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Claire Huangci – Berlin

  /  Claire Huangci – Berlin
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Philharmonie Berlin
Großer Saal
Tue, 27 Oct 20:00

Claire Huangci – Berlin

The virtuoso piano poetess

Claire Huangci, now one of the most sought-after young pianists (FonoForum), will perform in October in three renown European concert halls: the Berlin Philharmonie and the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. Her program for these concerts spans a wide range – from Bach and Schubert to the American composer John Corigliano.

Inspired by an irrepressible spirit of research, Claire Huangci devotes herself to an unusually broad repertoire in her artistic work. Born in the United States and the daughter of two natural scientists, Huangci, who has lived in Germany since her student days, has recorded seven highly successful albums of Scarlatti, Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff and Paderewski, which have been awarded the German Record Critics’ Prize and “Editor’s Choice” by Gramophone Magazine.

She will begin her concerts in Berlin and Hamburg with one of Bach’s toccatas, which she recorded in September for the Berlin Classics label. Following this, she will perform Etude Fantasy, a piece that she developed in collaboration with the composer John Corigliano. The program culminates in the great Sonata in A major, D 959 by Franz Schubert, which he completed shortly before his death.

The pianist was awarded the first prize at the 2018 Concours Géza Anda, and the jury asserted that “Claire Huangci, a former child prodigy who amazed the piano world at an early age with her extraordinary virtuosity, has grown into a mature artist. Her interpretation of the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert captivates through her creativity and appears fresh and convincing.”

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Claire’s thoughts on this program:

For an artist, one of the most important decisions made every season is the selection of recital repertoire. In the lockdown time, we were suddenly given an abundance of time and freedom to explore repertoire that mean a lot to us, and I found myself pulled back to my roots so to say. This selection of Bach, Corigliano, and Schubert is a very personal choice and in a way, helped heal and keep me level headed during darker moments, not only in the current crises. Bach’s music is universally healing for artists, and I am no exception. His toccatas represent his younger, wilder side, and they bubble with enthusiasm and Lebensfreude! Corigliano’s Fantasy Etude, while highly virtuosic in nature, show the phases of loss, Trauer, and acceptance. Having had the honor of studying the work with the composer himself back in 2005, I do feel a particular affinity to this work, which was the first modern work I ever fell in love with. As to the Schubert Sonata 959, there are no words necessary. For me, this is music beyond this world, looking across the chasm of death and seeing a greater picture of hope, and beauty that continues.

If looking for characteristics of Huangci’s piano playing, one finds them in her superior focus, imaginative abilities, and the resulting poetics of her interpretation. (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)

The young pianist Claire Huangci, winner of the renowned Concours Géza Anda 2018, captivates her audiences with her “radiant virtuosity, artistic sensitivity, keen interactive sense and subtle auditory dramaturgy” (Salzburger Nachrichten). Her remarkable versatility is expressed in her wide repertoire, ranging from Bach and Scarlatti to German and Russian Romanticism, Bernstein and Corigliano.

As a partner of international orchestras and in solo recitals, Claire Huangci regularly performs in famous concert halls such as Carnegie Hall in New York, the Vienna Konzerthaus, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, as well as at important festivals such as the Lucerne Festival, the Verbier Festival or the Ruhr Piano Festival, and she tours worldwide with orchestras such as the Radio Symphony Orchestras of Stuttgart and Vienna. During the Corona Pandemic, she became known to a large audience through her “Conversations with Claire” on the online music streaming platform IDAGIO, where she exchanged ideas with fellow artists about common musical themes.

The celebrated pianist proves her versatility with her CDs released on Berlin Classic: her debut CD in 2013 with solo works by Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev was followed in 2015 by the award-winning double album with Scarlatti Sonatas (German Record Critics’ Prize and Editor’s Choice of Gramophone Magazine), in 2017 by the highly acclaimed recording of Chopin’s Nocturnes and in 2018 by the complete Preludes by Sergei Rachmaninov. “These are often songs without words that develop here […]. Everything is transformed into a narrative flow that perfectly captures Rachmaninov’s creative being and will” (Marco Frei, Piano News). Her last orchestral album with the Deutsche Radiophilharmonie Saarbrücken under Shiyeon Sung was released in autumn 2019, in which the early piano concertos by Chopin and Paderewski are performed with full powerful youthful energy. In August 2020, her first chamber music recording with their Trio Machiavelli with works by Ravel and Chausson was released.

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The Animato Foundation, founded in Switzerland in 2005, organizes and finances concert tours through Europe every other year for its international youth symphony orchestra, based on the model of the Gustav Mahler Orchestra. The Animato concert tour with Claire Huangci as a soloist, planned for 2020, had to be cancelled due to the corona pandemic.

The Animato Foundation about its fond relationship with Claire Huangci

Thanks to Claire’s initiative, we’ve been able to organize a concert in a different format now: a solo piano recital with Claire as soloist, promoted by the Animato Foundation, which allows us to take advantage of our pre-existing rental agreement with Konzerthaus Wien in order to present a concert evening on 25 October, despite all odds.

The Animato Foundation and Claire Huangci have had a long-standing and close relationship, which began in 2008 with an email sent to the President of the Board of Trustees by Claire – who was, at the time, a music student in Hanover and hardly of legal age.

In 2010, our long-time conductor Howard Griffiths invited Claire to participate in the Zurich Orpheum Foundation’s competition for young soloists, which he directed. Claire won this soloist competition, whereupon he selected her as a soloist for the Animato concert tour of 2010, establishing her connection to our youth orchestra and helping to arrange for her first concert tour as a soloist through Europe and Istanbul.






Another successful tour, including a symphony concert at Wiener Konzerthaus, took place in 2018 under the direction of Kevin Griffiths – the son of Howard Griffiths – with Claire Huangci performing Tchaikovsky’s 1st piano concerto.

The Animato Foundation is pleased to continue its collaboration with Claire by supporting this wonderful solo tour, which brings her back to Konzerthaus Wien and allows her to play in the great hall of Philharmonie Berlin and Elbphilharmonie Hamburg – even under these unusual circumstances we find ourselves in these days.

Event Details

Date: October 27 @ 8:00 pm
Time: 8:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Venue: Philharmonie Berlin
Address: Großer Saal