top of page

Meet the Artist and let him know what you think about today's concerts

Thanks for submitting!

Donate to support future concerts.

Chetan Santa Cruz Color.JPG

CHETAN TIERRA, a Yamaha Artist, pianist, composer and teacher, has delighted audiences across the globe in recital, as soloist with orchestra, and on TV. He is the co-founder and artist-in-residence at the San Diego Piano Academy where he maintains a small studio. He has performed on some of the world’s most renowned concert stages after making strong and winning appearances in the most prestigious international piano competitions such as the Queen Elisabeth, Van Cliburn, Jose Iturbi, Hilton Head, New Orleans, Unisa, and Seoul. The NY Concert Review praised his 2006 Carnegie Hall debut as “magnificent”, and his charismatic persona and emotional style have led to many praises from audiences and critics alike. “Tierra held piano lovers on the edge of their seats.” says Chris Waddington from the Times-Picaynne in New Orleans. “Pianist Chetan Tierra, Magic and Mastery!” says Lyn Bronson from the Peninsula Reviews.



Hi and welcome to my SDPA faculty recital! I want to mention a few things about my program.

My program is split into two mini sets, in total lasting about 45 minutes in length, and my aim is to bring you on a deep musical journey through each. I am starting the program with one of my original compositions. My music is quite different from the music of Bach and Chopin as I have a modern and minimalist style. My music is meant to be hypnotic, meditative and reflective. I hope to lull you into a trance-like state as a prelude for what’s to come.


Then I’m playing a couple short pieces by Bach of which I absolutely adore. The first piece is a transcription from an Oboe concerto he wrote. I discovered this piece over the last year and after teaching it I completely fell in love with it and had to add it to my program.


After the two pieces by Bach I’m leading into the biggest piece on the program, Chopin’s 4th Ballade. It tells a long and emotional story of pain, triumph, anger and everything in between. This is a piece I used to play back in my teens; in fact I won the state of California competition with this piece when I was 18. I decided to bring it back in my fingers a couple years ago and have been playing it off and on ever since. It is undoubtedly one of Chopin’s most beautiful works. This is my final performance of this piece as I plan to retire it for quite a while.


To begin my second mini set I’m starting with another one of my original compositions. It’s a short piece meant to be a palate cleanser and set the stage again for the rest of the program. My small secret is also that it gives me a quick physical and emotional breather after the difficulties present in the Ballade.


The next two Nocturnes by Chopin are really special to me. The first is an eerie piece, dark and manic, a bit unusual for Chopin. It gives way however to his Db Nocturne which as of writing this is my favorite all time piece by Chopin. I think it might be his most beautiful work. I hear it as a love story, and you can hear the two characters exchange many varying moments together until the end where they float off into the sunset, happily ever after.


To end my program I’m playing the fiendishly difficult 4th movement from his 3rd Sonata. This is one of the all time most difficult pieces in the piano repertoire. It’s also the newest piece on the program for me. I just began working on it earlier this year. It’s an exciting roller-coaster of a piece that ends triumphantly. 


Thank you for coming to my concert, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed practicing it and putting it together. I have been recording this music as well and plan to release some of it on streaming platforms later this year.

-Chetan Tierra

bottom of page