Nicholls Music Welcomes World-Renowned Pianist to Mary and Al Danos Theater

THIBODAUX, La. — World-renowned pianist Hwaen Ch’uqi will perform works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Sergei Prokofiev for the Nicholls State University campus at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 21.

At 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 22, the Nicholls Wind Ensemble will premier the first movement of Ch’uqi’s composition, “Deux Dances Fantastiques.” 

Both concerts are free and open to the public and will take place in the Mary and Al Danos Theater.

Ch’uqi, who is blind, is an Inca Indian who grew up in an orphanage in Peru. Critics have labeled him as a piano virtuoso and “a true talent, a genuine diamond that you so rarely see.”

Including the U.S., Ch’uqi has performed in more than a half dozen countries all over the world. He has performed in venues such as Seiji Ozawa Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and the Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg.

His original compositions have been featured at the 2010 conference of the American Liszt Society conference, the Notes and Tones Music Studio and the Myanmar Music Festival, and have been performed by the Taipei Civic Symphony Orchestra.

He was a finalist in the 17th International Piano Duo Composition Competition in Tokyo and a semifinalist and winner of the Special Prize at the Second Sviatoslav Richter International Piano Competition in Moscow.

Dr. Jason Ladd, assistant professor of music and director of bands, has known about Ch’uqi’s skills ever since the two were roommates at the Eastman School of Music. He says his friend’s music blew him away at their freshman orientation when he performed Frédéric Chopin’s “Ballade No. 4.”

“The room was silent after he finished, all of us amazed by the colors he got out of the piano,” Dr. Ladd said. “Hwaen has a rare, sensitive expression in his music-making. The “Goldberg Variations” by Bach is a monumental work for piano that he will perform on the first half of the program, which I am sure will impress all who attend.”

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