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My goals as a mentor are to instill the principles of technical mastery, further artistic understanding and stylistic knowledge, and do all I can to develop my students as individuals who will follow their personal path at the highest possible level.
Ya-Fei Chuang joined the Conservatory in 2007 and is an associate professor of piano.
Acclaimed by critics in the United States and abroad for performances of stunning virtuosity, refinement, and communicative power, Chuang’s playing has been named the equal of Vladimir Ashkenazy, Garrick Ohlsson, and Idil Biret (Boston Musical Intelligencer), and Alfred Brendel has praised her as “a pianist of extraordinary ability, intelligence, sensitivity and command . . . approaching the height of her powers.” Commenting on her newly released Chopin/Liszt recording, Brendel stated, "If you want to listen to Chopin and Liszt with different ears, Ya-Fei Chuang's ecstatic performances cannot leave you cold, and her pianism is staggering."Scott Noriega of Fanfare magazine also wrote “She is indeed a pianist of staggering abilities," and Remy Franck called Chuang's playing "...masterful...thrilling...phenomenal" (Classical Music Journal, Luxembourg). Reviewing her live recording of the Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No.1, Fanfare magazine hailed her “delicacy and fluidity of touch ... this version now sits at the top of the pile of Mendelssohn Firsts, alongside Perahia, [Rudolf] Serkin, and John Ogdon.”
Chuang's solo appearances with orchestras include the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Symphony, the Malaysian Philharmonic and the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra; at the Berlin Philharmonie and Schauspielhaus, the Gewandhaus (Leipzig), Queen Elisabeth Hall (London), Boston’s Symphony Hall, the National Concert Hall (Taipei), and Suntory Hall (Tokyo). More recent appearances include Boston, Florida, Nevada, New York, San Francisco, Virginia, Wisconsin, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Poland, Switzerland, Taiwan, at the International Grieg Piano Competition in Norway (where she also served as member of the competition jury three times). She has performed at the Bach Festival (Leipzig), Beethoven Festival (Krakow), Beethoven Festival (Warsaw), European Music Festival (Germany), the Mozart Festival (Romania), the Mozartwoche (Salzburg), Schleswig-Holstein, Shannon (Ireland), Verbier, Gilmore, Oregon Bach Festival, Nevada, Newport, Ravinia, Sarasota, Tanglewood, Taipei International Music Festival, Taiwan International Music Festival and Taiwan Maestro Piano Festival. She has also performed in the Celebrity Series in Boston, at the Fromm Foundation concerts at Harvard, at the Harvard Musical Association, at the International Music Sessions in Prussia Cove, England, and with the New York Philomusica. Chuang performs frequently with the Spectrum Ensemble Berlin (Germany), and has appeared in duo performances with Alban Gerhardt, Clive Greensmith, Kim Kashkashian, and is a frequent partner of Steven Isserlis and Robert Levin. She has collaborated in chamber music performances with concertmasters, principal players and members of the orchestras of Berlin, Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.
Equally at home on the fortepiano, she has appeared as a period pianist with Boston Baroque, the Handel & Haydn Society, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Philharmonia Baroque, and Concerto Köln, as well as a recital at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston last season.
Chuang has recorded for ECM, Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, and New York Philomusica Records. Upcoming CD releases include the complete piano solo works by Ravel for Le Palais des Dégustateurs. The Ruhr Festival has released a number of her live recordings, including a solo recital distributed as a premium by Fono Forum Magazine in Germany. Her recording of Hindemith chamber works was awarded a special prize by the International Record Review.
Chuang’s mastery of the most challenging solo and chamber repertoire is complemented by her commitment to contemporary music. She has given the world premieres of works by Stanley Walden, Thomas Oboe Lee, and Pulitzer prizewinners John Harbison and Yehudi Wyner.
She is on the faculty of Boston Conservatory at Berklee and the New England Conservatory Preparatory & Continuing Education division, where she teaches a piano performance seminar. Chuang gives master classes throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, and since 2008 hosts an annual two-week master class at the International Summer Academy at Mozarteum in Salzburg.
Prizewinner in the Cologne International Piano Competition at age 18, Chuang first performed on television in her native Taiwan at the age of eight and gave her first public solo recital at age nine. She won first prize at the nationally televised ‘Genius vs. Genius’ Competition at age ten and first prize at the National Music Competition (Taiwan) at age eleven. The following year she received unprecedented fellowships and scholarships from several prestigious foundations in Germany and Taiwan that enabled her to pursue pre-college, undergraduate, and masters-level studies at the Freiburg Conservatory (Musikhochschule) with Rosa Sabater and Robert Levin, completing the six-year course of study in four. During this time she was awarded numerous prizes, including the Basel-Colmar-Freiburg Arts Prize, the Mendelssohn Prize (Freiburg) and Parke-Davis Prize (Germany). She subsequently concluded her German studies with Pavel Gililov, receiving a concert diploma at the Cologne Conservatory, and earned a graduate diploma at the New England Conservatory in Boston with Russell Sherman. Her master class teachers included Leon Fleischer, Gil Kalish, Elisabeth Leonskaja, John O'Conor, John Perry, Meneham Pressler, Karl-Ulrich Schnabel. In recent years she has worked regularly with her mentor Alfred Brendel.