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Piano Lesson

Meng-Chieh Liu

The Royal International Piano Competition Meng-Chieh Liu

A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, Meng-Chieh Liu first made headlines in 1993 as a 21-year-old student at The Curtis Institute of Music when he substituted at last minute's notice for André Watts at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. The concert earned high acclaim from critics and audience alike, and was followed by a number of widely praised performances, including a recital at the Kennedy Center and a concert on the Philadelphia All-Star Series. Already an accomplished artist at the time, Mr. Liu had made his New York orchestral debut two years earlier.

Following Mr. Liu's triumph in Philadelphia, an appearance with the Philadelphia Orchestra was immediately scheduled, but it was not to be. The stellar beginning of his career was abruptly halted by a rare and debilitating illness that affected his connective tissues. Hospitalized and almost immobile for a year, doctors believed his chances for survival were slim and, should he survive, playing the piano would be "absolutely impossible."

With arduous determination and relentless physical therapy, Mr. Liu has been restored to full health and is now once again performing on the concert stage. Since then, he has performed throughout the world in recitals and as a soloist with orchestras under conductors Christoph Eschenbach, Gustavo Dudamel and Alan Gilbert. In 2002, Liu received the Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Philadelphia Musical Fund Society Career Advancement Award. A sought-after musician and strong advocate of chamber music, Liu performs in music festivals across the globe and has worked with renowned  musicians Shmuel Ashkenasi, David Soyer, Bernard Greenhouse, James Buswell, Wendy Warner, Kim Kashkashian, Donald Weilerstein as well as the Borromeo and St. Lawrence Quartets. Liu also collaborates with artists in varied disciplines, such as Mikhail Baryshnikov and the White Oak Dance Project, among other dance companies.  His concerts have been heard over the airwaves around the world, and a biography on his life was broadcast on Taiwanese National Television.

Born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Meng-Chieh Liu began his piano studies early, and at age thirteen was accepted by The Curtis Institute of Music to study with Jorge Bolet, Claude Frank, Gary Graffman and Eleanor Sokoloff, and received first prizes in the Stravinsky, Asia Pacific and Mieczyslaw Munz piano competitions. His reputation as a teacher/mentor has brought him across the globe in summer festivals, masterclasses, and lecture recitals. Since 1993, Liu served on the piano and chamber music faculties at The Curtis Institute of Music,  and since 2013 added the New England Conservatory to his itinerary. He is in high demand as a mentor, sought out by young pianists the world over. Recently his students have been finalists of major competitions, including Aimi Kobayshi in Chopin Competition, and Tianxu An in the Tchaikovsky Competition.

He served as a faculty member of Roosevelt University in Chicago from 2006-2014. During this time Liu joined Chicago Chamber Musicians and served as Artistic Director of the ensemble from 2011-2014. While artistic director, he championed the works and worked closely with many composers including John Corigliano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gabriella Lena Frank, Steven Mackey, Paquito D’Rivera, and Lowell Liebermann.

Liu is known for his versatility, performing music from Scarlatti and Bach to Szymanowski, Messiaen and composers of our times, including Zhou Tian and David Ludwig. In recent years, he embarked on several immersive projects, performing the complete piano music by Johannes Brahms and complete piano sonatas by Franz Schubert.   

In 2011, Liu experienced another medical setback requiring open heart surgery. Once again the predictions of medical doctors were grim. He pursued many courses of treatment both modern and traditional. Despite the debilitating effects, he still managed to keep up his concert activities and wouldn’t reduce his artistic output. Liu has taken on new challenges, both in recital and in concerto programs and has focused his energy more and more on making recordings. His most recent album of Chopin’s complete nocturnes has been released on Decca this past January. 

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