New York Musical Reception - May 3 2018


Chopin’s Music and the Language of Infinity

 With Professor John Rink, Fellow and Director of Studies in Music, St John’s College


Join alumni on the East Coast for an inspiring evening of music and ideas with College Fellow John Rink at The Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse.


Enjoy drinks and canapés with fellow alumni on the 10th floor of the Samuel B. & David Rose Building at the world famous Lincoln Center.


The centrepiece of the evening will be an illustrated talk by John Rink, one of the world’s leading authorities on the music of Chopin. In his talk, John will explore Chopin’s expressive aesthetic, revealing the inner meaning of the composer’s music as he performs selected passages from Chopin’s works.


Playing out against the backdrop of the Hudson River and the New York City Skyline, the evening promises stimulating insights, exquisite music and an unmissable opportunity to strengthen your alumni friendships.


Please note, booking for this event has now closed.


Chopin’s Music and the Language of Infinity

Music is often described as a “universal language,” and the Polish composer Fryderyk Chopin used it with consummate skill and fluency. Chopin himself once described music as “the indefinite language,” “the manifestation of our feelings through sounds,” and “the expression of our perceptions through sounds.” His companion, the novelist George Sand, wrote that Chopin “made a single instrument speak a language of infinity. He could often sum up, in ten lines that a child could play, poems of a boundless exaltation, dramas of unequalled power.”

The paradox is that a composer whose voice was so distinctive and original managed to produce music that has the capacity to speak to each and every person in their own voice, their own language. Few other composers, if any, have managed to do so. That is one reason why Chopin’s music has held such a central position in the canon for over 200 years.


John Rink’s talk will probe Chopin’s enduring legacy, illuminating the composer’s unique approach to the piano and demonstrating how we might “translate” his music and hear its inner meaning as if Chopin was speaking directly to us.



Date      Thursday May 3, 2018

Times    6 - 9 pm

Venue   The Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse
              Samuel B. & David Rose Building
              70 Lincoln Center Plaza (165 West 65th Street)

              New York, NY 10023


Entrance to the building is from the plaza level one flight up from the street, accessible via staircase, escalator or elevator.


Full Price £36


Special rate for new alumni £22 per person for alumni who matriculated in 2008 and afterwards. This rate is also available to the guests of eligible alumni.


Guests You are welcome to bring up to two guests to this event.


Programme for the evening Drinks and canapés start at 6 pm, Illustrated Talk 7 to 8 pm, Reception continues until 9 pm.


This event has now reached capacity and booking has closed. Please contact with any queries.


John Rink Biography


John Rink is a prize-winning author and expert on many facets of Chopin’s oeuvre, including the manuscript and printed sources, editorial practices, critical reception, performance style (both historical and modern), and analysis. He holds the post of Professor of Musical Performance Studies at the University of Cambridge in the UK, a position created for him in 2009 when he became Director of the AHRC Research Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice, which was based at Cambridge. He is also Fellow and Director of Studies in Music at St John’s College, Cambridge, in addition to holding Visiting Professorships in London, Singapore and China.


John Rink has published widely on Chopin, musical performance, and many other topics. He has produced six books for Cambridge University Press and was General Editor of a series of five volumes on musical performance released by Oxford University Press in 2017. He has directed major online projects focused on Chopin and has brought out acclaimed editions of Chopin’s piano concertos. He also served as a member of the jury of the 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition held in Warsaw in October 2015.


John Rink studied at Princeton University, King’s College London, and the University of Cambridge, and he holds the Concert Recital Diploma and Premier Prix in piano from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Much of his recent work as a performer focuses on historic instruments: he is an expert on playing techniques relevant to the Pleyel pianos that Chopin himself favoured when composing, performing, and teaching. He regularly speaks, performs and teaches throughout the world, with recent masterclasses in Japan, Australia, China, and several European countries.




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