Kevin Chen of Calgary was the youngest student in Canada to pass the Grade 9 Royal Conservatory of Music exams. He'll perform here on Oct.13.

Seven-year-old Kevin Chen to perform with Abbotsford Youth Orchestra

At age five he began music studies; at six he was the youngest in Canada to pass the Grade 9 Royal Conservatory of Music exams

There are child prodigies, and then there’s Calgary’s Kevin Chen.

At age five he began music studies; at six he was the youngest in Canada to pass the Grade 9 Royal Conservatory of Music exams; and this summer, at age seven, he passed his Grade 10 exams – with first-class honours.

In spring, he performed an 80-minute debut recital featuring works by Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and Debussy and achieved national recognition after his performance at the Calgary Kiwanis Music Festival.

In October, Chen will make his first concert appearance as a guest soloist with the Abbotsford Youth Orchestra (AYO) as they present The Prodigy on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. at the South Abbotsford Church, 32424 Hungtingdon Rd.

Calvin Dyck, director of the  AYO, met Chen’s teacher, Colleen Athparia, while adjudicating a music competition in Winnipeg.

“Colleen told me she was having a challenge staying ahead of her youngest student,” said Dyck.

Chen will be performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17 and because he is not very big, under 40 pounds, organizers are bringing in a piano from Vancouver that has a very light touch.

Chen is described as exceedingly shy, yet playful. Dyck describes him as an artistic genius.

“Once every century somebody comes along who is so gifted they are like a Mozart. They assimilate music so quickly like it’s already a part of them, as natural as breathing. Whereas most normal people take weeks and months to learn a piece and understand the intricacies, for Kevin it is obvious.”

Along with Chen, the concert includes the AYO performing Mozart’s Symphony No. 17 and Handel’s Passacaglia. Joel Stobbe is bringing the Langley Community Music School Cello Ensemble to perform Death of an Angel, a high-energy piece written by Astor Piazzola

Tickets are available at King’s Music (2669 Langdon St.) or House of James (2743 Emerson St.).

Just Posted

Historic ‘Sumas Powerhouse’ in Abbotsford going up for auction

Former B.C. Electric substation - now a redesigned luxury property - open for bids starting Friday

Newcomers gather in Abbotsford to celebrate International Women’s Day

Ladies Night event features art, music and dance from many cultures

Abbotsford athletes Friesen, Hadwin earn Sport BC awards

Volleyball player, golfer amongst athletes honoured

Your daily commute and weather forecast: Mar. 19, 2019

We’re expected to see a record high for March 19, beating the 1960 record of 20 C by three degrees

Abbotsford couple named runners-up as Outstanding Young Farmers

Ray and Tracey Bredenhof run commercial broiler and hops farm

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

Teacher reprimanded after incident with Grade 11 student in school gym

Gregory Norman Brock was teaching at a high school in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

Avalanche control tomorrow on Highway 1

Expect closures of up to two hours east of Revelstoke

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Most Read