Monica Chew - clavichord - first set

Monica Chew (she/her) is an Oakland composer and pianist who celebrates presenting rarely performed music and new works from around the world. A "gifted player with an affinity for deeply sensitive expression" (Whole Note), she has composed since 2017 and couldn't be happier about it. Her work has been featured as part of the Gabriela Lena Frank's Creative Academy for Music, Verdant Vibes, Hot Air Music Festival, and Left Coast Chamber Ensemble's Intersection program. Her writing has been reviewed as "monumental" and "stunning" by San Francisco Classical Voice. Prior to 2015, she worked nearly a decade as a principal software engineer on security and privacy at Mozilla and Google. She lives in Oakland with her husband, an 1899 Steinway B, a clavichord, and a disused violin.

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Concert Dates

  • February 10, 2024 2:30 PM EST-

Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame featuring Monica Chew with Clavichord

  • Præludium in F

    Tamsin Jones

    This is a prelude in which a single subject journeys through three registers, changing its harmonic shape several times in the process. Rhythmic energy is provided by a left-hand riff reminiscent of 70s funk clavinet style. There are hints of pitch-bending, bebung and quartal harmony.

    Tamsin Jones, a lecturer at Newcastle University, specialises in the "New Baroque" style, which applies modern harmonic and rhythmic concepts to Renaissance and Baroque forms. Her music is contrapuntal, but follows its own rules, creating textures redolent of older music but abounding in fresh energy and surprising turns.

  • Modal Melody

    Christine Jancarz

    The short arch form composition “Modal Melody” is for clavichord, and uses a G Mixolydian scale. The piece is centered around a G major triad. It is inspired by American rock music rhythms and keyboard techniques. It was composed specifically for Monica Chew, who plays the clavichord.

    Melody and rhythm are important aspects in the music of American composer Christine Jancarz. She began playing music by ear in her childhood, and taught herself notation. Her composition teachers included Ramon Zupko (WMU) and Ladislav Kubik. She earned a DMA from University of Miami, and has won several awards.

  • Harmonic Labyrinth & Little Blue Bourrée

    Jim Dalton

    With much respect for the history of the clavichord, I offer my response to its tradition. I use octatonic scales to weave quickly through the twelve major triads. The following canonic bourrée uses the same scale but this time to achieve a bluesy inflection.

    Jim Dalton is a composer and professor of music theory at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. He has a soft spot for the clavichord having purchased one some time ago. That instrument and a book on tuning historical temperaments started him on a decades-long study of tunings and microtones.

  • One Cosmic Clavichord in Space

    Juan Luis de Pablo Enriquez Rohen

    One Cosmic Clavichord in Space is a one minute piece written specifically for the Oakland composer and pianist, Monica Chew. The compositional technique is withdrawn from the 'JLPER Theory' - central and tonal implications reflect on the harmonic colors that this multidisciplinary theory provides while it also contemplates on the delicate.

    Juan Luis de Pablo Enríquez Rohen lives in Mexico, as an active teacher, speaker, guitarist and composer at Tecnológico de Monterrey. His twenty years old 'JLPER Theory' which connects music with archaeoastronomy has led him to conclude: "the ancient Mexicans knew all the elements of our Solar System and Beyond".

  • Chromatic Prelude After Bach

    Stanley M Hoffman

    Based loosely on the Prelude in C Minor from the Well-tempered Clavier by Bach, the harmonies of this work have actually been on my mind for years. I was waiting for a harpsichord opportunity to arise, but this clavichord opportunity gave me a reason to commit it to paper.

    Stanley M. Hoffman (b. 1959, Cleveland, Ohio) holds degrees in Music Composition from Brandeis University (PhD), New England Conservatory of Music (MM) and Boston Conservatory (BM). His music is published by ECS Publishing, Oxford University Press, and Fatrock Ink. Senior Editor at ECS Publishing Group 1998–2021. Freelance editor, composer.

  • Autumn Fugue

    Michael Coleman

    “Autumn Fugue” is dedicated to Monica Chew as part of her Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame project. It is based on an original subject by the composer who wrote it several decades ago and this call for scores inspired him to use it to complete a two-voice fugue for this submission.

    Michael Coleman has participated as composer/pianist in numerous new music programs and festivals in the U.S and Russia and has also had works performed in North & Central America, Europe, and Eurasia. He currently teaches at Pensacola State College and the University of West Florida.

  • Gigue for Clavichord

    David Edgar Walther AD: Juilliard (BA): Persichetti, Diamond, Del Tredici, Luening, Performances: St. John Divine. Juilliard Orchestra, OutLook, Copley Square Ballet. M.I.T. Concert Band. King’s Chapel. Mobius. Kinetic Dance, Moscow. Opera/Tap, Vienna. Commissions: American Guild Organists, Boston Metro Opera; Marblehead Ballet, Prizes: Long Leaf
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  • Liber abaci

    Daniel Eduardo Cocchetti

    "Liber abaci" is a historical book where the Fibonacci numerical series was stated. This piece for Harspichord is structured with that series based on the number of sixteenth notes: 89, 55, 34, 21,13, 8, 5,3,2 1,1. The melodic part is a descending scale of natural harmonics.

    Daniel Cocchetti was born in Argentina in 1956. He graduated from the National Conservatory of Music of Buenos Aires where he studied Oboe and Composition. He has won numerous awards for his works which were premiered in the country and abroad. To date, its catalog totals about 180 works.

  • Sub-Mini-Werk XXXXVI for Clavicord WVE-357a

    Shigeru Kan-no

    The first bar is the material. That is, Fine, fast, uncountable notes, chromatic scale, trill. After the second bar, it is freely transformed. When you enter the middle section, it spans two bars. It becomes a double tone of the scale of the white key and the black key, and finally leads to free complete atonality, ending with a coda like any time.

    A Japanese Composer-Conductor. borned in Fukushima/ Japan. Studies in Fukushima, Tokyo, Wien, Stuttgart, Ludwigsburg and Frankfurt : theory, piano, composition, conducting and musicology. He conducted Nuerunberg Philharmonic, Roma Symphony Orchestra. Paris Contemporary Music Ensemble. etc.

  • Corals

    Willyn Whiting

    The fresh plants, still living inside, and absorbent, respond to the influence of the Gorgon’s head, and harden at its touch, acquiring a new rigidity in branches and fronds. And the ocean nymphs try out this wonder on more plants, and are delighted that the same thing happens.

    Willyn Whiting (b.1993) is a Canadian composer currently based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His works feature the blending of disparate technologies and stylistic trends, guided by personal conceptualizations of metaphor, artificiality, and orientation.

  • Whimsical Dérives

    Utsyo Chakraborty

    'Whimsical Dérives' (dedicated to Monica Chew, with pleasure; we shared a concert together in 2021!) is a sort of leftover from the materials of recent major pieces, namely 'Navrasas' for piano and 'Three Romances' for Orchestra, spiced up and made into a dish for this imaginative Call for Scores.

    I am Indian composer born in 2001. My music for a variety of acoustic and electronic media have been performed by various artists in India, USA, South Korea, Japan, England and Wales to name a few.

  • Dust

    Monica Chew


    Monica Chew

  • Sarabande

    Ben Brafford

    I have always been enamored with the instrumental settings of the elegant and evocative sarabande, one of the surviving movements of the 17th-century dance suites. After its pinnacle during the Baroque period (Bach and Handel), the triple meter, binary work appears in later centuries (Grieg, Debussy, Britten, and Vaughan Williams).

    Ben Brafford, a native of Gastonia, N.C., received the Master of Music degree in piano performance and the Doctoral of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting from UNC-Greensboro. Serving as Organist/ Choirmaster at Greensboro’s Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, he teaches piano and composes/arranges music for various instruments.

  • Mustard Blossoms

    Akmal Parwez

    The work envisions a field of mustard flowers, dancing jubilantly in the Spring breeze.

    While studying electronics in Tokyo, composer-vocalist Akmal Parwez studied composition with Yasushi Akutagawa and Klaus Pringsheim. After completing his university studies (B.E., M.E.),he has felt compelled to devote his life to music. In the U.S. he studied composition with Florence Jolley, Leo Kraft and Samuel Adler(M.A., Queens College; Ph.D., Eastman

  • Dracula's Rag 2.0

    Serban Nichifor

    This miniature is dedicated to clavichord virtuoso Monica Chew and evokes the movie comedies from the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema.

    Serban Nichifor (born 25 August 1954) is a Romanian composer and cellist, member of Vox Novus - USA, of the Union of Belgian Composers, of SABAM, and Professor PhD Habilitatus at the National University of Music Bucharest.