Born in Hong Kong, pianist Chiyan Wong’s audacity and vision have captivated listeners, in a repertoire ranging from the early Baroque to the 21st century.
Recent highlights include his Paris debut at the Théâtre des Champs- Elysées, as well as the Hungarian and Taiwanese premiere of Thomas Adès’ Piano Concerto. Wong has also been collaborating with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and has worked with conductors such as Yu Long, Zhang Xian, Pascal Rophé and Krzysztof Urbánski. A highlight of the upcoming season includes his solo debut at the Berlin Konzerthaus in March 2024.
Wong’s recital for Premiere Performances Hong Kong, given in the spring of 2021, has been the subject of a feature-length concert film, Encore!, which was shown in his native city.
This year sees the release of SWING! - a recording for Platoon/Apple Music, comprising jazz influenced music by Alexander Tsfasman and Ravel, in collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra and conductor Christoph Koncz.
Wong’s two recordings have met with critical acclaims. In his debut album Liszt Transfigured for LINN Records, he completed and edited Liszt’s opera transcriptions and was awarded the 40th Franz Liszt International Grand Prix du Disque by the Franz Liszt Society in Hungary. For his second album, he recorded his own version of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, drawing from the edition by Busoni.
Having made his debut at prestigious venues such as the Salzburg Mozarteum, and the Wigmore Hall, in which he gave an all-Liszt recital, Wong first came to international attention in earlier debuts at festivals such as the International Music Festival in Dinard, France, the Hong Kong Arts Festival, and the Singapore International Piano Festival.
Beginning his musical education in Hong Kong, Wong moved to England aged 12 to study with Norma Fisher at the Chethams School of Music, and subsequently Christopher Elton at the Royal Academy of Music in London. His interest in composition led him to work with Thomas Adès at the Prussia Cove International Musicians’ Seminar, as well as counterpoint studies with Naji Hakim in Paris. These encounters have left a strong mark on Wong’s musical work. Wong completed his doctorate on Busoni at the Royal Academy of Music in London, with support from the Lee Hysan Foundation. He now resides in Berlin.
The West-Eastern Divan Ensemble, led by the Orchestra’s concertmaster Michael Barenboim, draws upon players of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.
Founded in 1999, the Orchestra’s origins lie in the conversations between its creators, Edward W. Said and Daniel Barenboim. Over the course of their friendship, the Palestinian author-scholar and Israeli conductor-pianist discussed ideas on music, culture, and humanity. In their exchanges, they realised the urgent need for an alternative way to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The opportunity to do so came when Barenboim and Said initiated a workshop for young musicians using their experience as a model. This evolved into the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra that global audiences know today. The group is comprised of Arab and Israeli members, defying fierce political divides in the Middle East and globally. Through its work and existence, the orchestra demonstrates that bridges can be built to encourage people to listen to the narrative of the other.
The West-Eastern Divan Ensemble brings the highly praised artistry of the Orchestra into an intimate chamber music format. Founded in 2019 by Michael Barenboim to mark the orchestra’s 20th anniversary, the ensemble gives audiences an opportunity to experience the musicians’ unique artistry and personality up close. The group embarked on its first tour in early 2020, appearing at venues across the United States. In October and November 2022, the musicians were heard in Berlin, Munich, Brussels, Paris, Vienna, and Budapest performing a programme of works by Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Pierre Boulez, as well as a commission by French-Lebanese composer Benjamin Attahir. In February 2023, the ensemble returned to the United States where they played several concerts on the East and West Coast, including the 92Y and the United Nation Headquarters in New York City and Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami.