Frederic Chiu

Frederic Chiu: Classical Smackdown

Time Travelers: Bach vs. Glass
January 26, 2024

This event occurred as part of the 23/24 Hop Presents season. This is an archived view.

One piano. Two composers. Three rounds. In this participatory musical experience, you are invited to listen, debate and vote in a showdown between two iconic musicians.

23/24 Hop Presents

Pianist Frederic Chiu brings his beloved Classical Smackdown series to Dartmouth, where he pits two legendary composers against each other in a musical context. Audiences are invited to listen, debate and vote for their preferred artist over several short rounds of contrasting examples. Insightful commentary from Chiu brings to life favorites along with lesser-known pieces, making the audience's choices engaging, difficult and often surprising!   

Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach and 20th Century composer Philip Glass were masters at altering a listener's sense of time, with time slowing stopping or passing more quickly than imagined. With 250 years separating the two composers, both have created music that speaks to diverse people around the globe and across time. Chiu's program highlights the similarities and the contrasts of these two musical icons.

With a vibrant concert schedule, a legacy of 30 CDs and a stream of accolades from around the globe, pianist Frederic Chiu occupies a special place in the world of classical music. His non-traditional approach including interdisciplinary collaborations, integration of new technologies and emphasis on audience engagement distinguish Chiu as an innovator and boundary-breaking 21st-century artist.

View the results of voting at the concert here. >

Funded in part by the Donna Bascom 1973 and Paul Biddelman Fund. Photo: Chris Craymer

Frederic Chiu plays major venues on five continents: Lincoln Center in New York, Le Châtelet in Paris, the Mozarteum in Buenos Aires, and extensive tours in smaller and unusual venues. He collaborates with classical music friends Joshua Bell, Pierre Amoyal and the St. Lawrence String Quartet, as well as non-Classical friends like jazz pianist Bob James or storyteller David Gonzalez, to bring vivid live piano experiences to all audiences.
Frederic Chiu recorded the most extensive complete piano works of Prokofiev, and his personal relationship with the Prokofiev family makes him a world-recognized advocate of the composer. Across 30+ albums, he has recorded works of Chopin, Liszt, Ravel, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Rossini and Grieg. His wide recording legacy is seen in his latest recordings: Beethoven/Liszt Symphonies V and VII, Hymns and Dervishes, music of Gurdjieff/de Hartmann, Distant Voices: Music of Claude Debussy & Gao Ping, and Schubert's Fantasy for Violin and Piano.
His innovative programming includes "Classical Smackdown," where composers face off in head-to-head comparisons, with listeners voting for their favorite composer. With his wife, Jeanine Esposito, he co-created the arts non-profit, Beechwood Arts & Innovation to explore collaboration across art genres and the integration of arts and technology to foster community. His innovative vision of Romeo & Juliet—The Choice, an interactive production of the popular Prokofiev ballet, debuted in 2018. Frederic teaches at both Carnegie Mellon University and The Hartt School.

“Every detail—thought through, internalized and spun into golden sound—matters.”

New York Newsday
Richard Move
2023/24 Season

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