Pianist Han Chen is “impressively commanding and authoritative” (Gramophone) and has “a graceful touch”, “rhythmic precision” and “hypnotic charm” (The New York Times). After winning the Gold Medal at the 2013 China International Piano Competition, Chen has released three solo albums under the Naxos Records (music by Liszt, Rubinstein, and Thomas Adès, respectively). These albums have won him acclaim from critics around the world.
As a soloist, he has performed with numerous orchestras and worked with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Karina Canellakis, and Nicholas McGegan. As a new music advocate, Chen has premiered works by composers such as Unsuk Chin, Molly Joyce, Jonah Haven, among others.
In 2021, Chen launched Migration Music, a series of interviews and performances featuring immigrant composers. Participating composers include Reinaldo Moya, Jihyun Kim, Lei Liang, Vivian Fung, and Huang Ruo.
Born in Taiwan, Chen now resides in New York. After graduating from The Juilliard School (with Prof. Yoheved Kaplinsky) and the New England Conservatory (with Prof. Wha Kyung Byun), he is now a doctoral candidate at The Graduate Center, CUNY under the guidance of Prof. Yoheved Kaplinsky and Prof. Ursula Oppens.
Ligeti Etudes Meets 18 Composers
Ligeti Etudes Meets 18 Composers is a commissioning project in which 18 new works for piano solo will be composed to celebrate Ligeti’s centenary birthday in 2023. The 18 composers are hand-picked by Han Chen to meet his vision for the future of classical music, which is diverse and creative.
Each composer is to be paired up with one of the 18 Ligeti Etudes. The pairing is meant for a specific inspiration for the composers to initiate their compositions. Composers can choose to study the Etude, go against the Etude, or just sit with the Etude when they compose. They can also compose an Etude, or even come up with something totally different. Nevertheless, the pairing is both conscious and subconscious, a basis for the composers to fly with their imagination. After the composers finish their new works, Chen will work closely with the composers to prepare for the world premieres of the works.
Composers commissioned to write responses to the Ligeti etudes are Nick Bentz, Victoria Cheah, Fjola Evans, David Fulmer, Vivian Fung, Molly Joyce, Jihyun Kim, Jared Miller, Tom Morrison, Sugar Vendil, Meng Wang, Xinyang Wang, and Nina Young.