Press Office


Piano prodigy promises exciting start to summer music celebration


A gifted young pianist will launch this year’s ICMuS (International Centre for Music  Studies) Summer Music Festival.

Fifteen-year-old Alex Chien, will be the first musician to play at the week-long musical celebration, when he performs with Newcastle Sinfonietta on Monday, 9 June. He will play a stunning piano concerto by Sergei Rachmaninov.

Alex’s first solo recital was at Newcastle University in 2009 and, in 2012, he played a concert which included Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, to a packed King’s Hall. Alex, whose family are originally from Newcastle but now live in the US, has won many awards during his short but impressive career.

The festival is run entirely by music students and celebrates the music department’s instrumentalists, vocalists, ensembles and composers.
Each day a free lunchtime concert will take place in the King’s Hall at 1pm. Evening concerts will take place at 7.30pm.

Other highlights of the programme include a free evening of performances by popular, folk and jazz musicians at BarLoco, in Leazes Park Road, on Wednesday.  Thursday evening will feature many of the department’s finest singers as they perform Henry Purcell’s short opera Dido & Aeneas.

Jamie Stockbridge is festival chairman. He said: “The ICMuS summer music festival celebrates everything that is good about music at Newcastle University. Our extremely talented staff and students really get to show off their skills. The festival exemplifies the diversity of talent we have, including fantastic folk musicians, brilliant vocalists and our wonderful composers.

“We are also delighted to welcome Alex Chien to open this year’s event. He is an amazing pianist who has been a hit with audiences at the University in the past and we’re really looking forward to hearing what I am sure will be an incredible performance.”

The Festival runs from Monday 9 June to Friday 13 June. You can buy single tickets for performances or buy a festival ticket, which will allow you to go to all the festival’s evening concerts. Prices are: student £3 (festival ticket £9), concession £5 (festival ticket £15) and Adult £7 (festival ticket £20). They are available by emailing, calling 07913 978615 or will be available on the door.

published on: 5 June 2014