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Visiting Pianist Chaoi Chou

Internationally successful musician performs at the French House during her visit from Taiwan.

A longtime friendship of two musicians brought pianist Chaoi Chou from Taiwan to the LSU Honors College Tuesday to perform at the monthly First Tuesday Concert.

Chou performed works by Robert Schumann, Ludwig van Beethoven and friend Ming-Hsiu Yen. 

The first piece Chou played was a duet with bassist and longtime friend Yung-chiao Wei.  Chou is in Baton Rouge visiting Wei, a double bass professor at the LSU School of Music.  The women asked Yen, their former classmate, to compose a work when they learned they would be playing together at the LSU Honors College.

“She’s a friend so we asked her to make something for us—quick!” Chou said.

Chou and Wei were classmates in Taiwan beginning in the third grade.  They played in the same music program, went to the same high school and eventually both graduated from the prestigious Eastman School of Music.  Ironically, Chou said she was a double bass major at Eastman, and Wei was a piano major.  They somehow switched instruments, Chou said.

“She beats me,” Chou laughed when she referred to their friendly rivalry in music competitions growing up.

Although Chou is humble in her praise of Wei, she herself has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Asia and other parts of the world.  Including many other schools in the United States, Chou has played at New York's Cornell University and Eastman School of Music.  Chou has also performed at the Berlin University of the Arts in Germany and the Copenhagen Opera house in Denmark.

Chou is playing a guest piano concert Feb. 14 in the LSU School of Music Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m.  She said she will return to Taiwan after the Louisiana Bass Festival, which includes a public concert at 5:00 p.m., also in the Recital Hall, on Feb. 17.

First Tuesday Concerts are held at noon on the first Tuesday of each month during a semester.  The LSU Honors College and LSU School of Music faculty and students collaborate to organize the monthly performances in the Grand Salon.  All are welcome to attend the concerts.

Story by Anna Kalmbach

For more information, contact the Honors College at 225-578-8831