[ Piano ]
Hung-Kuan Chen is one of the great personalities of the music world: enigmatic, brilliant, and versatile. He is a pianist of uncompromising individuality and a remarkably inspiring pedagogue. Born in Taipei and raised in Germany, Mr. Chen’s early studies fostered strong roots in Germanic Classicism which he tempered with the sensibility of Chinese philosophy; the result is a dynamic and imaginative artistry. He is regarded as an extraordinary interpreter of Beethoven’s music.
Mr. Chen’s career was launched when he won First Prize in the Young Concert Artists’ Auditions which presented him in his New York debut on the Young Concert Artists Series and followed it with a second major New York concert at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. One of the most decorated pianists of his generation, Mr. Chen won top prizes in the Arthur Rubinstein, the Busoni and the Geza Anda International Piano Competitions, along with prizes in the Queen Elisabeth, Montreal, Van Cliburn, and Chopin International Competition. He is a recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.
Hung-Kuan Chen has appeared in the music capitals of Asia, Europe, and the Americas and collaborated with many major orchestras including Houston, Baltimore, Israel, Montréal, Pittsburgh, the Tonhalle, San Francisco, and Shanghai. He has performed with highly esteemed conductors such as Hans Graf, Christoph Eschenbach, George Cleve, Josef Silverstein, Andrew Parrett, and Sui Lan; and colleagues including Yo-Yo Ma, Cho-Liang Lin, Roman Totenberg, Denes Zsigmondy, Bion Tsang, Anthony Gigliotti, David Shifrin, Laurence Lesser, and pianists Tema Blackstone and Pi-hsien Chen.
Mr. Chen has served as the chair of the piano department of the Shanghai Conservatory and is the director of the International Piano Academy in Shanghai. In 2009, he was appointed to the piano faculty of the New England Conservatory in Boston. He is a visiting professor at the Yale School of Music.
In 1992 Hung-Kuan Chen suffered an injury to his hand which caused neurological damage and eventually resulted in focal dystonia. Through meditation and his own research, he was able to heal. His first post-accident solo recital in March of 1998 received rave reviews, and he was described as a transformed artist. Following a concert at Jordan Hall in 2006, Richard Dyer wrote in The Boston Globe, “Hung-Kuan Chen is back in prime technical form after years of struggle following an injury, but those years have made him a different pianist, and a better one. This man plays music with uncommon understanding and the instrument with uncommon imagination.”