The Battle of the Keyboards: Featuring works by J.S. Bach

See All Events
The Battle of the Keyboards: Featuring works by J.S. Bach

Date: 03/17/2023
Time: 6:00 PM

Fynes Hall, Kulas Musical Arts Building
96 Front St

Featuring Dr. Qin Ying Tan, harpsichord and Dr. Irwin Shung, piano.

Playing Bach on the piano has become only more controversial with time.  While many in the early-music world consider the modern instrument wholly inappropriate for baroque music, legendary pianist András Schiff considers it an improvement over the harpsichord, and acclaimed artists such as Murray Perahia and Angela Hewitt have carved a niche for themselves as expert interpreters of Bach on the nine-foot concert grand.  Bach himself was familiar with early fortepianos and contributed to their development.

In this concert, pianist and Bach specialist Dr. Irwin Shung collaborates with Baldwin Wallace Conservatory’s harpsichordist Dr. Qin Ying Tan to perform an assortment of Bach’s keyboard works on both historic and modern instruments in a friendly musical dialogue concerning whether Bach can continue to survive on the Steinway grand.

In addition to their performance on March 17, Shung and Tan will co-teach a piano masterclass about Bach on Tuesday, March 21 at 3pm in Fynes Hall.

If you are unable to log in simultaneously to the live performance on Friday, March 17, the recording typically remains available throughout the remainder of the day, so you will be able to enjoy the program that evening as well.


A few minutes before the concert is scheduled to begin, simply click on the link below and be sure to adjust your speakers. Finally, sit back and enjoy the outstanding performance.


For a complete list of live stream events, visit

Dr. Irwin Shung, whose playing has been praised by State Magazine for its “ease, technique, and musicianship,” enjoys an active performing career spanning North America, Europe, and Asia. Shung joined the Cleveland Institute of Music as faculty in July, 2015, and directs the Resonance Masters’ Series at the new performance hall, Resonance at SOMA, situated in Bellevue, Washington. Shung received his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music in January, 2015, where he studied with Dr. Daniel Shapiro. He has also received instruction on piano from various distinguished teachers including Marian Hahn (Peabody Conservatory), Leon Fleisher (Peabody Conservatory), Herbert Stessin (Julliard School), and Gabriel Chodos (New England Conservatory). Awards received include the Pauline Favin Memorial Award from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, and wins in the 2012 Darius Milhaud Competition and the Young Artist International Piano Competition. Shung’s specialty in the music of J. S. Bach stems from extensive study of Baroque and pre-Baroque repertoire on the harpsichord, organ, and piano with distinguished faculty from the Historical Performance Practice department of Case Western University, as well as the Early Music Departments of Peabody and Oberlin Conservatories.  His complete recording of the first book of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier is available on YouTube. Shung is currently building a recording studio in preparation for a performances of Book II and the Goldberg Variations, with other projects to follow.

Lauded by Cleveland Classical as “an excellent soloist, a compelling performer who is equally comfortable handling long strings of notes… and singing through emotive melodies with her instrument,” Dr. Qin Ying Tan was recently appointed harpsichord faculty at Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music.  This season’s performances included appearances with City Music, Piano Cleveland, ORMACO Inc., the Performing Arts Series at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Red Dot Baroque, and SEA Music Academy.  Dr. Tan co-directs up-and-coming Ensemble Affekt with baroque violinist, Guillermo Salas Suárez, an ensemble which focuses on early music accessibility, education and diversity across Cleveland.

​A firm believer of the musical narrative in performance, Tan’s influences steep from a pool of diverse music which includes baroque French court dance, Indonesian gamelan, the Chinese guzheng, as well as community song and dance.  Dr. Tan currently serves as music director at Forest Hills Presbyterian Church and co-artistic director at Resonance Maters’ Series in Bellevue, Washington.