Ya-Fei Chuang


"The last movement, Finale: Presto non tanto, featured Chuang’s stunning virtuosity, her runs and trills quite breathtaking [Chopin Piano Sonata No. 3]"

John Farnworth, The Register-Guard

"Chuang handled the bristling difficulties of this piece as though they didn’t exist, all the while maintaining a smooth lyrical cantabile [Rachmaninoff Allegretto in E-flat Minor]"

Mark DeVoto, The Boston Musical Intelligencer

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Ya-Fei Chuang’s performances have been hailed by the New York Times, Gramophone, Fanfare Magazine, and the Berlin Tagesspiegel. Her mentor, Alfred Brendel, has praised her as “a pianist of extraordinary ability, intelligence, sensitivity and command…” 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."

Ya-Fei Chuang’s international appearances as a soloist include the orchestras of Berlin, Boston, City of Birmingham, Israel, Malaysia, and Tokyo. Having performed in over 20 countries, more recently she has appeared in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Norway, Poland, Taiwan, Tokyo, Boston, Florida, New York, Rhode Island, San Francisco. She has performed at the festivals of Verbier, Ruhr, Schleswig-Holstein, the European Music Festival (Germany), Bach Festival (Leipzig), the Mozartwoche (Salzburg), the Mozart Festival (Romania), Beethoven Festival (Warsaw and Krakow), Shannon (Ireland), Oulu (Finland), and in the US at Gilmore, Grand Piano Series, Nevada, Newport, Oregon Bach Festival, Ravinia, Sarasota, Tanglewood, and at the Taipei International Music Festival, Taiwan International Music Festival, and Taiwan Maestro Piano Festival. She has performed in the Celebrity Series in Boston, at the Fromm Foundation concerts at Harvard, the Harvard Musical Association, the International Music Sessions in Prussia Cove, England, and with the New York Philomusica. She performs frequently with the Spectrum Ensemble Berlin, and has appeared in duo performances with Pierre Amoyal, Alban Gerhardt, Clive Greensmith, Kim Kashkashian, Mark Kosower, Gabriel Lipkind, Boris Pergamenschikow, Andreas Schablas, and is a frequent partner of Steven Isserlis and Robert Levin. She has collaborated in duo and chamber music performances with concertmasters and principal players of the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Philadelphia Orchestra.

She is equally adept at playing the fortepiano and has performed with leading ensembles on period instruments, including the Academy of Ancient Music, Boston Baroque, Concerto Köln, Handel & Haydn Society, the Orchestra of the Age of

Enlightenment and Philharmonia Baroque. She recently gave a concert at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, on a newly restored 1820s Fritz fortepiano; and she has performed and recorded as soloist the three Mozart double and triple concertos with Robert Levin, Laurence Cummings, and the Academy of Ancient Music in London to great critical acclaim.

Chuang's mastery of the most challenging solo and chamber music repertoire is complemented by her passionate commitment to contemporary music. She has premiered numerous works by international prize winners Thomas Oboe Lee, Alexander Müllenbach, Stanley Walden, MacArthur and Pulitzer Prize winner John Harbison and Pulitzer Prize winner Yehudi Wyner. She has presented contemporary music at many important venues, including in the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, at the Ruhr Piano Festival, in New York, Boston, Salzburg, at Yale University. She performed contemporary works as a soloist with orchestra for the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University, and she taught at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau (France), where she performed contemporary music.

Ya-Fei Chuang has recorded for AAM Records, ECM, Harmonia Mundi, Le Palais des Dégustateurs, Naxos, and New York Philomusica Records. The Klavierfestival-Ruhr 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 is University Professor at Mozarteum University in Salzburg. She was visiting professor at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University (2022~2023). She was associate professor of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and has taught a piano performance seminar for nearly two decades at the New England Conservatory. She is a sought-after teacher of master classes throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Since 2008 she has given an annual two-week master class at the International Summer Academy at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. She has served on the juries of international piano competitions, most recently at the Grieg Competition in Norway, the Beethoven Competition in Vienna and Telekom Beethoven Competition in Bonn.

Ya-Fei Chuang is a Steinway artist.

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Franz Liszt - Frederic Chopin


From the beguiling lyricism of compositions like the (overplayed, though beautiful nonetheless) E-Minor Prelude or Second or Third Consolations to the stormier and more virtuosic moments in the Bb-Minor of D-Minor Preludes, she immediately draws the listener into her sound-world...As this was my first experience with Chuang's pianism, I can only say that I look forward to hearing more from this artist. I can only imagine that her approach would fit composers such as Mendelssohn, Debussy, or perhaps especially Ravel. I could imagine her especially fluid approach working its magic in music of infinite colors such as the music of teh composers above - even composers such as Scriabin....She is indeed a pianist of staggering abilities

Scott Noriega, Fanfare

Jordan Hall Recital

Boston (March 2015)

Through a universe of color, dynamics and articulations that were entirely her own, Chuang gave us a world of feelings, visions and memories… We were guided through a landscape of shifting emotions, light and airy, passionate and turbulent, pulsing and prayerful.

Leon Golub, The Boston Musical Intelligencer

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Queen Elizabeth Hall (November 2013)

Levin and Chuang brought an admirable sense of cohesion to Schubert's Fantasy in F minor, joining the disparate sections skilfully.

George Hall, The Guardian ***

All these distractions were banished in Schubert’s great F minor Fantasy for piano duet, where both pianists were seated at the same piano. In the mysterious dusky colours of the first movement’s central section, and the tender give and take of the slow movement, they were absolutely as one. Sound and sense came satisfyingly together.

Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph ****

We got a fine sense of complicity between soloists and orchestra, because their respective timbres were so evenly balanced. The pair then returned to give a beautifully-calibrated account of Schubert’s majestic “Fantasy in F minor”.

Michael Church, The Independent ****

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Boston Conservatory Recital

February 2013

Rachmaninoff’s Allegretto in E-flat Minor: Chuang handled the bristling difficulties of this piece as though they didn’t exist, all the while maintaining a smooth lyrical cantabile.

Chopin’s B Minor Sonata, Op. 58: Chuang’s superb control and fine expression made it certain that we knew where we were at every moment. The Scherzo movement: Chuang moved effortlessly from this to the ineffable sadness of the slow movement in B major, and I have rarely heard such sensitive control of pianissimo as she demonstrated in this piece that almost never rises above a hushed level.

The famous Presto non tanto finale: Chuang made sure that the rhythm breathed with energy at every point, instead of racing breathlessly as though nothing else mattered, and this made the climactic moments of the last two pages all the more confident. This triumphant performance was one more testimony, to one who hardly needed convincing, that Ya-Fei Chuang carries Chopin’s banner today equally with the best of those whose names are more world-famous — I think of Vladimir Ashkenazy, Garrick Ohlsson, and Idil Biret.

Schubert’s Moment Musicaux: Chuang did all four of the pieces full justice, reminding me of Schnabel’s recording that I remembered so well from decades ago.

Liszt’s transcription of Wagner’s Tannhäuser Overture: Seemingly impossible to play because of the challenge to the performer’s endurance but it didn’t faze Chuang in the least, and the entire audience rose in a cheer after the brilliant ending.

Mark DeVoto, The Boston Musical Intelligencer

Recital – Oregon Bach Festival


Chuang, who normally plays on Steinways, clearly relished the opportunity to play the [Fazioli]. Its magnificent deep, sonorous tone, especially in the lower bass, immediately became apparent under Chuang’s majestic playing.

Her recital commenced with six of the 24 preludes by French composer Claude-Achille Debussy. The composer’s impressionistic yet symbolic compositional style was drawn dramatically by Chuang’s playing, dreamily dissonant in “Ondine,” delicate but positive staccato in “La Serenade interompue,” and perhaps most demonstratively in “Ce qu’a cue le vent d’ouest” (What the west wind saw), building to a series of climaxes, very intense music and playing, strong emotional content, perhaps even some anger. All of the preludes were beautifully, deeply interpretively played.

Earl Wild’s Seven Etudes on popular Gersh¬win songs came next, showpieces of virtuosic, jazz-imbued pyrotechnics. Chuang demonstrated her utter proficiency and command of the keyboard in these short pieces, ending the seventh one, “Fascinatin’ Rhythm,” by banging out the final chord with her right elbow! A great crowd-pleaser.

After intermission came George Gershwin’s Three Preludes, the two outer movements filled with stunning, showy, rhythmic progressions, the inner movement a languid Andante. All were executed masterfully.

The final offering was the meat and potatoes of the recital, Frederic Chopin’s glorious Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor...her interpretation was deep and thoughtful. The short Scherzo was polished off with much brio, while the lengthy Largo was rendered with an achingly beautiful tenderness. The last movement, Finale: Presto non tanto, featured Chuang’s stunning virtuosity, her runs and trills quite breathtaking and, for the first time in the evening, a marvelously effective use of rubato.
Her finish was greeted by deafening, well-deserved applause and yells of appreciation. An encore of Wild/Gershwin’s “Embraceable You” brought the brilliant recital to a close.

John Farnworth, The Register-Guard

The unmistakable highlight of the evening was the flawless technique and expressive mastery of pianist Ya-Fei Chuang...her impeccable portrayal of Claude Debussy’s poetic musical lines are themselves a lesson in superb legato and a perfect French salon style.

Opening the program with the well known Suite bergamasque, Chuang’s Prélude and Menuet varied between luxurious legato and a sparseness that resulted in an enlivened clarity. Later, in L’Isle joyeuse, her cadenza-like trills truly transported listeners to a place as beautiful as the title implies.

Catherine Olson, The Register-Guard

Ya-Fei Chuang’s Repertoire


Concerto for 2 Pianos
Concerto for 4 Pianos


Concerto No.1,3,4 and 5


Concerto in D minor


Concerto for Piano and Harpsichord and Two Orchestras


Concerto No.1 and 2
Grand Fantasy on Polish Airs, Op.13


Symphonic Variations


Rhapsody in Blue


Concerto in A minor


Concerto in D Major


Concerto No.1 and 2
Concerto for Two Pianos in A-Flat Major


Concerto K271, K449, K453, K466, 4488, K491
Concerto for Two Pianos


Concerto for Two Pianos


Concerto No. 3


Concerto No.1, 2 and 3
Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini


Concerto in G Major


Concerto No.2


Concerto in A Minor


Concerto No.1

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