Juror 2023

Ya-Fei Chuang

Ya-Fei Chuang

Acclaimed by critics in the United States and abroad for performances of stunning virtuosity, refinement and communicative power, Ya-Fei Chuang’s playing has been named the equal of Vladimir Ashkenazy, Garrick Ohlsson, and Idil Biret (The Boston Musical Intelligencer), and Alfred Brendel has praised her as “a pianist of extraordinary ability, intelligence, sensitivity and command . . . approaching the height of her powers.”  Commenting on her newly released Chopin/Liszt recording, he stated, "If you want to listen to Chopin and Liszt with different ears, Ya-Fei Chuang's ecstatic performances cannot leave you cold, and her pianism is staggering;" and Remy Franck called it "...masterful...thrilling...phenomenal" (Classical Music Journal).  Reviewing her live recording of the Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No.1, Fanfare Magazine hailed her “delicacy and fluidity of touch ... this version now sits at the top of the pile of Mendelssohn Firsts, alongside Perahia, [Rudolf] Serkin, and John Ogdon.” 

She has performed with orchestras in Berlin, Boston, Birmingham, Israel, Malaysia, and Tokyo; at the Berlin Philharmonie and Schauspielhaus, the Gewandhaus (Leipzig), Queen Elisabeth Hall (London), Boston’s Symphony Hall, the National Concert Hall (Taipei), and Suntory Hall (Tokyo).  More recent appearances include New York, San Francisco, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, at the International Grieg Piano Competition in Norway (where she also served as member of the competition jury three times), and the Grand Piano Series in Naples, Florida.

She has performed at the Verbier, Shannon and Oregon Bach Festivals, the Mozartwoche (Salzburg), the Mozart Festival (Romania), Beethoven Festival (Warsaw), European Music Festival (Stuttgart), Bach Festival (Leipzig), Schleswig-Holstein, Gilmore, Nevada, Newport, Ravinia, Sarasota, Tanglewood, the Taiwan Maestro Piano Festival, and the Taipei International Music Festival. She has performed in the Celebrity Series in Boston, at the Fromm Foundation concerts at Harvard, at the Harvard Musical Association, at the International Music Sessions in Prussia Cove, England, and with the New York Philomusica. She performs frequently with the Spectrum Ensemble Berlin (Germany), and has appeared in duo performances with Alban Gerhardt, Kim Kashkashian, and is a frequent partner of Steven Isserlis and Robert Levin.

She has collaborated in chamber music performances with concertmasters and principal players of the orchestras of Berlin, Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. 

Equally at home on the fortepiano, she has appeared as period pianist with the Academy of Ancient Music, Boston Baroque, the Handel & Haydn Society, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Philharmonia Baroque, and Concerto Köln; she recently played a recital on a newly restored Fritz grand from the 1820s at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She has recorded Mozart’s concertos for two and three keyboards on Stein copies with the Academy of Ancient Music.

Ya-Fei Chuang has recorded for AAM Records, ECM, Harmonia Mundi, Le Palais des Dégustateurs, Naxos, and New York Philomusica Records.  The Ruhr Festival has released a number of her live recordings, including a solo recital distributed as a premium by Fono Forum Magazine in Germany.  Her recording of Hindemith chamber works was awarded a special prize by the International Record Review. 

Ya-Fei Chuang’s mastery of the most challenging solo and chamber repertoire is complemented by her commitment to contemporary music. She has given the world premieres of works by Stanley Walden, Thomas Oboe Lee, and Pulitzer prizewinners John Harbison and Yehudi Wyner. 
Ya-Fei Chuang is University Professor at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg. She taught for many years on the faculty of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and the New England Conservatory Preparatory & Continuing Education division, where she taught a piano performance seminar until 2022.

Recently she was visiting professor at the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University.  She gives master classes throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, among them at the Conservatoire américain at Fontainebleau and Clavicologne in 2023.  Since 2008 she has given a two-week master class at the International Summer Academy at Mozarteum in Salzburg.  She is a frequent jury member of national and international competitions, most recently at the Grieg Competition (Norway) and the International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna.