The free concert at the Kauffman Center was wonderful. Ray Chen has great passion and talent playing the violin. He started playing a toy guitar with chop sticks at the age of four. His parents bought him a violin shortly after and he has been playing since.
Ray played with pianist Julio Elizalde. They are both excellent musicians. The performance consisted of:
Mozart, Sonata for Piano and Violin in B-flat major, K. 454.
Brahms, Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108.
Ysaye, Sonata No. 2 for Solo Violin in A minor, Op. 27.
Saint-Saens, Havanaise, Op. 83.
The beauty of the concert is that it also included a Q&A after and then the musicians signed autographs. The Q&A was small and quaint. People asked good questions and it enabled the audience to get an inside look at how the musicians started playing, their tips and tricks of what they do on stage, and how they travel.
It was Ray’s first visit to Kansas City and he flew from Vietnam on a very long flight. When he boarded the flight it was his birthday and once he landed in Kansas City his birthday was over. He just turned 23. Ray said that jet lag is the toughest part to overcome while performing.
The free concerts are first come and first served. So the first in line will be seated in the front. We were in the first row center stage. You cannot choose your seats, so be prepared. I heard several people complaining, but it is a free concert and they must have some sort of order getting everyone seated.
Please visit the Harriman-Jewell Series for more upcoming concerts.