traverse Symphony Orchestra website.

Stefan Wiebe engineered this edition of Studio A.

Kacie Brown is IPR's digital content manager.

Nancy Deneen is the host of Music at Midday and Music by Request.