Annual Gift Concert:
Ray Chen, violin
Julio Elizalde, piano

Ray Chen

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Monday, March 10, 2014





MOZART: Violin Sonata in A Major, K. 305
SARASATE: Spanish Dances, Opus 21, No. 2 “Habanera”;
Spanish Dances, Opus 23, No. 5 “Playera”; Zigeunerweisen, Opus 20

BEETHOVEN: Violin Sonata in A Major, Opus 47 “Kreutzer”


SARASATE: Introduction and Tarantella, Op. 43
MASSENET: Meditation from Thais

About This Performance

San Francisco Performances annual Gift Concert for Subscribers features violinist
Ray Chen accompanied by Julio Elizalde.

Artist Biography

Winner of the Queen Elisabeth (2009) and Yehudi Menuhin Competitions (2008), Ray Chen is among the most compelling young violinists today. “Ray has proven himself to be a very pure musician with great qualities such as a beautiful youthful tone, vitality and lightness. He has all the skills of a truly musical interpreter,” said the great Maxim Vengerov.

Ray has released three critically acclaimed albums on Sony: a recital program Virtuoso of works by Bach, Tartini, Franck, and Wieniawski, and the Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky concertos with Swedish Radio Orchestra and Daniel Harding. Following the success of these recordings, Ray was profiled by The Strad and Gramophone magazines as “the one to watch”. Virtuoso was distinguished with the prestigious ECHO Klassik award. His third recording, an all-Mozart album with Christoph Eschenbach and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, was released in January 2014.

Ray continues to win the admiration of fans and fellow musicians worldwide. In 2012, he became the youngest soloist ever to perform in the televised Nobel Prize Concert for the Nobel Laureates and the Swedish Royal Family. His Carnegie Hall debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Sakari Oramo, as well as his sold-out Musikverein concert with the Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly were met with standing ovations. Since the 2012–13 season, Ray has been invited to join Konzerthaus Dortmund’s series Junge Wilde, which presents young and groundbreaking artists in Germany. Later this season, Ray will make his San Francisco recital debut at the SFJazz Center. He also looks forward to his upcoming recital tour of Australia and his debuts with the Orchestre National de France and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Followed by over 800,000 people on SoundCloud, Ray Chen looks to expand the classical music audience by increasing its appeal to the young generation via all available social media platforms. He is the first ever classical musician to be invited to write a regular blog about his life as a touring soloist for the largest Italian publishing house, RCS Rizzoli (Corriere della Sera, Gazzetta dello Sport, Max). In his unstinting efforts to break down barriers between classical music, fashion and pop culture, he is supported by Giorgio Armani and was recently featured in Vogue magazine.

Born in Taiwan and raised in Australia, Ray was accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music at age 15, where he studied with Aaron Rosand and was supported by Young Concert Artists. He plays the 1702 “Lord Newlands” Stradivarius violin on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.

Praised as a musician of “compelling artistry and power” by the Seattle Times, the gifted American pianist Julio Elizalde is gaining widespread recognition for his musical depth and creative insight. He has performed in many of the major music centers throughout the United States, Europe, and Latin America to popular and critical acclaim. The summer of 2014 marks his third season as Co-Artistic Director of the Olympic Music Festival near Seattle, Washington.

Mr. Elizalde has collaborated with many of the leading musicians of our time. He is the North and South American recital partner to violinist and Sony recording artist Ray Chen, winner of the 2009 Queen Elisabeth Music Competition. He has also performed recitals with world-renowned violinist Sarah Chang. In 2013, Ms. Chang and Mr. Elizalde performed at an event in New York City honoring the first official visit of South Korean President Park Geun-hye. Mr. Elizalde is a member of the New Trio, with violinist Andrew Wan, co-concertmaster of L’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Patrick Jee, cellist of the New York Philharmonic. The New Trio was the winner of both the Fischoff and Coleman National Chamber Music Competitions and is the recipient of the Harvard Musical Association’s prestigious Arthur W. Foote Prize. He was a featured performer for the soundtrack of the 2013 film Jimmy P,composed by Academy Award winner Howard Shore. In addition to film music, Mr. Elizalde has also performed for video clues on the hit television game show Jeopardy!

Mr. Elizalde is a passionately active teacher, having recently served as a Visiting Professor of piano at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. Since 2011, he has been a member of the faculty at the Manchester Music Festival in Vermont and has given masterclasses at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Institute of Music of Chicago.

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Mr. Elizalde is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School, where he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 2011. His principal teachers were Paul Hersh, Jerome Lowenthal, Joseph Kalichstein, and Robert McDonald.

Mr. Elizalde performs with the assistance of an Apple iPad Air, forScore music reading software, and a bluetooth wireless foot pedal made by AirTurn.


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