“A whirlwind at the keyboard with an immense enthusiasm for playing, the pianist has also developed a musicality and a colour-rich tone, which, along with her apparent technical ease, is merely a springboard for a wholly individual musical conception.” Rondo
“Claire Huangci shone in a program that paid homage to composer Leonard Bernstein. She has an extraordinary plasticity... intimate and transparent touch.” Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires
“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. (Thomas Schacher, Neue Zürcher Zeitung)”
Claire Huangci, the young American pianist of Chinese descent and 2018 Geza Anda Competition first prize and Mozart prize winner, has succeeded in establishing herself as highly respected artist, captivating audiences with her “radiant virtuosity, artistic sensitivity, keen interactive sense and subtle auditory dramaturgy” (Salzburger Nachrichten). Her unusually diverse repertoire, in which she also takes up rarely performed works, is illustrative of her remarkable versatility.
Claire Huangci has performed in solo recitals and in partnership with international orchestras such as the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, RSO Vienna, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and Moscow Radio’s Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, and at international concert venues including Carnegie Hall, the Wiener Konzerthaus, Konzerthaus Berlin, Gasteig Munich, Gewandhaus Leipzig, la Salle Cortot, Suntory Hall Tokoyo and Franz Liszt Akademie Budapest. She has made guest appearances at festivals such as the Kissinger Sommer, Verbier Festival, Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, and the Rheingau Musik Festival.
In the 2019/20 season, the pianist makes her debut at the Lucerne Festival, Philharmonie de Paris and Festspielhaus Salzburg, returning with recitals to the Elbphilharmonie, the concert halls in Vienna and Berlin, Ruhr Piano Festival and MDR Musiksommer. She also performs with the orchestras of the Staatsorchester Stuttgart, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Bochumer Symphoniker and the Baseler Kammerorchester as well as internationally, travelling from Scandinavia to Spain and Portugal and on to Poland, Russia, Asia, and Latin and North America.
Claire Huangci began her international career at the tender age of nine with concert performances and competitive successes. She received significant input from her teachers Eleanor Sokoloff and Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia before beginning her studies in 2007 under Arie Vardi at the University of Music, Drama and Media in Hanover. She especially stood out early in her artistic career as an expressive interpreter of Chopin’s music, winning first prizes at the Chopin Competitions in Darmstadt and Miami in 2009 and 2010. She also became the youngest participant to receive second prize at the International ARD Music Competition in 2011.
After recording her debut CD with solo works of Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev and her prizewinning double album of Scarlatti sonatas (German Record Critics’ Award and Gramophone Editor’s Choice), she released highly acclaimed recordings of Chopin’s Nocturnes in 2017 and in 2018 of Rachmaninoff’s complete Preludes: "[Instead of virtuosic banging away at the keys], Huangci succeeds in bringing nuanced impressions forth from a delicately shaded Prelude such as No. 5 from Op. 32 [...] Everything becomes part of a narrative flow that at the same time perfectly captures Rachmaninoff’s creative essence and intentions" (Marco Frei, Piano News). Following recordings of Beethoven's violin concerto in the piano version and Fantasia for piano and orchestra by Schubert / Kabalewski with the RSO Vienna, her first orchestral album with the Deutsche Radiophilharmonie Saarbrücken under Shiyeon Sung was released in autumn 2019: this recording of the early piano concertos by Chopin and Paderewski shines with a dynamic, youthful energy on both beloved and lesser-known works.