Sean Chen seemed happy backstage, having successfully completed his first recital at the Cliburn competition. But that wasn’t the half of it.The previous Sunday he had flown in from Paris, stopping off in New York and indulging in a burrito. The fever came that night, and other symptoms associated with food poisoning, of which the 24-year-old American had come down with a major case.Which didn’t keep him from a Monday flight to Dallas, that was diverted to Houston because of weather. Chen waited out the storms on a Houston tarmac, in a middle seat. He was bedridden from his eventual arrival on Monday to Wednesday, surviving on crackers, bread, Gatorade and water.“Wednesday I was feeling a little better,” he said. “Thursday I could start practicing and I started eating real food.”He said he was never worried the malady might keep him from the Cliburn stage.“I’ve played when sick before,” he said. “Sometimes you play better provided you can actually stand up.”He is one tough guy.“You’ve got to do it,” he said.
Tim Madigan, 817-390-7544 Twitter: @tsmadigan