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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Vicky Chow returns for Book 2 of Philip Glass’s Piano Etudes

The Vancouver-raised, New York-based pianist returns to her hometown to complete the composer’s solo piano études by performing Book 2 in its entirety.

Following her sold-out show last spring with Book 1 of Philip Glass’s Piano Etudes, Vancouver-raised, New York-based pianist Vicky Chow returns to her hometown to complete the composer’s solo piano études by performing Book 2 in its entirety.

“In classical music, there are rare, singular works that simply cannot be contained within one evening. Creations like Bach’s cello suites or Shostakovich’s string quartets take on a special resonance when experienced in their entirety in short windows. Philip Glass’s piano etudes are undeniably such a creation,” says David Pay, artistic director of Music on Main. “Our longtime colleague and collaborator Vicky Chow stunned audiences with last spring’s performance of Book 1, still available at the Music on Main YouTube channel for those who missed it, and we could not be more thrilled to welcome her back to present the arc and beauty that comes with the completion of such emotionally resonant repertoire.”

Chow’s understanding of Glass’s piano Etudes is partly informed by her connections with the composer and their shared presence in New York City’s new music community. She is a longtime member of the famed Bang on a Can All-Stars, a six-member amplified ensemble recognized worldwide for its ultra-dynamic live performances and recordings of today’s most innovative music. She first met Glass while performing with him on stage, at the same piano, during one of the legendary Bang on a Can Marathons staged annually in the city.

Glass describes Chow’s renditions of these works as “a highly dynamic and expressive performance. There’s a certain energy that is uniquely hers” in her 2022 recording of Etudes, Book 1. The Music on Main performance will mark Vancouver audiences’ first opportunity to hear the artist explore the music of Book 2 before Cantaloupe Music’s forthcoming album release of Chow performing the repertoire.

Music on Main presents Vicky Chow plays Philip Glass Piano Etudes Book 2 on May 28 at Christ Church Cathedral (690 Burrard St, Vancouver). Visit for tickets and information.

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