Praised as a “big pianist, big musician, big potential” with “compelling artistry that draws the listeners in and envelops them with musical joy,” Hong Kong native pianist Agnes Wan has held the honorary designation of Steinway Artist since September 2013. A finalist (the only solo pianist among the finalists) at the 2012 International Web Concert Hall Competition, she has also received awards at the Los Angeles Liszt International Piano Competition, Artists International Debut Auditions, the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, Loyola Concerto/Aria Competition, University of Iowa All-University Concerto/Aria Competition, University of Iowa Chamber Music Competition, and the Hong Kong Open Piano Competition.
An active piano recitalist, her debut compact disc recording, “Robert Schumann: Romance at the Piano,” was released on Soundset Recordings label in late 2012. Critic Jerry Dubins (with the Fanfare Magazine) wrote: “… Wan plays these Schumann pieces as expressively and poetically as anyone I’ve heard, always placing her technical mastery at the service of Schumann’s ever-inventive musical imagination.” She has given solo recitals on a number of concert series in various cities. Some of the most important ones include the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Series in Canada, the American Cathedral Concert Series in Paris, France, the Covenant Concert Series in Augusta, the PianoForte Salon Series in Chicago, the Tuesday Concert Series in Washington DC, to name just a few. Other significant recital venues have included the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada where she was a resident artist, Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Center, Steinway halls and galleries in Nashville, Birmingham, Atlanta, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Plano, in addition to a number of colleges and universities. Her performances have been broadcasted live on radio stations in WFMT Chicago, WUOL Louisville, and WPLN Nashville, and she has also appeared as concerto soloist with a number of orchestras, including the Loyola Chamber Orchestra, the University of Iowa Chamber Orchestra, Maryville Orchestra, the Columbia County Civic Orchestra, the Germantown Symphony Orchestra, among others. She has also performed at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall as a winner of the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition. Most recently, she was selected through a worldwide audition to give a solo recital on the “Pianists of the World” Series at the prestigious St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, United Kingdom, where she will perform on September 25, 2015. Other upcoming engagements will bring her to McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Steinway Hall – Charlotte, and the Jane Allen Recital Hall at Steinway Hall – St. Louis, Missouri.
As a clinician, Agnes Wan has served on the adjudicating panels for many youth piano competitions, most notably including the United States Open Music Competition in California and the TTU Young Artist Piano Competition at Tennessee Technological University. She will also participate in adjudicating the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) competitions in North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, and Tennessee this spring. Her own piano students have received various honors at local and regional MTNA competitions as well.
A developing pedagogue at heart, Wan has presented various topics relating to piano performance and pedagogy for various MTNA chapters in Tennessee (Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Greater Memphis chapters). In addition to being a featured clinician at the 2012 Alabama Music Teachers Association State Conference, she also presented at the 2013 Indiana Music Teachers Association State Conference and the 2014 Texas Music Teachers Association State Conference. Her Book, "Physical and Mental Issues in Piano Performance: The Interrelationships between Physical Tension, Performance Anxiety, and Memorization Strategies," published and released by VDM-Verlag in 2008, has reportedly been recommended as a reference book for piano pedagogy courses at a few universities. In the summer of 2015, she will lead a youth piano summer program for precollege students at McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas, a program that she has personally designed and planned.
Agnes Wan holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa and an Artist Diploma from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She also studied at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and Loyola University New Orleans, where she obtained her undergraduate piano degree and double-master’s degrees in piano performance and music therapy respectively. Her piano mentors have included Gabriel Kwok, Nancy Loo, Jac McCracken, Uriel Tsachor, James Tocco, and Michael Chertock.
Agnes Wan currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Music at Chowan University. She resides in Suffolk with her husband and their two young sons.
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