Friday, 7 August, 2020 | 5:00 PM

Monica Chew

Oakland-based pianist and composer Monica Chew champions little-heard 20th and 21st century works in recitals and via her weekly YouTube concert series.



Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou (1923-)
Homeless Wanderer

Bongani Ndodana-Breen (1975-)
Flowers in the Sand

Jason Moran (1975-)
Pas de Deux

Undine Smith Moore (1904-1981)
Before I’d be a Slave

Thomas “Blind Tom” Wiggins (1849-1908)
Battle of Manassas

About the artist

Monica Chew is an Oakland pianist. In 2017 she released her first solo album, Tender and Strange, featuring works by Bartók, Janáček, Messiaen, Takemitsu, and Scriabin. A “gifted player with an affinity for deeply sensitive expression” (Whole Note, June/July/August 2018), her playing is “wonderfully delicate, like tissue” (International Pianist, July/August 2018). She has been a featured artist on KPFA and radio stations across the United States. She started composing in 2017 and couldn’t be happier about it. Her compositions have been featured as part of the Gabriela Lena Frank’s Creative Academy for Music’s #GLFCAMGigThruCovid initiative, Hot Air Music Festival 2020, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble’s Intersection 2019. She loves playing chamber music and received a Zellerbach Family Foundation award for her chamber music work. Prior to 2015, she neglected piano for nearly a decade to work as a principal software engineer on security and privacy at Mozilla and Google after receiving her Master of Music from SF Conservatory of Music and a PhD in computer science from UC Berkeley. She lives in Oakland with her husband, an 1899 Steinway B, a clavichord, and a disused violin. Since the pandemic she has given free twice-weekly live concerts on her Facebook and YouTube channels.