Pianist Alpin Hong will open Darke County Center for the Arts’ 2018-19 Artists Series season on Saturday, Sept. 22 at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall in Greenville! If you don’t believe that the previous statement merits an exclamation point, you obviously have not experienced the wonder of this extraordinary and charismatic artist.
Alpin Hong won the hearts of DCCA officials and staff during his first visit to our community several years ago; he was supposed to spend a week doing Arts In Education shows in local schools, then appear in concert at Memorial Hall the following Saturday. Ohio winter weather prevented most of the A.I.E. shows from occurring, so Alpin spent his time snowed in at The Inn at Versailles, charming all he met and leaving a lasting memory that is happily recalled by hotel employees, lucky Versailles residents, and other snowbound guests years after his memorable impromptu performances at the grand piano in the Inn’s dining room.
The cold and ice also curtailed attendance at that original Artists Series performance, which went on as scheduled; however, those who were among the audience that half-filled Memorial Hall still remember not only his virtuosic playing but also his captivating presence that warmed hearts, stirred souls, and left them wanting more. He was welcomed back to our community a few years later, fulfilling his pledge to return in spite of no contractual obligation to do so. After presenting his delightfully engrossing Arts In Education show to junior high students who responded with enthusiasm, Alpin went on to win wide acclaim for his second Artists Series concert, this time before a much larger appreciative crowd.
And now, Alpin returns to our community once more; he will again present programs for junior high students who will undoubtedly respond enthusiastically to his winning ways, incredible insight, and abundant talent. And then, he’ll take the stage to open DCCA’s 2018-19 Artists Series season at Memorial Hall with “Chasing Chopin,” a multi-media show exploring his lifelong relationship with the music of Chopin, which has thrilled and sustained him throughout the brilliant career that has taken him from his childhood home in Michigan to Juilliard, Carnegie Hall, the White House, and beyond.
A piano prodigy from an early age, Alpin experienced the catastrophic loss of his parents at age 12, resulting in his being torn from the model Midwestern American life he had known, and subsequently move away from his love of classical music while experimenting with extreme sports, video games, and teenage rebellion. Throughout that period and beyond, Alpin maintained a relationship with the music of Chopin that thrilled, sustained, and inspired him; eventually, the young man decided against pursuing a career as a physician, returned to the piano and launched his professional career.
Alpin Hong is a naturally gifted storyteller as well as a prodigious musician. In “Chasing Chopin,” he tells humorous and heartbreaking stories about his life including how he earned money skateboarding and roller blading as well as his experiences playing piano at prestigious venues across the United States. He interprets Chopin’s masterworks with an emotional depth enhanced by his inherent talent that invigorates and thrills audiences of all ages; his interpretations offer rare and fun-filled insight into the venerated music that will leave you joyously reflecting upon your time spent with this exceptional artist long after the concert has ended.
Tickets for Alpin Hong: “Chasing Chopin” are just $20; students’ tickets are half price. To get yours, contact DCCA at 937-547-0908 or [email protected]; tickets are also available online at www.darkecountyarts.org and will be available at the door if any remain by showtime.