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Claire Huangci



Born in Rochester, New York, 18 year old pianist Claire Huangci astonishes all who hear her perform. Legendary pianist Vladimir Krainev has dubbed her the pianist with “the fastest fingers in the world.” Coming from a family of scientists, Claire received a grand piano for her 6th year birthday present. After exploring the instrument herself in the first year, she was enrolled into Settlement Music School of Philadelphia when she was 7. And in the same year, she was featured on FOX news as a child prodigy with the skills of a professional pianist. 


From 1997-1999, Claire studied with Ursula Ingolfsson at Settlement Music School, where she was awarded with a number of scholarships and won many competitions, including the Grand Prize at 1999 World Piano Competition (young artist division). As a result of her victory, she performed in the gala concert with the World Festival Orchestra in Cincinnati Ohio, and performed a winner’s concert in Carnegie Hall. Following this, she was invited to give a private concert for former President Bill Clinton and Senator Hilary Clinton and other officials at the White House.


In 2000, Claire became a student of Eleanor Sokoloff, a piano professor of the Curtis Institute of Music. In 2003, she was formally accepted by the Curtis Institute with a full scholarship of the Hirsig Family Foundation and continued her piano study under Eleanor Sokoloff and Gary Graffman. From there, she went on to win the Philadelphia Orchestra Competition and performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Wolfgang Sawalisch, one of dozens of American orchestras she has appeared with. Several of her performances were aired on music radio stations in 2006 and 2007. In May 2007, Curtis Director Gary Graffman honoured her with the Most Promising Student Award.


In April 2006, Claire won the first prize in the 57th Kosciuszko Chopin International Piano Competition in New York City. Her performance of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Connecticut Virtuosi Orchestra was featured on New York’s WQXR radio station in May 2006. She has performed in numerous solo recitals and concerto appearances throughout the country including Colorado, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. Also in 2006, she was invited to join the Yamaha Artist Services, Inc. and became the youngest Yamaha Artist. The 2006 Hamamatsu International Piano Competition introduced Claire to the Japanese audiences; she was awarded the Diploma of Outstanding Merit and was the favorite for many of the spectators. Prof. Hiroko Nakamura has invited her to perform on her concert series 100 piano masters next season.


The 2007 season represented a milestone in Claire’s career. She made her first appearances in Europe with solo performances in Herkulessaal die Residenz in Munich, Frankfurt, and in the Salle Cortot Hall of Paris. At the Morocco Festival, as featured artist, she performed Rachmaninoff’s Paganini Rhapsody with National du Maroc Philharmonie and solo performances in both Casablanca and Rabat. In addition, Claire debuted with the China Philharmonic, performing Grieg’s Piano Concerto in Beijing. In April, she performed Prokofiev Piano Concerto No.2 with the Sudewestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz Orchestra in Konstanz and Lindau, Germany, Lodi and Milan, Italy, and Schaffhausen and Zurich Switzerland on a replacement tour. At the Leipzig Euroarts festival last summer, Claire studied with Professor Karl-Heinz Kammerling and performed recitals in the Gewandhaus and the Grosser Saal Halls.


The 2008-2009 season will bring Claire in numerous solo and concerto performances to various venues in France (Salle Cortot, Champs de Elysees, and Jeunes Talents), Germany (Hannover, Baden Baden, Munchen, Hamburg, Berlin, and Leipzig), Austria (Vienna Mozart Saal with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and Salzburg Mozarteum) America (Steinway Hall, USC Theater, Kaufmann Center 92nd Street Y, Carnegie Hall, and Kimmel Center), Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, Morocco, Japan (Yamaha Ginza, Yokohama Mirai Hall, Nikkei Hall, and Sai no Kuni Saitama Art Theatre) China (2008 Olympics) and Korea (Hoam Hall). She will also appear in many festivals including Musee de Orsay, Auvers sur Oise, Musique Menton, Bad Kissingen KlavierOlympiade, Festival Annecy, Chopin Duszniki Festival, Braunschweig Classix Festival, Leipzig and Pusan Euroarts Festivals, Holland Music Sessions, Hamptons Music Festival, Antibes Generationl Virtuoses Festival, and Sommets Musicaux Gstaad.