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Stellar pianists will shine Wednesday at Clayton Opera House


CLAYTON — Christopher O’Riley, host of the popular National Public Radio program “From the Top,” will perform with opening act and fellow pianist Yi-Yang Chen on Wednesday at the Clayton Opera House.

This is the closing performance of this year’s Sidney T. Cox Memorial Concert Series funded through the Northern New York Community Foundation.

Mr. Chen will play selections from his repertoire in a pre-show performance beginning at 7 p.m. A brief intermission will be followed by Mr. O’Riley’s program, which will feature selections from Chopin, Mozart, Liszt and more contemporary interpretations of Radiohead, Nirvana, and Pink Floyd.

Mr. O’Riley performs his eclectic arrangements of popular music and classical repertoire all over the world. He is recognized as one of the leading American pianists of his generation, touring extensively as a recitalist and chamber musician and appearing with major orchestras. As host of “From the Top,” Mr. O’Riley is well-known for his musings on music and pop culture.

Mr. O’Riley’s recordings have received international acclaim, including the only four-star review given by Rolling Stone magazine to a classical pianist. His latest album, “Out of My Hands,” includes music of R.E.M., Portishead, Cocteau Twins, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, the Bad Plus, the Smiths, Tears for Fears, as well as material from Radiohead and a new song by Elliott Smith.

Taiwanese pianist Yi-Yang Chen began studying the piano at age 8. He came to the United States in 2008 as an undergraduate student of Douglas Humphrey at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, where he received his bachelor of arts degree in piano performance in 2012. He is pursuing graduate studies at the Juilliard School as a student of Robert McDonald and Jerome Lowenthal.

Mr. Chen has attended the Taos School of Music Summer Chamber Music Program in New Mexico and was awarded a fellowship at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara during the summer of 2012.

Mr. Chen was the winner of the 2012 Music Teachers National Association’s Young Artist Piano Competition as well as winning first prize in the senior division in the 2012 Thousand Islands International Chopin Piano Competition, Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Competition and Canada’s Pacific International Piano Competition.

While studying at Juilliard, Mr. Chen will participate in solo competitions and performances as well as a variety of chamber music ensembles.

The details
WHAT: Pianist and “From the Top” host Christopher O’Riley and pianist Yi-Yang Chen
WHEN/WHERE: 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Clayton Opera House, 405 Riverside Drive
COST: Tickets range from $35 to $50 and can be purchased at the Clayton Opera House box office, by calling it at 686-2200 or visiting
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