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Graduating Student Recital • I TELL MY PIANO THE THINGS I USED TO TELL YOU • Luping Xu, piano

Sunday • March 12, 2023   |   8:00 pm

Free – $20.00
While this event is open to the public, you must pre-register in order to gain access in person. No walk-ups will be allowed at Longy for performances.


All Longy students present full recitals as part of their education and ongoing evolution as artists. They are charged with thinking critically about what stories they tell, whose voices to amplify, and who’s in the room for their event while also considering how to use performance spaces in innovative ways and how to truly engage audiences and create interactive music experiences.

Luping (Robyn) Xu is a student of Donald Berman.

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Program Notes:

Chiaroscuro, (Italian, from chiaro clear, “light,” and oscuro obscure, “dark”) in art is a painting technique, which is a term to describe the artwork that represents a contrast between lightness and darkness to achieve the magnitude of three-dimensional objects and figures that reminds me of the music I will play today. In general, this is the central concept of my recital.

The collection of Chopin’s 24 préludes was the exploration of the musical characters on a variety of keys, including the type of virtuosic piano techniques and music characters, which was inspired by J.S. Bach’s “The Well-Tempered Clavier”. It is worth mentioning that there are two main lines, brightness, and darkness. The keys of all the odd numbers in this collection are majors. In contrast, the keys of all the even numbers are minors.

J.S. Bach’s Prelude and Fugue is in F Minor, which is plaintive and aching. You can hear the melancholic tenor line throughout the entire prelude. In the Fugue, Bach brought both happiness and sadness into the music by using two distinctive musical motifs.

According to Unsuk Chin, her piano etude in C was influenced by Balinese gamelan music. The consistent overlapping of three different pulsations, the uniquely iridescent tonal world, and the harmonic foundation of the overtone series C are three main gamelan concepts of the piece.

As the composer Thomas Adès explained about “Traced Overhead”, it was inspired partly by images from sacred paintings of angels ascending toward the heavens in shafts of light. The three movements express the process of angels ascending toward heaven through music. This piano work creates a profoundly expressive sound world through consistent pedaling and the arrangement of the harmonic and rhythmic space arrangement. Also, this new music adapted to the old melody “Winchester bell”, which brings a new life to the old sound.


Luping (Robyn) Xu is a Boston-based pianist, harpsichordist, improviser, and early music lover who is passionate about the discovery and performance of lesser-known and under-represented artists. Ms. Xu is active both domestically and internationally, working as a soloist, chamber musician, and improviser.

Ms. Xu enjoys working with living composers and performing new works in small and large ensembles and solo repertoires. Recently, she premiered a solo piano piece “The Sparrow” by Benjamin Shparber; Delvyn Case’s Solo Cantata “The Binding of Isaac According to the Elohist” in All Saints Anglican Church, Amesbury, MA, which also has been broadcasted in the parish of St. Martin in the Fields’ event in London. As a recording artist, she can be heard performing works of C.P.E. Bach with the vocalist David Mather for the Packard Humanities Institute in Boston. As an improviser, she has appeared in multi-media projects “Magia Naturalis”(Natural Magic) and “KS20: Persistence of Light” in the Nave Gallery (Somerville, MA) with the visual artist Karl Stephan.

Robyn has participated in Longy’s Divergent Studio(U.S.), the Vienna International Pianists Academy, Cremona International Music Academy, and the Pinerolo Chamber Music Festival (Italy). Ms. Xu received her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the Wuhan Conservatory of Music, Master of Music. She is currently pursuing a graduate performance diploma at the Longy School of Music of Bard College where she studies piano with Donald Berman and harpsichord with John McKean.


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Sunday • March 12, 2023
8:00 pm
Free – $20.00
Event Category:


Edward M. Pickman Concert Hall
Longy School of Music, 27 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States
Thanks to our partnership with the Massachusetts Cultural Council and their “Card to Culture” program, Longy School of Music of Bard College can offer free tickets to many of our diverse and innovative performance offerings. See the full list of participating “Card to Culture” organizations offering EBT, WIC, and ConnectorCare discounts.