Monica Chew: Composer/Pianist Seeking to Illuminate and Entertain 

What does classical music mean to audiences today?  Is it a “serious” intellectual endeavor, as implied by the Latin motto Res severa verum gaudium of Leipzig’s Gewandhaus Orchestra?  Or does it mean the perfect soundtrack to accompany your lunch break, as Colorado Public Radio Classical’s Midday Mozart program claims?  Maybe it means both: Composer/Pianist Monica Chew’s take on classical music is that it should be seriously illuminating and fantastically entertaining.  Her first recording of solo piano music was dedicated to the intense and mystic music of Bartók, Janáček, Takemitsu, Messiaen and Scriabin.  Yet, the music she, herself, composes is often about making the performer and listener smile with delight.  Things I Tell My Cat for voice and piano or Zoom Gloom for one or more cellos and track are some of her newest compositions.  Whither, then, are you speeding, classical music?  Come welcome the Bay Area’s Monica Chew to our show for a refreshing take on the many meanings of the music we call classical.

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