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by Robert Rollin

CHANG-AngelinLast Sunday afternoon the Suburban Symphony presented an interesting “All Russian Program” at the University School Shaker Campus’s Conway Hall, an acoustically effective six hundred seat auditorium. The highlight was an excellent performance of the rarely heard Shostakovich Concerto for Piano, Trumpet, and String Orchestra, Opus 35 with Angelin Chang as piano soloist. Chang chairs the Keyboard Department at Cleveland State University. The unusual instrumentation made for a transparent orchestral texture that combined well with Chang’s wonderful musical exuberance and skill.

Shostakovich wrote this humorous and witty piece at age twenty-seven, premiering the piano part himself, accompanied by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra. The Concerto precipitated the composer’s first difficulties with Stalin that were to trouble him for many years, though the piece’s tongue-in-cheek character, similar to that of his Tahiti Trot, composed four years earlier, makes Stalin’s distaste all the more incomprehensible.

Chang’s alert and intense performance of the opening Allegretto fairly sparkled and seemed to sweep up the orchestra in her wake. Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway

CHANG-AngelinAngelin Chang brought a lot of technology to her recital at Gartner Auditorium of the Cleveland Museum of Art on Sunday afternoon, March 24. A Yamaha concert grand piano wired for midi held conversations with three laptop computers and projected the results onto a large screen for some of the works on the program, and Chang used an iPad instead of sheet music during one selection. The recital was the third and final concert of the Tri-C Classical Piano Series for this season and attracted a good-sized audience.

The images, generated first during Chang’s performance of Liszt’s transcription of J.S. Bach’s organ prelude and fugue in a minor, were the work of Cleveland State University faculty artist Qian Li — a set of slides ordered and superimposed at the behest of Chang’s fingers as channeled into the laptops and translated by computer software. Read the rest of this entry »

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