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 Ho Yan Agnes Wan was named 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,
she has given solo recitals in fourteen states and Washington D. C., Canada,
Hong Kong, and France, in addition to performing in joint concerts with other
musicians in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, and the United
Kingdom. Her performances have been broadcasted live on radio stations
including WFMT Chicago, WUOL Louisville, and WPLN Nashville. Among the highlights of her recital venues are Carnegie Hall and Merkin Concert Hall in New York, the American Cathedral in Paris, the Banff Centre for the Arts (where she was a resident artist in 2003-04), Steinway Halls and Galleries in Alpharetta, Dallas, Fort Worth, Nashville, Plano, and Vestavia Hills/Birmingham, the University of Hong Kong, Niles Gallery at the University of Kentucky, Sherwood Conservatory, fine arts high schools, and many established concert series at various churches, cathedrals, and concert facilities at public libraries. She has appeared as
a concerto soloist with the Loyola Chamber Orchestra, University of Iowa
Chamber Orchestra, Maryville Orchestra, and the Columbia County Civic Orchestra,
Germantown Symphony Orchestra, and the
Christ Church Cathedral String Orchestra in Louisville. She has also performed as a soloist at the
Feminist Theory and Music Conference in North Carolina, performing composer
Pui-Shan Cheung's piano work, Three Chinese Paintings, which was
reviewed as being "beautifully performed by talented pianist Agnes Wan ...
(the work) exhibited an array of virtuosic musical flourishes which Wan
executed energetically.” Most recently, she auditioned and was selected to perform at the prestigious Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, United Kingdom, where she will give a solo recital on the Pianists of the World Series in September 2015.
Her debut compact disc recording, “Robert Schumann: Romance at the Piano,” released on Soundset Recordings label in late 2012, received critical acclaim from music critic Jerry Dubins (with the Fanfare Magazine): “… 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. This is an especially well-presented recital, as beautifully played as it is recorded. … as much for your sake as for Wan’s, I’d urge you to obtain a copy of it. You won’t be disappointed; I promise.”
As a clinician, Agnes has been an active adjudicator
at many youth piano competitions, most notably including the United States Open
Music Competition in California. Her own
students have received various honors at local and regional competitions. She
has presented various topics related to piano performance and pedagogy at the
Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Nashville music teachers associations in Tennessee. 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. Most recently, her article, "Student Recruitment Ideas for Private and College Music Instructors," has been published in the peer-reviewed journal, American Music Teacher.
Agnes 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. Her teachers have included Gabriel Kwok, Nancy Loo, Jac McCracken, Uriel Tsachor, James Tocco, and Michael Chertock. Passionate about Bach's music, she also received tutelage specifically on the interpretation of Bach's keybaord works from the renowned Chinese pianist Yuan Sheng, who studied intensively with Bach expert Rosalyn Tureck.
Beginning in fall 2014, Agnes Wan will be an Assistant Professor of Music (Piano) at Chowan University in North Carolina. She is a Steinway Artist, a designation that she has officially received in September 2013.
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