Hannah Porter-Occeña, flute Belle Chen, piano from the Royal Academy of Music
Supported by: Leatherhead Concert & Arts Society
New Beginnings: Australian & American Duos for Flute and Piano
Aaron Copland (1900-1990, USA) Duo for Flute and Piano (1971)
Anne Boyd (b1946, Australia) Goldfish Through Summer Rain (1978)
Carl Vine (b1954, Australia) Sonata for Flute and Piano (1992)
John Carmichael (b1930, Australia) from A Little Night Music Quiet Evening Caribbean Moonrise
Robert Beaser (b1954, USA) The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water (1986) (poem by William Butler Yeats)
This concert will be repeated at St Paul's Church, Covent Garden at 1pm lunchtime, on Friday, September 27th.
Vecchia Trattoria will be selling sandwiches, cakes and drinks in the church after the concert.
LEATHERHEAD HARVESTS SPECTACLES - Leatherhead Methodist Church and Christ Church URC are both collection points for this special harvest. Please bring your old specs along and place them in the box provided.
Formed in 2011 at the Royal Academy of Music (London, UK), the Occeña-Chen Duo is a chamber consort comprised of flutist Hannah Porter Occeña and pianist Belle Chen. While many such ensembles are viewed by both performers and audience members as ‘flute solo with piano accompaniment,’ the Occeña-Chen Duo showcases a partnership between flute and piano, two equal musicians collaborating to create chamber music. Recent appearances include performances at Steinway Hall (London, UK) and for the Inaugural League of Entrepreneurs Awards Banquet at Goodenough College (London, UK).
Occeña and Chen are committed to discovering and performing great duos for flute and piano, cultivating new classical music audiences, and confronting musical stereotypes. In addition to performing works by established ‘greats’ of classical music, the Occeña-Chen Duo seeks to perform 20th and 21st century repertoire to a high standard in ways that engage audiences, introducing lesser-known works and cultivating an appreciation for the next generation of ‘greats’ in classical music.
Hannah Porter Occeña, Flute
Hailed by the New York Times as possessing “rich tone and deft technique,” flutist Hannah Porter Occeña has performed as an orchestral soloist on numerous occasions, has been awarded prizes in national and international competitions, including the MTNA Young Artist Woodwind Competition and the WAMSO Young Artist Competition, and was awarded the 2012 Irene Burchard Prize for the top woodwind final recital at the Royal Academy of Music in June 2012. Occeña is a dedicated chamber musician, appearing frequently as a duo with pianist Belle Chen, and she has performed as Associate Principal Flute of the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra and with various orchestral and chamber ensembles in Kansas City, Missouri, London, England, and Kecskemét, Hungary.
Committed to the rich heritage and new horizons of the repertoire, Occeña strives to make classical works accessible and engaging to diverse audiences. She performs frequent informal lecture recitals—combining contemporary music, music technology, and standard repertoire—at senior citizens centers, participates in outreach concerts and programs for young people, and maintains a private teaching studio. Upcoming artistic and community outreach goals include establishing a rush-hour concert series for London-area commuters and a chamber music institute for students in rural North Dakota. Occeña holds a Bachelor of Music Suma cum laude from the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance and a Master of Music Dip.RAM from the Royal Academy of Music.
Belle Chen, piano
A dynamic and versatile performer, Australian-Taiwanese pianist Belle Chen is much sought after as a soloist, chamber musician, and collaborator, and is emerging as one of the most exciting and multifarious musicians of her generation.
Belle has performed in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Spain, Italy, and China. Recent UK engagements have included solo recitals at Steinway Hall London, Colston Hall, and Senate House. Her diverse repertoire ranges from the music of J.S. Bach to contemporary composers. Belle’s interest in promoting new music led to the world premiere of Josephine Yin-Fan Jin’s piano suite Horai (2011) in Taipei (Taiwan), solo and chamber performances at the 2010 Encounters Festival, and the Australian premiere of George Antheil’s Ballet Mecanique in 2007. In recent years, Belle has given performances as part of the 2010 and 2011 Piano! Festival (Melbourne, Australia), 2010 Shanghai World Expo (China), 2012 Bloomsbury Festival (London), Teneriffe Festival, and the Queensland Youth Music Festival. Belle’s performances have been broadcasted by ABC FM, 4MBS, and Dateline (TV). Belle was an award finalist for 2010 Australian National Piano Award.
Belle is currently studying for the Master of Music (Concert Project) in piano performance under the tutelage of Ian Fountain at the Royal Academy of Music. She obtained her Bachelor of Music in Advanced Performance with Honours from Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University (Brisbane, Australia), where she studied under Oleg Stepanov and exited with Fred Ellaway Prize for the best graduating pianist and all piano performance prizes. Belle is the winner and recipient of numerous prizes and scholarships, including: Ruby C Cooling Prize (2007), Minnie May Bussey Scholarship (2007), Hilda Woolmer Accompaniment Prize (2009), Brisbane Women’s Club and Yvonne Haysom Bursary (2009), and the QCGU Postgraduate Award (2010). From Royal Academy of Music, she received the Dominions Fellowship Prize (2011/12) and Helen Eames Prize (2012/13).
With a continually expanding musical horizon and constant desire for musical challenges, Belle founded Heard Behaviour, an online platform that fosters experimental cross-platform collaboration between classical musicians, visual artists, and other performing artists, while presenting classical music in a way that is relevant to people today.
Belle also appears frequently as part of the Occeña-Chen Duo. In addition to numerous UK engagements, the Duo is embarking on a six-state concert tour of Midwestern US in October 2013, giving guest artist recitals and holding masterclasses in several universities, and appearing as concerto soloists.
Belle’s previous teachers include Neville Baird and Helen Dobrenko. She has also been privileged to perform in public masterclasses for Leon Fleisher, John Perry, Kathryn Stott, Leslie Howard, Cyprien Katsaris, Boris Berman, Piers Lane, Roy Howat, Tamas Unger, Gerald Willems, and Ian Munro. She has also been privileged to work privately with Pascal Roge, Stephen Osbourne, Pascal Deveyon, Yevgeny Subdin, Michael Kieran Harvey, Natasha Vlassenko, Michael Dussek, Andrew West, Rita Reichman, Timothy Young, and Stephen Savage.
Belle has a strong academic interest, being a current member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and the recipient of Griffith Award for Academic Excellence (2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010).