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On his World Tour

Sept. 2, 1999

Baylor junior leaves Friday to compete in Munich, Germany International Piano Competition


Entertainment writer

Asst. City Editor/Entertainment

From Hong Kong, to Waco, to Munich and hopefully much farther is the journey taken by one piano-playing savant and Baylor junior, Chi-Bun 'Jimmy' Chiang.

Jimmy Chiang, a native of Hong Kong, was an accomplished pianist before he came to Baylor and has grown even more talented during his college career. Brought to Baylor four years ago by a scholarship for international students and the chance to study with Baylor artist-in-residence Krassimira Jordan, Chiang has enjoyed musical success and various awards.

'I looked at Mrs. Jordan's resume and was impressed,' Jimmy said. 'What makes Mrs. Jordan so special is that she is a great performer and a great teacher. Often times, someone is either a very talented performer or a talented teacher. It is rare that someone is both.'

Jordan said their differences in cultural backgrounds haven't hindered their teacher-student relationship.

'I've been teaching students from around the world for 22 years,' Jordan said, 'and when you teach the piano at the level Jimmy is at, you don't just have local students. Your students are world travelers who have been exposed to many different cultures.'

At age 4 Chiang first played the piano.

'I started when I was 4 but didn't practice real strictly at first. My parents wanted me to be a well-rounded child,' Chiang said.

After nine years of study at home with a private instructor, Chiang played his first solo concerto with a professional symphony.

'I started playing solo concertos with the Hong Kong Asia Symphony when I was 13,' Chiang said.

Jimmy's acclaimed success started at the age of 16 when he received the Fellowship Diploma from Trinity College in London, for his musical talents. Studying under Baylor music professor Krassimira Jordan, Jimmy has furthered his musical journey he started many years earlier in Hong Kong.

According to Jordan, Chiang sent her a sample tape asking if he would be good enough to have Jordan take him as a student.

She said after hearing the tape she realized he would be a very talented student and it was interesting that he wanted to study conducting as well as continue his studies with the piano.

In 1997 Chiang received an award for the outstanding international student at Baylor. He also received the Presser Foundation award for the 1998 season. On Friday, Chiang will travel to Munich, Germany in hopes of adding another award to his growing collection.

He said he found an application for the Munich music competition on a poster. To enter himself into the competition, he sent a tape of his playing to the competition headquarters.

After officials heard his tape, Chiang received a fax telling him he passed the first round of the competition. To continue on in the competition he must travel to Munich, Germany.

The competition consists of five rounds. Jimmy has already passed the preliminary round with the tape he sent.

While at the competition, Jimmy will periodically play and be judged. Then he will either be admitted to the next round or be eliminated from the competition.

Chiang is scheduled to graduate from Baylor in December 2000. After graduation he said he