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It is my intention to make music that stays in one’s memory not just because I had quick fingers but because it was so moving. Claire Huangci
Over the years, the young American pianist of Chinese descent has succeeded in establishing herself as a highly respected artist, leaving behind her role of the celebrated child prodigy who once gave a private concert for President Bill Clinton at the age of ten. Claire Huangci captivates audiences with her “radiant virtuosity, artistic sensitivity, keen interactive sense and subtle auditory dramaturgy” (Salzburger Nachrichten).
Claire Huangci began her international career at the age of nine with grants, concert performances and prizes, becoming the youngest participant to receive second prize at the International ARD Music Competition in 2011. Only in her later teenage years did she finally feel more and more that this instrument was to be her vocation. She received significant input from her teachers Eleanor Sokoloff and Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia before studying under Arie Vardi at the University of Music, Drama and Media in Hanover. She has assisted Professor Vardi since spring 2016.
Chopin’s music gave Claire Huangci her artistic breakthrough in 2009 when she won first prize at the International Chopin Competition in Darmstadt, as well as in 2010 at the Chopin Competition in Miami. She has since proved her great versatility with an unusually broad repertoire, which includes a large number of contemporary works. Claire Huangci has performed in solo recitals and as a partner with international orchestras such as the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (under Sir Roger Norrington), Münchner Kammerorchester, China Philharmonic Orchestra and Vancouver, Santa Fe and Moscow Radio Symphonies at international concert venues that include the Carnegie Hall, Tonhalle Zurich, Konzerthaus Berlin, Gasteig Munich, Gewandhaus Leipzig, la Salle Cortot, Oji Hall Tokyo and the Symphony Hall in Osaka. She has also made guest appearances at festivals such as the Kissinger Sommer, Verbier Festival, Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival and the Schwetzinger SWR Festival. The highlight of the 2017/18 season is her recital debut at the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie; she will also go on major tours to China with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra under Cornelius Meister (performing Schubert and Kabalewsky) and to Sweden with the Nordlands Operan Symphony under Elim Chan.
She released her second solo album on the Berlin Classics label in 2015, following her debut CD of solo works by Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev. For this recording the pianist selected 39 of Domenico Scarlatti’s 555 sonatas, some of which are in Baroque suite form, and some of which look ahead to the classical sonata. In doing so, she illustrates Scarlatti's transition through music history. The recording was awarded the German Record Critics' Award and was selected as “Editor’s Choice” by Gramophone magazine. In spring 2017, she released a celebrated recording of Chopin’s Nocturnes, about which the Süddeutsche Zeitung commented: “Do we need another recording of Chopin’s Nocturnes? Not really! But when one hears this brand new double-CD from Claire Huangci, the answer is yes!” (Süddeutsche Zeitung)
This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorised by the artist management.
In Claire Huangci’s playing, the flow of the music does not run away with itself or become arbitrary, but rather remains intensely alert: her attack is delicate yet distinct. (…) Claire Huangci follows the poetry of the cycle sensitively, taking care to differentiate the polyphonic voices. Irresistible yet always considerate and alert, Claire Huangci lets herself become captured by the magic of [Chopin’s] music.
PianoNews, Hans-Dieter Grünefeld, September 2017
She’s aware of the importance of Chopin’s Classical side and there are many instances where she favours restraint over cheap emoting, which is much to the good. There’s also a real range of interpretation, which makes the set consistently appealing. (…) One of the most impressive readings here is of the C minor Nocturne, Op 48 No 1, in which an innate solemnity grows to extraordinary depths in Huangci’s hands. (…). An impressive addition to the Chopin catalogue from a pianist from whom I’m sure we’ll be hearing much more.
Gramophone, Harriet Smith, July 2017, on the Chopin-CD
There are not too many complete recordings of Chopin’s Nocturnes – Claire Huangci’s offers a totally unique view and is absolutely worth a listen for her lyrical and serious attitude.
Radio Bremen, Wilfried Schäper, 29/5/2017 on the Chopin-CD
This is not a dreamy quasi-improvisation or playful salon music, and neither does the interpretation go after gut feeling. On the contrary, this is an extremely clear and pure recording with gravitas, significance and considerable appeal which certainly must be taken seriously.
Pizzicato, Remy Franck, 22/5/2017, on the Chopin-CD
It is more than simply worth a listen! (...) Throughout the consistent tranquility, she knows to distinguish between naturalness of expression on the one hand and emotive languorousness and passion on the other.
Rondo, Guido Fischer, 13/05/2017
Huangci plays Brahms’ Variations and Fugue on a theme by Handel op. 24 accurately, precisely, virtuosically, and from time to time shrewdly accentuated, with an expansive tone that is never applied too thickly.
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Andreas Pernpeintner, 9/4/2017
Do we need another recording of Chopin’s Nocturnes? Not really! But when one hears this brand new double-CD from Claire Huangci, which comes out on 5th May, the answer is yes!
Süddeutsche Zeitung, CD-Tipp, 6/4/2017
This concerto (Liszt's Piano Concerto No.2) sets a gauntlet of versatility, which Claire Huangci ran with apparent effortlessness. (…) Claire Huangci (…) is working on a piano sound for which she will become well known.
Neue Westfälische Paderborn, Ulla Meyer, 07/10/2016
With distinct accentuations and superior technique, Huangci confirmed her reputation as one of the most expressive Chopin interpreters of her generation.
Südkurier, Gerd Kurat, 04/08/2016
This is Scarlatti artistry of the highest order. (…) It’s gratifying to have followed Huangci’s progression from a 16-year-old prodigy to a 25-year-old artist poised for greatness.
Gramophone, Jed Distler, 17/08/2015
She certainly is brilliant but what is particularly impressive is the feeling of ease that she exudes while playing. Her subtle flair for dynamics, nuanced rhythms and intonation help her in Scarlatti’s playful baroque sonatas.
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Ekaterina Kel, 15/04/2015
Glistening virtuosity and creative authority. (…) She invited the audience to interact alertly with the piece because she did not thunder through it but offered subtle nuances and sensitive sound dramaturgy. The pianist drew on her stupendous technical skills for this energetic, brilliantly balanced playing, which had a sense for overview, logic and precise attention to detail: the ideal “picture” of a Tchaikovsky interpretation.
Salzburger Nachrichten, 10/11/2014
|J. S. Bach||Piano Concerto in D minor BWV 1052|
|C. Baker||From Noon to Starry Night, Concerto for Piano and Chamber|
|B. Bartók||Piano Concerto No. 3 in E major Sz. 119, BB 127|
|L. v. Beethoven||Piano Concertos|
|No. 1 in C major, Op. 15|
|No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 19|
|No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37|
|No. 4 in G major, Op. 58|
|No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73 "Emperor Concerto"|
|No. 6 in G major, Op. 61a|
|Choral Fantasy in C minor, Op. 80|
|Triple Concerto in C major, Op. 56|
|L. Bernstein||Symphony No. 2 'The Age of Anxiety' for piano and orchestra|
|J. Brahms||Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 83|
|F. Chopin||Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11|
|Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21|
|C. Debussy||Fantasy für Piano and Orchestra|
|C. Franck||Symphonic Variations, M. 46|
|G. Gershwin||Rhapsody in Blue|
|Piano Concerto in F major|
|E. Grieg||Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16|
|J. Haydn||Piano Concerto in D major, Hob. XVIII: 2|
|Piano Concerto in G major, Hob. XVIII: 4|
|F. Liszt||Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, S. 124|
|Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major, S. 125|
|Hungarian Fantasy in E major for piano and orchestra, S. 123|
|Totentanz (Dance of death), S. 126|
|C. Meijering||ISIS Concerto for piano and orchestra|
|F. Mendelssohn||Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25|
|Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 40|
|W. A. Mozart||Piano Concertos|
|No. 9 in E-flat major, K.271 "Jeune homme"|
|No. 13 in C major, K.415|
|No. 17 in G major, K.453|
|No. 18 in B-flat major, K.456|
|No. 19 in F major K.459|
|No. 20 in D minor, K.466|
|No. 21 in C major, K.467|
|No. 23 in A major, K.488|
|No. 24 in C minor, K.491|
|No. 26 in D major, K.537|
|No. 27 B-flat major, K.595|
|Rondo D major, K.382|
|F. Poulenc||Concerto for two pianos in D Minor, FP 61|
|S. Prokofiev||Piano Concertos|
|No. 1 in D-flat major, Op. 10|
|No. 2 in G minor, Op. 16|
|No. 3 in C major, Op. 26|
|No. 4 in B-flat major, Op. 53 (for the left hand)|
|No. 5 in G major, Op. 55|
|S. Rachmaninoff||Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor, Op. 1|
|Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18|
|Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30|
|Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor, Op. 40|
|Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini in A minor, Op. 43|
|M. Ravel||Piano Concerto in G major|
|Piano Concerto in D major (for the left hand)|
|A. N. Scriabin||Piano Concerto in F-sharp minor, Op. 20|
|C. Schumann||Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 7|
|R. Schumann||Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54|
|C. Saint-Saëns||Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22|
|Rhapsodie d'Auvergne, Op. 73|
|D. Shostakovich||Piano Concerto No. 1 for piano, trumpet and string orchestra|
|in C minor, Op. 35|
|Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102|
|R. Strauss||Burleske in D minor|
|I. Stravinsky||Capriccio for piano and orchestra|
|P. Tschaikovsky||Piano Concerto No. 1 in B minor, Op. 23|
|Piano Concerto No. 2 in G major, Op. 44|
|more... less / top|
|Debussy||Préludes Book 1|
|Chopin||24 Préludes, Op. 28|
|Rachmaninoff||Préludes, Op. 23 or Op. 32|
|Beethoven||Rondo a Capriccio in G major, Op. 129|
|Beethoven||Piano Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op. 101|
|Liszt||Hungarian Rhapsody No. 13 in A minor|
|Schubert||Piano Sonata A major, D 959 or Impromptus, Op.142|
|Scarlatti||4 Sonatas (Selection)|
|Chopin||Nocturne, Op. 27 No. 1|
|Nocturne, Op. 27 No. 2|
|Schumann||Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13 or Fantasy, Op. 17|
|Bach||Italian Concert F major BWV 971|
|Clementi||Sonata in B minor, Op. 40|
|Prokofieff||Romeo and Juliet (Selection)|
|Mussorgski||Pictures at an Exhibition|
The Complete Nocturnes
Berlin Classics, 0300905BC, 2017
Berlin Classics, 885470006031, 2015
Works by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Sergei Prokofiev
Berlin Classics, 885470005621, 2013
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