A note from the composer:
“I composed this collection to introduce the flavors of Baroque dances, with a contemporary twist for the 21st century, to the taste buds of advancing pianists. These dances contain many technical and musical elements common to the standard Baroque dances of Bach, Handel and Telemann. Frequently, dances in a suite were part of a larger work, like an opera or ballet, or had a program attached. I have chosen the setting of a Royal Court with a birthday celebration as an overall theme. Musical quotes from the song, “Happy Birthday,” are camouflaged in several of the movements using quotes or variations from the melody, rhythm, or harmonies.”
The titles are as follows:
- Prelude to a Birthday Celebration
- Petite Allemande
- Court Mice Courante
- Suitor’s Sarabande
- Blues Bourrée
- Minstrel’s Minuet
- Jester’s Jig
As a composer, Chee-Hwa explores the tonal colors of the instrument while encouraging performers of all ages to connect at an emotional and intellectual level of understanding. Her landmark work, A Child’s Garden of Verses – a collection of tone-poem etudes for solo piano – has for decades empowered musicians young and old to discover their artistic voices through the synthesis of technique, literature, and sound.
Chee-Hwa’s solo piano music is published by Piano Safari; with selections included in the Repertoire and Study syllabi of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Canada, the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, London, and the London College of Music. Her publishing company, Dayung Sampan Music, expands her philosophy of music making and artistry to other instrumental combinations at all levels.
A native of Malaysia and a naturalized U.S. citizen, Chee-Hwa holds Masters’ degrees in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy from the Southern Methodist University and a B.A. in Piano Performance and English from Oral Roberts University. Her teachers include Alfred Mouledous, Joaquin Achucarro, E. Gregory Nagode, and Joyce Bridgman. Chee-Hwa lives in Colorado where she and her husband Chris have raised four children who are avid music makers.