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Pianist Wendy Chen to Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra

On Tuesday, Feb. 10, the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra Players will delight listeners with a program of romantic music spanning two centuries by composers Gabriel Faure (1845-1924) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s Fleischmann Auditorium, 2550 Puesta del Sol.

Noted pianist Wendy Chen is the special guest artist who will performing the Piano Quartet in C Minor, W.A. composed by Fauré and Mozart’s Piano Quartet No. 2 in E Flat. Chen will be accompanied by Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra conductor Heiichiro Ohyama on viola, Amy Hershberger on violin and Trevor Handy on cello.

Born in California, Chen debuted with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at age 15 under conductor André Previn. She won First Prize in the National Chopin Competition, the Young Concert Artists auditions, was an inaugural recipient of the Gilmore Young Artists Award, and was named a Presidential Scholar by the National Foundation for the Arts.

Chen is one of the most sought after pianists and chamber musicians, performing on many of the world’s most prestigious concert stages. She has appeared in unique programs that also featured musical legends Art Garfunkel and James Taylor; and in a private concert for The Justices at the Unite States Supreme Court presented by The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Highlights of her career have included an all Chopin recital at the National Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw, recording with The London Philharmonic, duo recitals with cellist Andrés Diaz, violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, and appearances in South America, The Forbidden City in Beijing, China, and at Festival Week in Tokyo, presented by CHANEL. Chen’s performances are regularly heard on NPR's “Performance Today. She gives master classes and lectures throughout the U.S. and serves as panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts.

The SBCO recently inaugurated a supper club with their concert season, but for this more intimate concert in the 300-seat Fleischmann Auditorium, wine and chocolate will be served in early celebration of Valentine’s Day.

— Jennifer Goddard Combs is a publicist representing the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra.

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