Tag Archives: piano

A Jazzy Happy Birthday


Click to download the score.

I wrote a jazzy little arrangement of “Happy Birthday” for piano a while back, and my mother recently transcribed it for me. Here’s the score, and here’s a recording of me playing it as a coda after a more traditional rendition. (The jazzy part comes after the “and many more” line, about 20 seconds into the recording.) Note that it’s in 4/4 time.



The music video. (Click to see it on YouTube.)

I had the pleasure of attending the final round of the Van Cliburn piano competition this year, and the experience inspired me to sit down and write a little piece for the piano. The result, a fiery little ditty I’ve named “Palindrome” (due to its overall form; it is not a strict palindrome), is quite fun to play. My friend Saqib filmed me performing it, and we put together a pretty cool video. Click here (or on the picture above) to see it on YouTube.

Click to download the score.

Click to download the score.

If you’re interested in playing the piece yourself, click here to download the score in PDF form. If anyone actually does decide to play it, please let me know. It will make me happy. And if you send or post a recording of it, I’ll mail you a lollipop with my initials engraved on it. There could be no better treat than that.

My 2003 Piano Album

Here are some piano recordings I made in the summer of 2003. I spent that summer working for Professor Qimiao Si doing theoretical condensed matter research. I didn’t feel like I was very good at it, but I made some contributions to a paper that can be found here. I just found out that this paper later inspired an atom-cooling experiment that was published in Nature.

Anyway, when I wasn’t running computer simulations, I was practicing the piano. My inspiration at the keys waxes and wanes over a period of about four years. It was at a high point then. There’s nothing like condensed matter physics to bring out your inner musician. Here are links to the recordings on YouTube:

Etude in F Minor (Chopin)

Funeral March (Chopin)

Ballade in G Minor (Chopin)

Fantasie-Impromptu (Chopin)


The photographs are all from a March 2010 trip to Brazos Bend State Park, the day after we found out that Cathy had cancer. Each picture has an animal in it, though some of them are hard to find.

My High School Senior Recital

I finally got around to posting my high school senior recital on YouTube. I showed this video to most of my students last year, and one student felt compelled to venture a guess as to what year the recital took place. He said, “I don’t think you’re any older than forty. From what people in the audience were wearing, I’m guessing it was in the eighties.”

Well. . . . It was in 1999. I’m 30. I guess it’s the baldness and cynical attitude that make me seem so old. It’s hard not to be cynical when you start going bald at age 21. I’m sure this is a tangent I’ll regret having written later on. Anyway, here are the links to the video of my recital, in order of how happy I am with my performance of each piece:

Scherzo in B Minor (Chopin)

Nocturne in B Flat Minor (Chopin)

Masks (Muczynski)

Sonata in E Minor (Haydn)

Prelude and Fugue in D Minor (Bach)

Yes, I prefer minor keys. They go well with my cynicism.

My Wife’s Benefit Concert

On August 14, 2010, West Houston Chinese Church hosted a benefit concert to raise money for my wife Cathy’s cancer treatment. In the concert, I played Chopin’s Fantasie-Impromptu and Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata (all three movements). Below are links to the performance videos on YouTube.

Fantasie Impromptu

Moonlight Sonata I

Moonlight Sonata II

Moonlight Sonata III

Previously, comments were disabled because I wasn’t in the mood to see the immature sort of remarks that typically get posted on YouTube; they are now enabled, though.

For more about the story of my wife’s fight with cancer, visit www.standwithcathy.com. I have written a full account of her amazing story–which includes being evicted by a man who would soon be convicted of murdering his wife–and hope to publish it at the end of the year. All proceeds will go to cancer-related charities (most likely the Komen Foundation, though I haven’t decided yet).

I was playing for her.