Monday, October 22 , 2018, 2:16 am | Fair 63º


Violin Wunderkind Ray Chen and ‘Julio the Pianist’ to Dazzle Hahn Hall

UCSB Arts & Lectures presents an intimate recital with wunderkind violinist Ray Chen and pianist Julio Elizalde, Wed., Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. at Hahn Hall at the Music Academy of the West.

Violinist Ray Chen’s 2013 Hahn Hall performance with pianist Julio Elizalde dazzled audience members and critics alike as he “electrified Santa Barbara music lovers…with a sparkling debut that bore witness to his internationally lauded skills and musicianship” (Santa Barbara Independent).

Winner of the Queen Elisabeth and Yehudi Menuhin Competitions, Chen is revered for his brilliant technique and has performed at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl.

His prodigious performances, youthful zeal and 1.98 million SoundCloud followers are testament that he is not just “one to watch” (The Strad, Gramophone), he is one of the most compelling young violin stars today.

About Ray Chen

Chen has released three critically acclaimed albums on Sony: a recital program titled Virtuoso including works by Bach, Tartini, Franck and Wieniawski, which was distinguished with the prestigious ECHO Klassik award; a recording of the Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky concertos with the Swedish Radio Orchestra and Daniel Harding; and his latest recording, an all-Mozart album with Christoph Eschenbach and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra.

Chen continues to win the admiration of fans and fellow musicians worldwide.

On Bastille Day, he joined Daniele Gatti and the Orchestre National de France for a televised concert on the Champs-de-Mars in Paris in front of an audience of more than 800,000.

Chen recently completed a five-city tour of China with the Gothenburg Symphony and Kent Nagano as well as a European tour with the London Philharmonic and Christoph Eschenbach.

Other highlights of the past season include his debuts with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, a recital at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and a second engagement with Gatti and the Orchestre National de France.

Expanding the appeal of classical music to young audiences is a commitment that encompasses Chen’s work, both onstage and off.

His use of social media — in particular his series of quirky, self-made online videos — has proven an effective tool in broadening the reach of classical music through humor and education.

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.

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 Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly were met with standing ovations.

Born in Taiwan and raised in Australia, Chen 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 1715 “Joachim” Stradivarius violin, once owned by the famed Hungarian violinist, Joseph Joachim (1831–1907), on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation..

About Julio Elizalde

The gifted American pianist Julio Elizalde is one of the most sought-after and multi-faceted artists of his generation.

He has performed in many of the major music centers throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America to popular and critical acclaim.

After three seasons as co-artistic director of the Olympic Music Festival near Seattle, Wash., this summer marked Elizalde’s debut season as artistic director of the 32-year-old arts organization.

Elizalde has appeared with many of the leading artists of our time. He tours internationally with world-renowned violinists Sarah Chang and Ray Chen and has performed alongside conductors Itzhak Perlman, Teddy Abrams and Anne Manson.

He has collaborated with artists such as violinist Pamela Frank, composers Osvaldo Golijov and Stephen Hough, baritone William Sharp and members of the Juilliard, Cleveland, Kronos and Brentano string quartets.

Elizalde is a founding member of the New Trio, winner of both the Fischoff and Coleman National Chamber Music Competitions and recipient of the Harvard Musical Association’s prestigious Arthur W. Foote Prize.

Elizalde received a bachelor's of music degree with honors from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and holds master's and doctorate of musical arts degrees from the Juilliard School in New York City. He is an alumnus of the Music Academy of the West.


» Beethoven: "Violin Sonata No. 1 in D Major, op. 12"

» Saint-Saëns: "Violin Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, op. 75"

» Ysaÿe: "Sonata for Solo Violin in E Minor, op. 27, no. 4"

» Falla: "Suite populaire espagnole"

» Monti: "Czardas"

The program is subject to change.
Ray Chen and Julio Elizalde’s recital is the first in the Up Close & Musical series.

Arts & Lectures series subscribers save up to 25 percent off of single ticket prices. The Up Close & Musical series purchase includes a reception with Ray Chen and Julio Elizalde following the performance.

Ray Chen, violin, and Julio Elizalde, piano, are presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures.
Tickets are $32 for the general public and $10 for UCSB students with a current ID. A Hahn Hall facility fee will be added to each ticket price.

For more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805.893.3535 or purchase online at

The Up Close & Musical Series in Hahn Hall at the Music Academy of the West is sponsored by Dr. Bob Weinman.

UCSB Arts & Lectures gratefully acknowledges the generous support of SAGE for its major corporate support of the 2015–2016 season.

— Caitlin O'Hara is a senior writer and publicist for UCSB Arts & Lectures.


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