Han Chen

“[Chen’s} one of the few pianists who handles both gnarly contemporary scores and over-the-top Romantic showpieces with equal authority and style…” Gramophone 

Han Chen has emerged among the new generation of concert pianists as a uniquely fearless performer in a wide variety of musical settings. Gold Medalist at the 2013 China International Piano Competition and a prizewinner at the 2018 Honens International Piano Competition, he has been praised by Gramophone as “impressively commanding and authoritative” and further cited by The New York Times for his “graceful touch,” “rhythmic precision,” and “hypnotic charm.” Chen’s virtuosity is enriched by a probing commitment to new and lesser-known works as well as the great cornerstones of the piano repertory. This vision is clearly evident in his four solo Naxos CDs focusing on Franz Liszt, Anton Rubinstein, Thomas Adès, and more recently, György Ligeti’s Complete Piano Études.

As soloist with orchestra, Chen’s appearances include the Calgary Philharmonic, Fort Worth Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, National Taiwan Symphony, China Symphony and Xiamen Philharmonic. He made his Lincoln Center debut with Riverside Symphony at Alice Tully Hall in December 2022 performing Mozart’s early masterwork, the Piano Concerto No. 9 le Jeunehomme. Chen has performed as solo recitalist throughout Europe, North America, China.

In frequent demand as a chamber musician, Chen is a core member of Ensemble Échappé while regularly collaborating with The Metropolis Ensemble and other adventurous groups in performances in America and abroad. In 2021, Chen launched Migration Music, an ongoing series of interviews and performances featuring immigrant composers.

A native of Taiwan, Han Chen graduated from The Juilliard School and the New England Conservatory, studying with Yoheved Kaplinsky and Wha Kyung Byun. He is now a doctoral candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center with Ursula Oppens.

Photo: Zhenwei Liu

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.

Han Chen Photo

Han Chen is managed exclusively by Black Tea Music. Please inquire for bookings and projects.

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