The American pianist, Alpin Hong, made his orchestral debut with the Kalamazoo Symphony at the age of ten. He moved to Los Angeles soon after and garnered competition victories at a young age with wins at the 1989 Stravinsky Piano Competition, the 1993 SYMF Competition and the 1994 Los Angeles Spotlight Awards Competition. His teachers have included Mark Richman, and Emilio del Rosario, and he completed his Master's degree as a student of Jerome Lowenthal at The Juilliard School.
During two whirlwind American tours and performances across the globe, Alpin Hong has earned the reputation as a modern day Pied Piper. Opening the ears, eyes and imaginations of hundreds of thousands of Americans, his combination of stunning technique, emotional range, and rare humor continues to bring audiences young and old to their feet. Indeed, the Santa Barbara News Press described Hong's performance as a tour de force. Hong evoked a kind of Beatlemania when he came on stage. What a showman! What a musician!ï¿½ In recognition of the pianist's immense gifts for communicating his passion for music to audiences of all ages, The McGraw-Hill Companies honored him in September 2005 with the $10,000 Robert Sherman Award for Music Education and Community Outreach.
In July 2005, Gramophone magazine declared Alpin Hong's first CD (works of Scarlatti, Johannes Brahms, Debussy and Igor Stravinsky on MSR Classics) "a debut that enhances this young pianistï' reputation," in particular praising his "strong finger-work and keen ear for voice-leading." The release of his second album in January 2007, friendtaskmasterteacher, sold out of its first run within a matter of weeks and has already garnered critical acclaim. The New York Times lauded his "crystalline energy", "clear and persuasive ideas" and "remarkable breadth of coloration" and called him "a pianistic firebrand" in a review of his standing-room only New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, the result of his winning First Prize in the 2001 Concert Artists Guild International Competition.
Highlights of Alpin Hong's recent performances include his debut at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival in Michigan performing Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Battle Creek Symphony under the baton of music director Anne Harrigan, residencies (comprised of educational outreach events and recitals) presented by the University of Iowa's Hancher Auditorium and by the La Jolla Music Society as part of its well-known Discovery Series, and his Chicago recital debut on the Dame Myra Hess Series broadcast live on WFMT-FM. His uniquely humorous and visionary approach to arts education led to masterclasses at the University of Utah, San Jose State University, and the College of DuPage in Chicago, and his performances at festivals such as the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts left a new generation of young artists inspired and cheering.
Alpin Hong's astonishing ability to connect to people of all ages, experiences, and backgrounds distinguishes him and shapes his evolving performance style. His extensive classical training, matched with his background in skateboarding, snowboarding, martial arts, and videogames, forms a creative force unmatched in its youthful vivacity and boundless energy.