DUC Chamber Music Series: Wendy Toh, violin and Xi Chen, piano

Wendy Toh, violin
Xi Chen, piano

-A folk-inspired evening-


Violin Sonata                                                                                         Leoš Janáček (1854-1928)

Sonata No.2 for Violin and Piano, Sz.76                                                  Béla Bartók (1881-1945)




Jasmine Flower (MOLI HUA)                                                                     Victoria Bond (1945-)

Suite for Violin and Piano                                                                    Morton Gould (1913-1996)



Wendy Toh enjoys an active performance career in various concert halls in Europe, United States, Canada, China, and Singapore. She was a soloist with the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Festive Orchestra, Tanjong Katong Girls’ School String Orchestra, and The Chinese High School String Orchestra. As an active chamber musician, she performed with members of the Ying Quartet and Eastman faculty members such as Eduardo Bellotti, Bonita Boyd, Renée Jolles, and George Taylor as well as Pierre Henri Xuereb of the Paris Conservatoire. She has also performed in masterclasses for the Juilliard and Brentano String Quartets, Anssi Karttunen, Sharon Robinson, Yehonathan Berick, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Michelle LaCourse, and Xak Bjerken among others.

Dedicated to the performance of new music, she has worked with composers Kaija Sariaaho, Samuel Adler, and Victoria Bond in premiering and performing their works for solo violin and chamber music. In addition, she has premiered works for the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester, Women in Music Festival, Ossia New Music, Rochester Music Hall of Fame, Sibelius Academy (Helsinki), Setnor School of Music (Syracuse), Eastman Composition Department, Eastman Audio Research Studio, and Raffles Junior College Music Department. Her most recent project was the Finnish premiere of Sariaaho’s Frises in collaboration with electronics specialist David Poissonnier at Black Box of the Music Center, Helsinki.

Prize winner of the Singapore National Violin Competition and first prize winner of the Duxbury Music Festival Chamber Competition, other awards include: 2016 Celentano Award for Excellence in Chamber Music, Buxton Fellowship for outstanding studies in violin, Caroline Cirotzki Barsh Scholarship for “an outstanding graduate violin major”, Hokkien Foundation: Arts and Culture Award, 2010 and the inaugural Alumni Excellence in Performing Arts Award from the Tanjong Katong Girls’ School.  

Having received her BM and MM at Eastman as a student of Professor Oleg Krysa, currently Ms. Toh is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts under the tutelage of Professor Renée Jolles, for whom she was a Teaching Assistant for three years. A committed pedagogue, she is an Instructor of Violin at Roberts Wesleyan College and a teaching intern at the Eastman Community Music School. In May 2017, Ms. Toh gave masterclasses and lectures in China, where she will return to give additional classes twice this season.

An accomplished young pianist, Xi Chen enjoys an active career performing in three continents. From performances with major orchestras, collaborations with other musicians, solo recitals and competitions, Chen has set the stage for an impressive career.

A prize-winner of international and national competitions, he won the Third Prize and the inaugural prize for ‘Best Francis Poulenc Performance’ at the 8th Francis Poulenc International Piano Competition in France. His research on the music of Francis Poulenc has led him to present a lecture on the performance practice issues of Poulenc’s piano compositions. In addition, he is also a National Finalist at America’s Music Teachers National Association (MTNA)/Steinway Young Artists Competition and First Prize of the Eastern Division in 2013, among many other prizes in his career.

Mr. Chen has been invited to serve on the jury for piano competitions in New York, as well as staff pianist for the Eastman Young Artists International Competition 2015. He has also recorded for the W.W. Norton Company in 2015 for its publication of a music theory textbook named The Musician’s Guide to Theory and Analysis, 3rd Edition; and with the Eastman Wind Ensemble with conductor Mark Scatterday (“Trilogy”) in 2014. Mr. Chen has played and performed with renowned artists such as Jan Opalach and William VerMeulen.

He is currently a candidate of Doctor of Musical Arts at the Eastman School of Music with Professor Douglas Humpherys, with a degree minor in orchestra conducting.