Meng-Chieh Liu 劉孟捷, piano
A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, Meng-Chieh Liu first made headlines in 1993 as a twenty-one-year-old student at The Curtis Institute of Music, when he substituted at last-minute’s notice for André Watts at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. The concert earned high acclaim from critics and audience members alike and was followed by a number of widely praised performances, including a recital at the Kennedy Center and a concert on the Philadelphia All-Star Series. Already an accomplished artist, Mr. Liu had made his New York orchestral debut two years earlier.
Following Mr. Liu’s triumph in Philadelphia, an appearance with the Philadelphia Orchestra was immediately scheduled. However his career was abruptly halted by a rare and debilitating illness that affected his connective tissues. Hospitalized and almost immobile for a year, doctors believed his chances for survival were slim and, should he survive, playing the piano would be “absolutely impossible.” With arduous determination and relentless physical therapy, Mr. Liu has been restored to health and is once again performing on the concert stage.
His performance schedule in recent years has included appearances in New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Dallas, Seattle, and San Diego, as well as concerts in Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Bulgaria, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, and South America. In 2006 Mr. Liu undertook a two-year project of the complete Schubert sonatas, performing in San Francisco, Boston, Taipei, and Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
A dedicated chamber musician as well as solo artist, he has collaborated with musicians in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, in addition to working with artists in other disciplines, including Mikhail Baryshnikov, who invited him to work with the White Oak Dance Project. Mr. Liu’s concerts have been broadcast around the world, and a biography about him aired on Taiwanese National Television.
Born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Mr. Liu began his piano studies early and at age thirteen was accepted by The Curtis Institute of Music to study with Jorge Bolet, Claude Frank, and Eleanor Sokoloff. He has received the 2002 Philadelphia Musical Fund Society Career Advancement Award and first prizes in the Stravinsky, Asia Pacific Piano, and Mieczyslaw Munz competitions. In 2008 he was selected as one of the ten most outstanding young people in Taiwan. Mr. Liu has been a member of the Curtis faculty since 1993, the year of his graduation. In 2006 he joined the piano faculty at Roosevelt University in Chicago.
Xiaopei Xu 徐小培, piano
Born in Shandong, China in 1990, Xiaopei Xu started her piano lesson with her father at the age of three. In 2002, she came to Beijing and continued to study with Ms. Manchun Chen. She was accepted to China Conservatory of Music in Beijing in 2003, studied with Xiaofeng Zhang. In 2007, Xiaopei came to United States as a full scholarship high school student at Pennsylvania Academy of Music for her music lesson under Dr. Xun Pan and studies at Linden Hall for her Academic classes. She also takes piano lessons with Mr. Meng-Chieh Liu.
Xiaopei has been a prizewinner in several national and international competitions, including the Fourth New York Piano Competition, International Young Artists Piano Competition in Washington D.C, Oberlin Piano Competition, the Steinway International Piano Competition, Chinese National Kawai Cup Piano Competition, and the Young Artists Piano Competition in Russia.
Xiaopei has performed publicly in many places with highly acclaim since she studies in the China Conservatory, where she received the Distinguished Student Award every year during her studies. She has given her solo recitals in Beijing, Pennsylvania, and New York City.