Salonline 2022-06-12 Wan-Chi Su “Memories of Home”

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Sunday June 12, 2022
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– A “hybrid” concert –

Wan-Chi Su


Memories of Home

This program features music by composers from Taiwan, Germany, and America, centered on the concept of home. Hsiao’s Piano Suite “Memories of Home” recalls the composer’s childhood memories, tinged with nostalgia while physically unable to return to his homeland. In each piece from the suite, Hsiao offers a fragmented glimpse into his vision of his homeland.

Hindemith’s rarely-performed Piano Sonata No. 1 was composed during a tumultuous period – both for him personally, and for Germans broadly –  due to the rise of the Third Reich in Germany. The first piano sonata was inspired by Friedrich Hölderlin’s poem “Der Main”—the river that runs through Hindemith’s hometown of Frankfurt. Working in a rather unconventional five-movement structure, Hindemith carefully selected material that embodied his view of German identity, while crafting an underlying narrative that ties the entire work together.

William Grant Still’s “Summerland”, from his short Piano Suite Three Visions, is a musical portrait of the afterlife. Still referred to “Summerland” as the place that awaits a good person after death and judgement. In some interpretations, when one passes, they return to the place from which they came – in some cultures even referred to as a homegoing. Beyond the obvious fit as the closing piece on this program, “Summerland” reminds us that every end presents a new beginning, with more to explore.


Tyzen Hsiao: Memories of Home, Op. 49 (1987)

I. Prelude
II. Memory
III. Playground
IV. Ancient Taiwanese Melody
V. Elegy
VI. Frolic

Paul Hindemith: Piano Sonata No. 1 “Der Main” (1936)

I. Ruhig bewegte Viertel
II. Im Zeitmaß eines sehr lansamen Marsches – Etwas lebhafter – Im Anfangszeitmaß
III. Lebhaft – Lebhafter
IV. Ruhig bewegte Viertel, wie im ersten Teil
V. Lebhaft – Energisch – Lebhaft, wie früher

William Grant Still: “Summerland” from Three Visions (1935)


Pianist Dr. Wan-Chi Su has performed in Asia, Europe, and the United States as a soloist and collaborative artist, at major venues including Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, Salle Cortot in Paris, and Taiwan National Concert Hall. Reviewing her recent performance at the Washington National Cathedral, the American Scholar noted that “(she) played with sensitivity and imagination.”

Decorated with numerous awards, Dr. Su won first prize in the Taiwan Cultural Cup Invitational Piano Competition, and the Taiwan National Student Music Competition in Piano. Further, she has been invited to numerous music festivals, including the Taos School of Music, the Beethoven Institute, both the Icicle Creek Piano Festival and the Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival, the NTSO International Piano Program in Taiwan, and the Paris Piano Program in France. She is the co-founder of Duo Sorolla and an artist member of the Piatigorsky Foundation.

Born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Dr. Su began piano lessons at age four. She received a bachelor’s degree in piano, minoring in French horn, from the National Kaohsiung Normal University in Taiwan, followed by a Master of Music, a Graduate Performance Diploma, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Su currently serves on the piano faculty of the Park School of Baltimore and maintains a private studio.

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