Biography

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

Claire Huangci recently won the Concours Geza Anda Zurich 2018, where, in addition to 1st prize, she also received the Mozart Prize, supported by the Musikkollegium Winterthur.

Over the years, the young American pianist of Chinese descent has succeeded in establishing herself as a highly respected artist, captivating 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 when she won first prizes at the Chopin Competitions in Darmstadt in 2009, as well as in Miami in 2010. 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), Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, Münchner Kammerorchester, China Philharmonic Orchestra and Vancouver, Santa Fe and Moscow Radio Symphonies at international concert venues that include the Carnegie Hall, Wiener Konzerthaus, 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 was her recital debut at the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie; she will also went 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)

2017/2018 season