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Eduardus Halim (Piano)

Born: Bandung, Indonesia

The pianist and teacher, Eduardus Halim, was born in Indonesia of Chinese parents. He began his piano studies at age 6 with Alfons Becalel, and continued his musical training with pedagogues P.I. Ibrahim and Stephen Sulungan. He played the L.v. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in public at age 11 and made his recital debut when he was 13. At 19, he entered the Juilliard School on a full scholarship, studying with Sascha Gorodnitzki and Rudolf Firkusny.

Eduardus Halim began his professional career in 1989 after winning the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. As a young soloist, his bold interpretations of the Romantic repertoire caught the attention of Harold C. Schonberg, author of The Great Pianists from Mozart to the Present and former chief music critic of the New York Times. In an unprecedented turn of events, Schonberg contacted Vladimir Horowitz about the young pianist’s great potential, and a subsequent introduction by music writer David Dubal led Vladimir Horowitz to accept Halim as his student. The remarkable artistic exchange between the two pianists is documented in the chapter “Last Pupil,” in Schonberg’s book, Horowitz: His Life and Music (Simon and Schuster, 1992).

Eduardus Halim has been hailed as a pianist whose virtuosity is only matched by his distinctive artistry. Since making his New York debut in 1987 he has performed with major orchestras around the world. Recognized for his superb technique, beautiful tone and poetic interpretations, Halim was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1996. He has appeared with such orchestras as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Russian National Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. He has collaborated with many distinguished conductors, including Kees Bakels, Herbert Blomstedt, Sergiu Comissiona, Andreas Delfs, JoAnn Falletta, Hans Graf, Gunter Herbig, Jahja Ling, Jesús López-Cobos, Gerard Schwarz, Leonard Slatkin, Vladimir Spivakov, Mario Venzago and David Zinman. He has given recitals at Alice Tully Hall and the 92nd Street Y in New York and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, and has been a featured guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Brooklyn’s renowned Bargemusic. He has appeared at numerous major festivals, including Ravinia, Grant Park, Newport, Stockholm, the Baltimore Symphony Summer Musicfest, the Britt Festival, the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, the Minnesota Orchestra’s Viennese Sommerfest and Wyoming’s Grand Teton Festival. In 1997 he made a triumphant recital debut at Wigmore Hall in London, earning an invitation from the BBC to return in 1998 for a broadcast from the hall.

Eduardus Halim's recent seasons have included performances with the Baltimore Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and Seattle Symphony Orchestra, among other ensembles. In 1999 he performed with the Milwaukee Symphony on its history-making tour to Florida and Havana, Cuba, where it became the first USA ensemble to perform since the embargo. Highlights of his 2004-2005 season include a return engagement with the Baltimore Symphony and performance of the L.v. Beethoven Chorale Fantasy with Jahja Ling at the Carnegie Hall, recitals of Enrique Granados's sweeping, Goya-inspired piano suite Goyescas at the Frick Collection in New York, the Gardner Museum in Boston, and Arizona’s Scottsdale Center for the Arts.

Eduardus Halim's first recording, “Presenting Eduardus Halim: A Program of Piano Transcriptions,” was released on the Arabesque label to wide critical acclaim. John Ardoin of The Dallas Morning News wrote that “[Halim] has staked out an imposing claim as a Romantic pianist who has the fingers for virtuosity and the imagination for poetry…Mr. Halim does more than meet the challenges placed in his way. He surmounts them with aristocratic ease and remarkable expressiveness.” Fanfare Magazine wrote: “Winged by an effortless technique, Halim is relaxed, spontaneous, almost casual in this superhumanly demanding fare…Enthusiastically recommended!” His second CD release, a Frédéric Chopin disc for Reservoir Studio Productions, also drew rave reviews. “Anyone who misses Vladimir Horowitz would be wise to investigate this all-F. Chopin recital by Eduardus Halim, the last of the master’s students,” writes Stephen Wigler. “He is a born Chopinist…Rather than call him his master’s disciple, it would be better to call him his successor.” This disc was named one of the top classical instrumental CDs of 2000 by His latest recording for Reservoir Studio Productions features two works by Enrique Granados - the piano suite Goyescas, based on the paintings of Francisco Goya and subtitled "Los Majos Enamorados" (English “the dashing lovers”), and the seven Valses Poéticos. When Halim performed Goyescas as part of his Wigmore Hall recital in 1997, The Independent wrote that he “squeezed them for the last drop of voluptuous abandon.” The American Record Guide praises this recording with “How good is Eduardus Halim? In the Goyescas and Valses Poeticos, absolutely magnificent!…Halim continues to amaze by the rightness of his inflections and the subtlety of his rich sound palette….This deserves a standing ovation.”

Eduardus Halim's distinctive approach to the piano is matched by a charismatic personality. He has captured the attention of the media and been profiled by The New York Times (Arts & Leisure), The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Piano Quarterly and Clavier.

Eduardus Halim is currently a member of the Artist Faculty at New York University.

Source: NYU Steinhardt Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2007)

Eduardus Halim: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Piano Faculty: Eduardus Halim - NYU Steinhardt's Department of Music & Performing Arts
Eduardus Halim (ArtistshouseMusic)

The Daily Bruin:Indonesian-born pianist Halim to perform
Pianist Eduardus Halim plays powerfully (Find-Articles)

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Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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