Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Contrapuncti Nos. I, IV, V, VI, IX, XI
from the Art of the Fugue BWV 1080
Padre Antonio Soler (1729-1783)
Sonata in C sharp minor R.356
Sonata in D flat Major R.417 (ca. 1772)
Manuel de Falla (1876-1946)
Fantasia Baetica (1919)
Canadian pianist Winston Choi is an inquisitive performer whose fresh approach to standard repertory, and masterful understanding, performance and commitment to works by living composers, make him one of today’s most dynamic young concert artists. Choi maintains an active international performing schedule. In demand as a concerto soloist, he has appeared with l’Orchestre National de Lille, l’Orchestre Symphonique d’Orléans, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, the CBC Radio Orchestra, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra, La Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia, the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra, and the Kalistos Chamber Orchestra, among others.
Known for his colorful approach to programming and insightful commentary from the stage, Choi has recently appeared in recital at the National Arts Centre of Canada, the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, New York’s Carnegie-Weill Recital Hall and Merkin Recital Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Kravis Center in Florida, Berlin’s “Klavierfieber” Festival and the “Cicle Grans Solistes” in Spain. Choi performs extensively in France, having played venues such as the Salle Cortot, Lille’s Festival Rencontre Robert Casadesus, the Messiaen Festival, and the Strasbourg Festival. Frequently in demand throughout his native Canada, he has been awarded numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts. His numerous performances can often be heard on CBC radio broadcasts. Recently, he toured Eastern Ontario and Quebec under the auspices of Jeunesses Musicales and embarked on a 10-city Prairie Debut tour of the Canadian Prairie provinces. An accomplished chamber musician, he tours regularly with his wife, MingHuan Xu as Duo Diorama, as well as with the ensemble Pivot Chamber Soloists and the Civitas Ensemble.
As a dedicated champion of contemporary music, Choi has premiered and commissioned over 100 works by young composers as well as established masters. A composer himself, being involved with the creative process is an integral part of his artistry. He was the first pianist to perform Pierre Boulez’s last version of Incises in North America and made the South American premiere of Luciano Berio‘s Sonata for pianoforte solo. He also regularly appears in concert at IRCAM, the world’s most renowned institution for contemporary music. Composers he has collaborated with include William Bolcom, Elliott Carter, John Corigliano, Brian Ferneyhough, Bright Sheng, Christian Wolff, Chen Yi and John Zorn. He is also a core member of the new music ensemble Brave New Works and the Chicago-based Ensemble Dal Niente. His upcoming performances include piano concerti by Jeffrey Mumford, John Melby and Jacques Lenot.
Already a prolific recording artist, Choi’s debut CD, the complete piano works of Elliott Carter (l’Empreinte Digitale in France) was given 5 stars by BBC Music Magazine. He has also recorded 2 CDs of the piano music of Jacques Lenot for the Intrada label, having won the Grand Prix du Disque from l’Académie Charles Cros for Volume I. Other labels he can be heard on include Albany, AMP, Arktos, Crystal Records, Naxos and QuadroFrame.
Choi began his studies in Toronto with James Tweedie and Vivienne Bailey. He obtained both his Bachelor and Master Degrees at Indiana University, receiving the Performer’s Certificate studying with Menahem Pressler. Further studies were with Ursula Oppens at Northwestern University, where he completed his Doctorate of Music. Previously on the faculties of Bowling Green State University and the Oberlin Conservatory, he is an Associate Professor and Head of Piano at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. An accomplished teacher, he is in frequent demand as a master class clinician and presenter.
Sebastian Huydts, (b.1966), studied piano in Amsterdam with Edith Lateiner-Grosz at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In addition, he took post-graduate classes with Rian de Waal. He participated in piano master classes with György Sebök, Stephen Bishop, and Earl Wild, and took Chamber Music lessons with Tan Crone. He has performed solo, with orchestra and in chamber music throughout Northern Europe and the Midwestern USA and has appeared on Dutch, Spanish and Chicagoland radio. As a composer he has written repertoire for solo instruments as well as various ensembles ranging from duo to orchestra. His style seeks to combine 20th century innovations with traditional elements of Western music. His works consist of song cycles, sonatas, chamber music for various combinations, and concertos. Many of these works include the piano. In 1993, the Music Deparment of the University of Chicago awarded him a four-year stipend to study Composition. While studying at the University of Chicago, he received the Paul and Olga Menn prize for original compositions for his Concerto For Piano And Double String Orchestra.
He has received commissions from organizations such as the “Rhijnauwen Chamber Music Festival”, the DuPage Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Chamber Musicians, the Rembrandt Chamber Players, The Orion Ensemble, and Vents de Barcelona, as well as from individual artists Marion van den Akker, Keith Conant, Katinka Kleijn, Claire Chase, Eric Lamb, Noé Cantú and Elizabeth Ko. All works have been performed and recorded in past concert seasons. In 2004 his Music for Flute and Piano, recorded by Mary Stolper for Cedille Records, received a favorable review in the Gramophone. He has been Composer In Residence with and is member of Chicago’s New Music Ensemble CUBE. In this position, he received a grant from the American Composer’s Forum to write music for children’s concerts.
Sebastian Huydts has taught at the College of the University of Chicago, Lake Forest College, Northwestern University and at the Merit School of Music in Chicago. At present he is Associate Professor and Director of Keyboard Studies at the Music Center of Columbia College Chicago. Aside from his activities at the college level, he has co-taught orchestration with Cliff Colnot in the MFA Music Composition for the Screen program. In addition, he is involved in the pre-collegiate program at Sherwood Community Music School.
He regularly performs with CUBE and with musicians from the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya. In Spain he is represented by Musicantes concert management. As of late 2009, his work is published by Jeanné, specialists in music for woodwinds and viola.