Sean Chen

Cliburn award -winning pianist, Sean Chen.

Spring is finally here and what could be more celebratory than a performance of Beethoven’s full Pastorale Symphony? Opening the program and capping off the Brevard Philharmonic’s vibrant 42nd season on Sunday, May 12 at 3 p.m. is the charismatic Cliburn award -winning pianist, Sean Chen.

Chen will take the stage at Brevard College’s Porter Center performing Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54.

Schumann originally wrote the concerto as a one- movement fantasy for piano and orchestra. His publishers wouldn’t buy it even after a revision, so at the suggestion of his wife, the accomplished pianist, Clara, he expanded the piece to a full-fledged concerto.

This was, in the end, a 4-year process, but the response to the debut performance, with Clara as the piano soloist, was universally enthusiastic with critics praising how the composer “successfully links the role of the piano and the orchestra together.” The aura of romantic fantasy weaves its way through the piece, where Schumann expresses the idea of yearning and happiness between two people, inspired by his relationship with his wife.

Sean Chen, will be the guest piano soloist for this performance with the collaboration of the Brevard Philharmonic and Artistic Director and Conductor, James Fellenbaum. Chen is the 2013 winner of the American Pianist Awards and was third place winner at the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. He has performed with many prominent orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony and the Santa Fe Symphony. The Huffington Post hails him as a rising star with “an exceptional ability to connect with an audience combined with easy virtuosity.” Theatre Jones Ft. Worth Texas Reviews calls his playing, “Genius.”

The closing offering for the season is the beloved Beethoven Pastorale Symphony.

Beethoven was a lover of nature who spent much of his time gaining inspiration from walking in the country. He would often leave the hubbub of Vienna to travel outside the city to compose in the peace and quiet of the outdoors.

All concertgoers are invited to a pre- concert talk by Maestro Fellenbaum at 2 p.m. at the Porter Center.

The mission of the Brevard Philharmonic is to inspire, educate and enrich our audiences through exceptional, professional musical performances and community outreach. Tickets are on sale at $25 to $35 per concert. Call 828-884-4221 or use our Pick Your Seat option at

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