Frederic Chiu Brings Classical Smackdown to Hawaii

Concert pianist Frederic Chiu brings the thrills of Classical Smackdown – a concert event that pits one composer against another – to the Aloha International Piano Festival
Frederic Chiu brings Classical Smackdown to Hawaii. (Photo:
Frederic Chiu brings Classical Smackdown to Hawaii. (Photo:
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Frederic Chiu
Classical Smackdown
Hawaii Convention
Lisa Nakamichi
Aloha Piano Festival


Kailua - Hawaii - US


KAILUA, Hawaii - April 21, 2014 - PRLog -- Internationally-acclaimed concert pianist Frederic Chiu will bring the thrills of Classical Smackdown – a concert event that pits the music of one composer against another – to the Aloha International Piano Festival (AIPF) at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 8 at the Hawaii Convention Center. Audience members will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite composer during Chiu’s performance of works by Debussy and Prokofiev. AIPF organizers stress that while the music will be classical, the atmosphere will be welcoming and relaxed, making it a fun, family-friendly event with opportunities for audience participation. Voting results will be immediately tallied and discussed. It’s anyone’s guess which composer will win over the audience! Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students/children and are on sale now. To learn more, visit alohapianofestival.comand follow AIPF on Facebook (

“There are many ways to program a recital: playing just one composer, two composers, etc., but Mr. Chiu will be performing two composers in the same period and furthermore, having the audience members decide which composer is better than the other to create an extremely unique and educational event,” said Lisa Nakamichi, AIPF Founder and Director. “Bringing the audience closer to the artist is a very important component in all AIPF events and we are excited that Classical Smackdown will be doing just that here in Hawaii!”

In addition to his performance in Classical Smackdown, Chiu will also serve as a member of the music faculty for the ninth annual festival, which runs from June 8 to 15 at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu. Each year, AIPF features a week of concerts and free events, as well as professionally-adjudicated music competitions for children, teens and adult amateurs; workshops and masterclasses for students and teachers; and a Piano Academy program for promising young pianists.

Chiu’s fellow faculty members include celebrated pianists John Bayless, Thomas Sauer, Haewon Song, Lisa Nakamichi, and local favorite and Van Cliburn-winner Jon Nakamatsu, who will return to AIPF in a concert titled “Viva Gershwin!” featuring selections from Porgy & Bess, and Gershwin’s 1924 original version of Rhapsody in Blue accompanied by a jazz band. “Viva Gershwin!” will be presented at the Hawaii Convention Center at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 12.

About Frederic Chiu
Born and raised in America by Chinese immigrant parents and resident of Paris for twelve years, Frederic Chiu’s cosmopolitan background brings a unique approach to his music-making. A master of the recording studio, Chiu has released more than twenty CDs for the Harmonia Mundi label including the complete piano works by Prokofiev. After studies at Indiana University and at the Juilliard School, Chiu began his career in Europe: his recital debut at Wigmore Hall prompted the Evening Standard’s headline “Call of the Wild Genius”.

Chiu has performed at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Cité de la Musique in Paris and the Philharmonie in Berlin. In North America, Chiu has performed extensively at Lincoln Center, Newport Music Festival, the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Ambassador Theatre in Pasadena and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC; and in Asia, with the China National Symphony in Beijing, the Taipei National Symphony, and in recital in Hong Kong and Singapore. A recipient of prestigious awards such as the Avery Fisher Career Grant, it was the lack of an award, at the 1993 Van Cliburn Competition, that first brought him international notoriety: the New York Times referred then to Chiu as the “maverick American pianist”.

Frederic Chiu is also committed to expanding the place of classical music. He has created unusual collaborations with personalities outside the world of classical music, such as the Shakespearean actor Brian Bedford and psychologist/writer/clown Howard Buten. He worked with the hip-hop artist Socalled in the Messiaen Remix project. He does extensive work with children through concert/lectures for schools, and has brought classical music to places where it is rarely heard. Currently, he is performing with David Gonzalez in the classics Peter and the Wolf and Carnival of the Animals, transcribed for solo piano and narrator.

Classical Smackdown
What: Classical Smackdown: Debussy Versus Prokofiev at the Aloha International Piano Festival
Where: Hawaii Convention Center
When: Sunday, June 8 at 4 p.m.
Tickets: General $25, Students $10. On sale now at or at the door.
About: When was the last time you argued over which dead white European male composer was better than another? Classical Smackdown with Frederic Chiu gives you the opportunity to make a statement! Listen to Debussy and Prokofiev and mark your vote for your favorite. Be careful – the pieces will make your choice very difficult.

About the Aloha International Piano Festival
Founded in 2006 by pianist Lisa Nakamichi, the Aloha International Piano Festival (AIPF) is a non-profit organization committed to educating Hawaii’s children and teachers. AIPF addresses three main needs: the need for music teacher training, the need for low-cost music concerts and music education opportunities, and the need for high-caliber classes and lessons for piano students. AIPF strives to elevate the awareness of classical music in Hawaii while offering people of all ages the opportunity to experience music in a welcoming and educational setting. As a result of volunteer efforts and work to minimize administrative costs, AIPF has consistently offered programs at low and affordable rates for more than eight years.

The Aloha International Piano Festival gratefully acknowledges the support of The Atherton Foundation, the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu, and the Music Teachers National Association Foundation.

Suzanne Lee
Aloha International Piano Festival PRs
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