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XinRu Chen

11 July @ 12:45 pm 1:45 pm

£7 Adults

Tickets on the door (cash or card). Under 18s and carers go free

Doors open at 12:15 pm

Aylesbury Lunchtime Music

View Organiser Website


XinRu Chen


Notes on the performers

Appearing across Europe and China for her performance and research, XinRu Chen enjoys her life as a concert pianist, music scholar. Acquiring her PhD from the Royal Academy of Music at age 26, XinRu has performed in many prestigious halls in UK, Finland, Ireland, Spain, Italy and China, including St.Martin in-the-Fields Cathedral, St.James Piccadilly Church, Southwark Cathedral, Regent Hall, Duke’s Hall, Susie Sainsbury Theatre, and the National Concert Hall in Dublin. Her repertoire covers a wide range of romantic and contemporary music, recognised by the Janet Duff Greet Prize in the Christian Carpenter Competition. During the pandemic in 2020, XinRu led a series of experimental concerts at the Royal Academy of Music, live-streaming on the Academy website.

With her passion about music and piano, XinRu has given performances at many festivals across Europe, including the Petworth Festival, the Chipping Camden Music Festival, the Dartington Summer Music Festival, the III Festival International de Piano de Málaga, the Perugia International Piano Festival, and the Royal Academy of Music Summer Festival. As a soloist, she enjoys a broad range of concerto repertoire from early classical to late romantic period, cooperating with many orchestras, such as the Penzance Society Orchestra, the Ashdod Orchestra, and the Royal Academy of Music Student Orchestra. During her study life, XinRu has worked with many renowned musicians, including Christopher Elton, Alexander Kobrin, Pascal Devoyon, Imogen Cooper, Dina Parakhina, and Joseph Banowetz, and has been awarded many scholarships — the Leverhulme Trust Undergraduate Scholarship, the American Society for the Royal Academy of Music Scholarship, and the Marjorie McAdams Scholarship. In 2017 and 2018, XinRu was awarded the Arthur Hervey Scholarship and the Franz Reizenstein Prize at the Royal Academy of Music for her excellent academic works.

Meanwhile, XinRu is also an active music scholar, presenting her project ‘Reprogramming Schumann and Contemporary Piano Cycles’ at many conferences in 2022, including the AEC European Platform for Artistic Research in Music, the 12th Biennial International Conference on Music Since 1900, and the Perform-Live festival conference at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. She was selected as one of the representatives of the PhD department to present on the PhD open day at the Royal Academy of Music in 2021, and also to participate the Sibelius Academy co-seminar in Helsinki, in which her project and performance has received general acclaims. Currently she is bringing her innovative reprogrammes out to the general public, aiming to provide performers a new way to concert programming, giving audiences a refreshing view of conventional repertoire, as well as making the contemporary repertoire more accessible.

XinRu finished her undergraduate and postgraduate study at the Royal Academy of Music in 2019, under the tutorage of Professor Joanna MacGregor. In 2023, she acquired her PhD degree at the Academy, supervised by Professor Roderick Chadwick and Professor Christopher Elton.


Programme notes

Schumann & Jörg Widmann

Kreisleriana Op.16 and Elf Humoresken
  1. Elf Humoresken No.10, Lied im Traume (Start of the Dream)
  2. Kreisleriana No.8, Schnell und Spielend (Being Lost)
  3. Elf Humoresken No.9, Glocken (Calling from a Distance)
  4. Kreisleriana No.2, Sehr innig und nicht
    zu rasch (A Confession of Love)
  5. Elf Humoresken No.3, Anfangs Lebhaft (Agitation after a Love Confession)
  6. Kreisleriana No.3, Sehr aufgeregt (Stubborn Resolution)
  7. Elf Humoresken No.7, Intermezzo (Unease)
  8. Elf Humoresken No.8, Zerrinnendes Bild (Fading Away)
  9. Kreisleriana No.1, Äußerst bewegt (Onrushing Affection)
  10. Elf Humoresken No.1, Kinderlied (Childlike Behaviour)
  11. Kreisleriana No.6, Sehr langsam (Helplessness)
  12. Elf Humoresken No.2, Fast zu ernst (Seeking)
  13. Kreisleriana No.5, Sehr lebhaft (Trying to Catch Something)
  14. Elf Humoresken No.4, Waldszene (Fleeting Thoughts)
  15. Elf Humoresken No.5, Choral (Pilgrimage)
  16. Kreisleriana No.7, Sehr rasch (Fight and Pleading)
  17. Elf Humoresken No.6, Warum? (A Desperate ‘Why’?)
  18. Kreisleriana No.4, Sehr langsam (Healing the Broken Heart)
  19. Elf Humoresken No.11, Mit Humor und
    Feinsinn (Waking up from the Dream)

Starting with falling into a dream, Dreaming Kreisleriana contains almost every sensation we could experience in our life. The violent high A in ‘Lied im Traume’ delivers a clear message — it is not going to be a peaceful dream. Having the naughty left hand playing around, Kreisleriana No.8 impresses us with a strong sense of lostness. Gradually dwindling the repeated high G, ‘Glocken’ strikes, as if our important one is going away, calling in distance, and bringing us to the most ardent confession of love, Kreisleriana No.2.

The vehement surges at the beginning of ‘Anfangs Lebhaft’ tell exactly how we feel after a confession, agitated and restless. Even though we have not yet received an answer, Kreisleriana No.3 conveys a stubborn resolution, which quietly blurs and fades away in ‘Zerrinnendes Bild’ after short unease — ‘Intermezzo’. Nevertheless, the affection is powerful, rushing back to Kreisleriana No.1 and resulting in weird, childlike behaviours — ‘Kinderlied’.

Yet there is always a moment that we realise: no matter how hard we try, everything is hopeless. The helplessness in Kreisleriana No.6 leads to an endless seeking in ‘Fast zu ernst’, provoking Kreisleriana No.5 and receiving numerous fleeting thoughts — ‘Waldszene’. The following ‘Choral’ represents a pilgrimage. As the last hope disappears, we get angry in Kreisleriana No.7. We pray, and finally we ask:
‘Warum?’ Surely, it is desperate, but nothing cannot be healed by Kreisleriana No.4, and, after dreaming the whole life experience, ‘Mit Humor und Feinsinn’ is the time for us to wake up.

Source: XinRu Chen