The Romantic Piano

Date and Time
Thu 17 Nov, 12pm
Adult $25 / Student $10
The Lab (63 Light Square, Adelaide)
1 hour (without interval)

Dylan Henderson
Silver Sounds from a Velvet Hand

Chopin’s contribution to the Nocturne as a musical genre were among his most significant, offering a depth of poetic beauty that has never been equalled. Juxtaposing his first published Nocturne with later masterpieces, this selection showcases the Polish composer’s exquisite mastery of light, colour and atmosphere in three intimate portraits.

Haowei Yang
Four Lyrical Fragments

The four lyrical fragments op 23 contain many of the ingenious and charming flavour of Medtner’s previous pieces. Each one although short, delves into their own unique world and captures a story that’s self-contained but always keep your ears open as you never know in which direction Medtner may lead you to…

Jennifer Chen
Seasons from Mendellsohn and Tchaikovsky

Seasonal changes affect human beings more than we expect. These influenced emotions are shown in all types of art forms, including poems, paints and music. Fanny Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky composed their own Seasons in sets of twelve pieces of music, each of which depicts their understanding of the twelve months of the year. Despite their different cultural and personal experiences, they both composed or published each of their Seasons with a short epigram to accompany their music. 
Mendelssohn’s May is full of spring, ‘Now blooms the farthest, deepest valley.’, while her December is about Christmas that is, ‘From heaven on high, to earth I come.’. At the same time, Tchaikovsky’s June is a song on the boat where ‘…the waves will kiss our legs. With mysterious sadness, The stars will shine down on us.’.

Jenny Su
Chopin's Barcarolle Op. 60

Written in the final years of his life, Chopin reached a new level of creative achievement. Despite his crippling illness and his relationship with George Sand ending unhappily, he published his two masterpieces: Barcarolle op.60 and the Polonaise-Fantasie Op.61 in the following summer of 1845. The “barcarolle”, which is derived from the Italian words “barca” for “boat” and “rollo” for “rower”, refers to the romantic songs sung by Venetian gondoliers.  However, there are no allusions to either the banal idiom of the opera barcarolle of his time or the historical tradition of the songs of the Venetian gondoliers. Chopin revolutionised its genre using complex formal organisation and innovative harmony which was beyond the classical norm, creating both swaying lyricism and climactic moments in the music.

Jenny is currently in her third year of study at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, where she is studying a Bachelor of Music (Advanced) under the tutelage of Lucinda Collins. In 2021, Jenny was the winner of the 2021 Adelaide Eisteddfods Senior Recitals and was awarded the Wilf Mader Memorial Medallion as the most promising pianist 17 years and over. She has also been a recipient of multiple scholarships, including The Maude Harriet Scholarship for Piano and The Patrick Cecil Greenland Scholarship for Pianoforte. In October, Jenny was featured in the Art of Possible Festival, where she performed Chopin’s Barcarolle. 

Haowei Yang is currently a honours student studying Honours degree of Bachelor of Music which major in classical performance in piano at the University of Adelaide and is currently a student of Konstantin Shamray and previously studied with Karen Davis and Stefan Ammer. Born in Beihai, China, Haowei first came across his love for music in primary school through the violin and erhu. It wasn’t until Haowei immigrated to Australia where he formally started his music journey with piano in 2007. In 2014, Haowei applied for the special interest music program at Marryatville High School. During the five years of his high school, Haowei joined many curricular music ensembles including concert choir, chamber choir and the school orchestra. During his final year, Haowei performed the first movement of Grieg’s piano concerto in town hall with the school orchestra. In 2019, he then went on to do Bachelors of Music (advanced) majoring in performance and is graduated in 2022. Throughout his university life, he has also joined many small chamber groups and accompanied many of his peers. He has also embarked on outside internships with Accompanist Guild SA, Co Opera and most recently, at the JMCCCP to expand his view in the music industry. Haowei has also been studying organ with Josh van Konkelenberg and has received the St Peter’s Cathedral Organ Scholarship (2016-2018) and is currently playing for the graduations for University of Adelaide.

Other achievements include the Frederick Baxendale, Josephine Christiansen Bursary Award, Paul Howard Martin and various Eisteddfod Music Awards.

Jennifer Chen graduated from Elder Conservatorium of Music with an Honours degree in performance; and is now completing a performance-based research master’s degree under Mr. Stephen Whittington, Dr. Anna Goldsworthy, and Mrs. Eleonora Sivan. Awards were granted during Bachelor and Honours period, including The Maude Puddy Prize for Piano, Thelma Dent Memorial Prize, Recognition of High Achievement, and Piano Certificate of Performance Prize in recognition of outstanding work in AMEB. She also performed numerous concerts during this time, including solo recitals, piano duets and two pianos concerts, piano trio concerts with Recitals Australia; ‘Nocturnes by Candlelight’ at Ukaria Cultural Centre; Chinese Music Day with Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Festival 2021 at Elder Hall; Festival 39-‘Piano Words Song’; and householding concert series with Living Choice Retirement House. 

Jennifer also teaches piano and music theory at Open Music Academy, Immanuel College, and Brighton Secondary School. She has more than ten years of teaching experience with students of all ages. She believes music learning can help us heal from past experiences and find our true selves. She also thinks every student has their personality and character. Therefore, teachers should carefully use different teaching methods to develop students’ interests in real music, confidence in piano performance, and skills in many musical-related aspects.

Dylan Henderson enjoys a multi-faceted career as an emerging pianist, writer, musicologist, teacher and arts administrator. He holds a first-class honours degree from the University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium of Music, as well as a Bachelor of Music from the University of Western Australia, where he was awarded the Waveney Wansbrough Memorial Prize in 2013, and the Flora Bunning Memorial Prize for Chamber Music in 2014. Since 2016 he has studied with Professor Anna Goldsworthy and the esteemed Russian pedagogue Eleonora Sivan. Dylan was a finalist in the 2018 Peter Schodde Memorial Piano Scholarship, and in the Recitals Australia Lunch Hour Series in Spring 2018 and Autumn 2020. 


In 2016 Dylan participated in the Words About Music program at the Australian Youth Orchestra’s National Music Camp, where he hosted a radio feature for ABC Classic FM. He has since written concert reviews and interview features for Limelight and CutCommon, and his annotations have appeared in concert programs presented by Musica Viva, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, City Recital Hall Angel Place (Sydney), Newcastle’s City Hall, and Recitals Australia. He has been the Communications Manager of UKARIA since October 2016, a role that sees him writing newsletters and season brochures, hosting and presenting podcasts, and managing the website. His book A Place for Dreaming (a 140-page retrospective on UKARIA’s history) was published in October 2020. Dylan’s writing mentors have included Anna Goldsworthy, Paul Kildea and Genevieve Lacey. 


Over the coming months, Dylan will finalise his performance-based PhD submission Silver Sounds from a Velvet Hand: Searching for Chopin’s Sound World on Period and Contemporary Pianos, which culminates in a performance of the Concerto in F minor, Op. 21 with the Elder Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra and conductor Luke Dollman on Friday 28 October 2022. In November 2020 Dylan was announced as the winner of the Chopin Study Competition for Young Researchers – a prize offered by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw, in association with the School of Arts and Sciences in Philadelphia. His essay ‘A “Narrow-Keyed” Pleyel: The Ergonomics of Chopin’s Interface’ will be published in the next issue of The Chopin Review


Dylan Henderson
Nocturne in E flat, Op. 9 No. 2
Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 1
Nocturne in E flat, Op. 55 No. 2

Haowei Yang
4 Lyrical Fragments, Op. 23

Jennifer Chen
May - Frühlingslied
June - Serenade

December - Christmas

Jenny Su
Barcarolle in F sharp, Op.60

Image: Frederic Chopin's monument in Lazienki Park (Royal Baths Park) in Warsaw, Poland by Magdalena Paluchowska / Alamy