Musical virtuoso and proud Malaysian Bobby Chen will be in Penang to give a recital on Thursday August 2nd. London-based now, Chen was accepted into the exclusive Yehudi Menuhin School in Britain at the age of 11, after starting piano lessons only 4 years earlier; his parents sold almost everything they owned and left Kota Kinabalu with brother and grandmother in tow, to accompany him. He spent six years at the school, and and when aged 16, was selected with two other students to tour Britain with the late Lord Menuhin himself, one of the greatest violinists of the twentieth century, performing Beethoven’s Triple Concerto. Lord Menuhin once described Chen’s playing as “truly beautiful”.

He then studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London for four years, graduating with First Class Honours and winning eight awards including Best Final Recital, Best Overseas Pupil and Best Royal Overseas League. Since then, he has performed often as a soloist, including three times at London’s Wigmore Hall. He has performed at Italy’s Fazioli Hall, Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, Dublin’s National Concert Hall, London’s Cadogan Hall and Purcell Room, Singapore’s Victoria Concert Hall and Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Philharmonic Hall, and at many music festivals, and has several CDs to his name.

Here in Penang, he will be playing some pieces by his favourite composers, for example Beethoven’s “Pathetique” Sonata, as well as giving the Asian premieres of recent compositions by John McLeod and Douglas Finch. The concert begins at 6pm on August 2nd, and will take place in a private home, 215 Macalister Road. It costs RM 50 to attend; the price includes high tea. Tickets can be reserved by contacting or calling 04 227 4006.