ARTIST: Jian Liu on piano
Pianist Jian Liu was born in China in 1980. At age 12, he was accepted at the prestigious Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. He moved to the United States when he was 15, and promptly won first place at the 6th Missouri Southern International Competition in 1996. Since then, Jian has been honoured at a number of competitions, including the 3rd Horowitz International Piano Competition and MTNA Chamber Music Competition. He completed a Master of Musical Arts (equivalent to a DMA) at the Yale School of Music with internationally renowned pianist Claude Frank, and was recently been appointed to the New Zealand School of Music as Assistant Professor of Piano.
Jian came to the attention of Chamber Music New Zealand audiences in 2011, when he replaced an injured Diedre Irons at a few days’ notice for a tour with flutist Alexa Still and violinist Martin Riseley. The Nelson Mail’s Margot Hannigan commented of the performance: “This was a perfect chamber music concert by three consummate musicians. My initial disappointment that pianist Diedre Irons had withdrawn through injury was completely reversed when I listened to her replacement, Jian Liu … I especially enjoyed the dramatic urgency and wonderful surges of emotion in the piano, provoking response from the violin with all the ferocity that Beethoven intended.”
He has appeared on concert stages in Europe, Asia, and the United States, and with the Symphony Orchestra of the National Philharmonic Society of Ukraine, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, and others. Jian’s performances were broadcast by various radio and TV stations including KPHO in Phoenix and Suisse Romande Radio in Switzerland. He has been a featured artist alongside pianist Maria João Pires, cellist Jian Wang, and clarinettist David Shifrin. His artistry has taken him to prestigious concert halls such as Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, and Rose Theater of Lincoln Center.
“It’s such a great pleasure to share some of the greatest music written for piano with audiences in New Zealand”, says Jian. “I sincerely hope that the music will speak for itself, and that perhaps the music will invoke some of the most precious memories that we hold dear in life, be it love, happiness, or sorrow, all essential parts of life.”
Jian’s two programmes – ‘Fantasy’ and ‘Schumann-Liszt’ – explore a wide range of music from CPE Bach to Liszt. “A Fantasy is often a way for the composer to escape the formal compositional structure and explore the music with a purely fantastic world of sound and imagination, often with many unexpected turns,” explains Jian. “It’s up to the listener to construct their own interpretation of the piece, and carve their own path into this fantastic journey.”
Jian’s other programme features two of the greatest composers for piano of all time: Liszt and Schumann. “Both composers were great admirers of each other, so it’s only logical to present a programme featuring some of their best works”, explains Jian. “Schumann’s Carnaval Opus 9 and Liszt’s Sonata in B Minor are both monumental works, and they represent some of the composers’ best output both in style and in the message they carry”.
|4 May 12||Schumann-Liszt||7.30pm||Cromwell Memorial Hall||Cromwell|
|5 May 12||Fantasy||7.30pm||Lake Wanaka Centre||Wanaka|
|7 May 12||Fantasy||7.30pm||James Cumming Lecture Theatre||Gore|
|10 May 12||Fantasy||7.30pm||Chanel Arts Centre||Motueka|
|11 May 12||Fantasy||6.30pm||Montana Brancott Estate Winery||Blenheim|
|16 May 12||Fantasy||7.30pm||Prince Edward Auditorium, Wanganui Collegiate||Whanganui|
|20 May 12||Fantasy||2.30pm||Plaza Theatre||Putaruru|
|21 May 12||Fantasy||7.30pm||Concert Chamber
Rotorua Convention Centre
|23 May 12||Schumann-Liszt||7.30pm||41 Winifred St
|29 July 12||Fantasy||3pm||Ilott Theatre
Wellington Town Hall
|Wellington (Sunday Concerts)|
Liu’s hands folding over each other like graceful wings above the keyboard.Read full reviewNelson Mail - 12 May 2012
technical finesse, mercurial fingers, and crystalline purityRead full reviewHanno Fairburn, Rotorua Daily Post - 21 May 2012