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.).

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nomination period closing soon for Abbotsford’s Arty Awards

Deadline of Aug. 1 set for 16th annual event which highlights local artists

Virtual Career Panel discusses job challenges faced by newcomers

Archway Community Services in Abbotsford participates in event on July 16

Abbotsford Hospice Society holds community scavenger hunt

Road to Gratitude event takes place on Sunday, July 19 by the carload

New book celebrates people and events that shaped Abbotsford

Pre-sales launched for Abbotsford – A Diverse Tapestry, to be released in fall

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Fraser Valley loses the Keith Wilson Waver as Ron Hupper passes away

Hupper brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of people traveling Chilliwack’s Keith Wilson Road

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Four-vehicle collision snarls eastbound highway traffic in Fraser Valley

Collision west of Lickman Road on Highway 1 includes three vehicles plus motorcycle

Most Read