Continuum 88

Continuum 88 is a project born from Jihye’s passion for new music and a bucket list of masterworks that she always wanted to play. It is a multi-year piano journey exploring the solo keyboard literature, ink dry and wet, through the lens of compositional genre and pianistic challenges.

Pianist Jihye Chang will perform significant pieces from the major genres of the piano repertoire, and will commission and premiere new works in these genres by young composers from around the world. Often new works by young composers get to be performed only once, if they are lucky, and one of the goals of this project is to give multiple performances of the new works. Along with the newly commissioned works, Chang also hopes to bring exciting new works by living composers. By presenting these new works in the context of the significant piano literature, the new works have been and will connect to the audience better.

Between 2016 and 2020, eight pieces have been written for this project by composers from the states, Australia, and South Korea. She has premiered and performed them multiple times while premiering other new works in the same genres.

Here is a video that CCon Box produced on my project:

2016: Part 1, Prelude Plus

2016-17 launched the project with a program centered around Chopin’s monumental preludes Op. 28. The short and often virtuosic and monothematic nature of this genre is very closely related to the etude genre, which is the focus of the year two of this project.

Framingham State University (MA) and Framingham Public Library (October 2016)
  • Preludes by Chopin, Uzong Choe (b. 1969), Kapustin, Messiaen, Rachmaninoff, and Scriabin
  • Premiere: Uzong Choe, Prelude No. 18
  • U. S. Premiere: Uzong Choe, Prelude No. 8
2017-8: Part 1.5, Etudes Plus and Part II, Etudes

The 2017-18 season explored piano etudes. This is a subject that Chang has focused on for the past decade through various concerts, premieres, lectures, workshops, and classroom teaching. This specific interest and research culminated in a series of performances where she presented etudes old and new, including a new set of etudes by Natalie Williams (b. 1977).

Lecture concert
  • “The Allure of Ligeti,” Tallahassee Music Teachers Association, January 2017. Program including Czerny, Chopin, Debussy, Ligeti, Earl Wild, and Williams
Brevard Monday Series in Asheville, Brevard, and Hendersonville (March 6-8, 2017)
  • Three solo recitals featuring preludes and etudes by Abrahamsen (b. 1952), Chopin, Czerny, Debussy, Ligeti, Mendelssohn, Liszt, and Earl Wild
  • Premiere: Natalie Williams, from “Twelves,” (Set of 6 written for Jihye Chang Sung), Nos. 1, 2, and 4
Steinway Gallery, Nashville (April 21)
  • Solo recital featuring preludes and etudes by Abrahamsen, Choe, Chopin, Debussy, Ligeti, Kapustin, Reynolds, and Earl Wild
Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea “Tuesday Concert Series,” co-presented by the Studio 2021 (May 16, 2017)
  • Solo recital featuring etudes by Ligeti and other prominent composers of the 21st century, including Abrahamsen, Reynolds (b. 1934), and Rakowski (b. 1958)
  • Korean Premiere: Natalie Williams, from “Twelves (6 Etudes for Piano),” No. 1
Minot State University, ND (September 22)
  • Solo recital featuring etudes by Czerny, Chopin, Debussy, and Liszt as well as 20-21th century composers, including Ligeti, Abrahamsen, Chulheon Jung, Luke Haaksma, Roger Reynolds (b. 1934), Natalie Williams, and Yiguo Yan.
  • Premiere: Natalie Williams, Etude No. 4, “Starlight” from “Twelves: 6 Etudes for Piano” and Chulheon Jung (b. 1990), Etude No. 1, “Leap”
University of Noth Dakota, ND (September 23)
  • Solo recital, same program as above
National Kaohsiung Normal University, Taiwan (November 16 and 17)
  • Solo recital “All about Etudes!” featuring etudes by Czerny, Debussy, Chopin, Liszt and a few 20th-21st century etudes
  • Taiwan Premiere: Luke Haaksma’s “Crystal Murk” and Yiguo Yan’s “The Fragments of Light”
University of Tennessee, Knoxville (January 12, 2018)
  • Solo recital featuring etudes by Czerny, Debussy, Chopin, Liszt and Haydn’s Sonata in E flat Major Hob. 16: 52 as well as Mendelssohn Rondo Capriccioso Op. 14
  • Premiere: Natalie Williams, Etude No. 5, “Pentatonic Mirrors” from “Twelves: 6 Etudes for Piano”
Indiana University Pennsylvania, PE (February 26, 2018)
  • Solo recital. Program of piano etudes by Czerny, Debussy, Chopin, Cheolhun Jung, Liszt, Roger Reynolds, Yiguo Yan, and Natalie Williams as well as Mendelssohn Rondo Capriccioso Op. 14
2018-9, Part III: Into Fantasies

2018-2019 explored piano fantasies by Schumann, Mozart, and Chopin. Also three composers have written new fantasies for this project.

Seungyon Kim (b. 1987), Etude-Fantasy (2017-9)

Peter Kramer (b. 1989), Fantasiestücke (2018)

Shinuh Lee (b. 1968), Chorale Fantasy No. 4,
“Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” (2018)

Old First Church Series, San Francisco, September 28, 2018
  • Program of etudes by Czerny, Addie Camsuzou (b. 1994), Chopin, Debussy, Gershwin/ Earl Wild, Daniel Godsil (b. 1982) and fantasies by Peter Kramer, Shinuh Lee (b. 1968), Mozart, and Schumann
University of Alabama Huntsville, February 23, 2019
  • Program of piano etudes by Czerny, Chopin, Cindy Cox (b. 1961), Debussy, Gershwin/ Earl Wild, Zach Gulaboff Davis, Ligeti and fantasies by Peter Kramer, Shinuh Lee, and Schumann
Lipscomb College, Nashville, February 21, 2019
  • Program of etudes by Czerny, Chopin, Cindy Cox (b. 1961), Zach Gulaboff Davis (b. 1991), Debussy, Gershwin/ Earl Wild, Ligeti, and fantasies by Shinuh Lee and Schumann
Arete Venue, Brooklyn, NY, April 11, 2019
  • Program of etudes by Unsuk Chin, Cindy Cox, Zach Gulaboff Davis, Luke Haaksma, Yiguo Yan and Etude-Fantasy by Seungyon Kim. Also will include fantasies by Jinhee Han (b. 1979) and Peter Kramer.
2019-20, Part IV: Miniatures and Variations

The fourth year focuses on the variations and miniatures. Four works have been written for the project. A few concerts have been canceled or postponed due to the Corona virus, but will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

Jocelyn Hagen (b. 1980), Miniature No. 1 (2019)

Sunghyun Lee (b. 1994), “Abeggame” (2019)

Jared Redmond (b. 1986), “Doth” (2019)

Amadeus Regucera (b. 1984), Portraits (for a quiet ending),
“Still, Life,” it’s going to be ok bby boi,” “Empfindsamkeit,” and
“recollection of someone else’s memory” (2019)

These new works have been premiered and performed alongside Chopin’s Berceuse and Variations Brillantes Op. 12; Amos Elkana, Eight Flowers (selections); Kurtag (b. 1926), Jatekok (selections); Schubert Impromptus D. 899, No. 3; and Schumann Abegg Variations Op. 1.

Part IV and 4.5 concert schedule is listed below.

California State University Long Beach, October 17, 2019

Premiere of all four works listed above

Stan’s Music Parlor, L. A., October 18, 2019
U. C. Berkeley, CNMAT, October 19, 2019
M. I. T., February 26, 2020
Idyllwild Arts Academy, March 3, 2020
U. C. L. A., March 5, 2020
Brevard Mondays Concert Series, April 6 and 7, 2020 – has been postponed
Montevallo University, April 20, 2020– has been postponed
2020-2021: Part 4.5 – Continuum 88 Replay season

This year featured all the new works that have been written for this project in various venues in combination with other preludes, miniatures, fantasies, and etudes.

2021-22, Part V: Sonatas
  • Commission and Premiere: Christian Gentry (b. 1978) and Zach Gulaboff Davis (b. 1991)