Into the Sun: Jiyang Chen

Aug 25, 2014

Jiyang Chen is the poster man for still waters run deep.  You ask him questions, and his answers are thoughtful and honest; even through his reservation, he is warm. 

Jiyang lived in China until he was eight, and he’ll say that his quietness is partly due to his culture. 

Jiyang’s father came to the United States to obtain his master’s degree.  He landed in Reno, Nevada.  He worked full-time as a chef and was a full-time student.  It wasn’t easy, but he did it.  The family followed him to Nevada.

He didn’t long to learn to play the piano, as Kristen Doering did.  His parents made him.  Once he mastered the technical aspect, he says he grew to like it.  He not is a staff pianist, performing when he chooses.

He has a passion for photography.  Photos are like putting pieces of a puzzle together he says.  You build trust in a short amount of time so the person will be comfortable enough to show you who they are. 

Here are his words:

I was strongly drawn to Kristen's project because of the multi-faceted approach to her concerts, and as performers are well aware of, creating innovative programming is vital in the music and art world.  With such an array of different individual talents and specializations, I wanted to help create images that could complement the aural experience with the visual - a way of putting the artist in the context of the modern world.  

Praised by critics for his poetic and lyrical style, Jiyang Chen made his concerto debut at the age of seventeen with the Ruby Mountain Symphony Orchestra and performed the Gershwin Piano Concerto with the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra as well as the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Reno Chamber Orchestra. He received his Master’s in Piano Performance from New York University, studying under the tutelage of Seymour Bernstein, and his Bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Barry Snyder as a recipient of the Howard Hanson Scholarship and the George Eastman Grant. Prior to that, he studied privately with James Winn at the University of Nevada, Reno.  He is also a portrait photographer based in NYC.   Chen is drawn to photography through its powerful storytelling capacity, and just as music is a way of painting with sound on the blank canvas of silence, he sees a photograph as that canvas for capturing the broad palette and nuanced brush strokes of his subject's story and emotions. It is an opportunity to capture moments that signify human experiences much larger than the moment itself.