Q&A with Timothy Young and Sa Chen



A special double-episode of the Theme & Variations Q&A – piano superstars Timothy Young and Sa Chen will perform in the upcoming Australian Festival of Chamber Music.  One of the most exciting events in the Australian Music Calendar, don’t miss out on the 2016 Australian Festival of Chamber Music.



Q – What are you most looking forward to about Australian Festival of Chamber Music in 2016?


Timothy Young: I always look forward to performing the music and I guess that is what drives and inspires me. The festival atmosphere of the AFCM is also something I am looking forward to experiencing. It is a pleasure working with so many fabulously talented colleagues and sharing their energy only adds to the excitement of performing.


Sa Chen: It will be my first visit to AFCM, that makes me excited and full of expectation for plenty of freshness and good music and inspiring collaboration with colleagues and new friends.



Q – I know that all performances will be special but are there any that you are especially looking forward to performing at AFCM and why?


Timothy Young: It’s hard to choose but Mahler’s Ruckert Lieder is some of the most glorious song writing you will ever hear and it moves me every time. On the other side of the spectrum the concert fantasy on Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess leaves me smiling…


Sa Chen: It will be probably be the Brahms piano quartet I shall be playing. It’s great music with profound expression, symphonic minds behind it, and grand structure, plus so much vigour (almost wild when everybody gets to the end)! This piece always brought me such a rewarding feeling as a complete package!



Q – What advice would you give a young musician?


Timothy Young: If you can’t live without it you have to do it! …and you must be prepared to be eclectic in your approach.


Sa Chen: Play Chamber music. Because that is what music is about, to listen and to understand, to react and to join.



Q – Which other living artists do you most admire?


Timothy Young: There are so many for different reasons…..I love the beauty of Cecilia Bartoli’s voice, the complete freedom of Martha Argerich, the improvisational skills of Keith Jarrett and Robert Levin. Comedians, the Umbilical brothers I think are quite unique….then the extraordinary feats of those in the circus arts….


Sa Chen: Radu Lupu, G. Sokolov, and Pletnev.






Distinguished pianists Timothy Young and Sa Chen

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