Pianist and host of the popular NPR music program “From the Top,” Christopher O’Riley will perform with opening act, pianist Yi-Yang Chen on Wednesday, August 14 at 7 p.m., at the Clayton Opera House. This is the closing performance of this year’s Sidney T. Cox Memorial Concert Series funded through the Northern New York Community Foundation.

Mr. Chen will play selections from his repertoire in a pre-show performance beginning at 7 p.m.  A brief intermission will be followed by Mr. O’Riley’s program which will include selections from Chopin, Mozart, Liszt, and more contemporary interpretations of Radiohead, Nirvana, and Pink Floyd.

Christopher O’ Riley performs his eclectic arrangements of popular music and classical repertoire all over the world.  O’Riley is recognized as one of the leading American pianists of his generation, touring extensively as a recitalist and chamber musician and appearing with every major orchestra. As host of the NPR music program, O’Riley is well-known for his eloquent and compelling musings on music and pop culture.

His performances feature his unique, crossover repertoire: from classical styles such as Chopin to rich piano interpretations of Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Nirvana and other alt-rock artists. His recordings have received international acclaim, including the only four-star review ever given by Rolling Stone to a classical pianist. His latest White Tie Classics/Mesa-BlueMoon release, Out of My Hands, includes music of R.E.M., Portishead, Cocteau Twins, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, The Bad Plus, The Smiths, Tears for Fears, as well as material from Radiohead and a newly released song by Elliott Smith.

O’Riley has toured the U.S. with the world-famous Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Orchestra. The illustrious group of conductors with whom he has collaborated includes Michael Tilson Thomas, Semyon Bychkov, JoAnn Falletta, Krystof Penderecki, Kurt Mazur, Christopher Hogwood and Leonard Bernstein.

Twenty-two year old Taiwanese pianist Yi-Yang Chen began studying the piano at age eight. He came to the United States in 2008 as an undergraduate student of Dr. Douglas Humphrey’s at the Eastman School of Music, where he received his Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in piano performance in 2012. He is now pursuing graduate studies at the Juilliard School as a student of Robert McDonald and Jerome Lowenthal.

Mr. Chen has attended the Taos School of Music Summer Chamber Music Program, and was awarded a fellowship at Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara during the summer of 2012. He was the winner of the 2012 MTNA Young Artist Piano Competition as well as winning first prize awards in the Thousand Islands International Chopin Piano Competition, Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Competition and Canada’s Pacific International Piano Competition.  While studying at Juilliard, Mr. Chen will be participating in solo competitions and performances as well as a variety of chamber music ensembles.  

Showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets are $35-$50 and can be purchased at the Clayton Opera House Box Office, by calling 315-686-2200 or visiting www.claytonoperahouse.com