Over the years, the young American pianist of Chinese descent has succeeded in establishing herself as a highly respected artist, leaving behind her role of the celebrated child prodigy who once gave a private concert for President Bill Clinton at the age of ten. Claire Huangci captivates audiences with her “radiant virtuosity, artistic sensitivity, keen interactive sense and subtle auditory dramaturgy” (Salzburger Nachrichten).
Claire Huangci began her international career at the age of nine with grants, concert performances and prizes – most recently she was the youngest participant to receive second prize at the International ARD Music Competition (2011). Only in her later teenage years did she finally feel more and more that this instrument was to be her vocation. She received significant input from her teachers Eleanor Sokoloff and Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia before studying under Arie Vardi at the University of Music, Drama and Media Hanover. She has assisted Professor Vardi since spring 2016.
Chopin’s music gave Claire Huangci her artistic breakthrough in 2009 when she won first prize at the International Chopin Competition in Darmstadt, as well as in 2010 at the Chopin Competition in Miami. She has since proved her great versatility with an unusually broad repertoire, which includes a large number of contemporary works. Claire Huangci has performed in solo recitals and as a partner with international orchestras such as the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (under Sir Roger Norrington), Münchner Kammerorchester, China Philharmonic Orchestra and Vancouver, Santa Fe, Moscow Radio and Istanbul State Symphonies at international concert venues that include Carnegie Hall, Tonhalle Zurich, Konzerthaus Berlin, Gasteig Munich, Gewandhaus Leipzig, la Salle Cortot, Oji Hall Tokyo and the Symphony Hall in Osaka. She has also made guest appearances at festivals such as the Kissinger Sommer, Verbier Festival, Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, MDR Musiksommer and the Schwetzinger SWR Festival.
Her debut CD, which was released in 2013 featuring recordings of solo works by Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev on the Berlin Classics label, earned widespread praise. A second solo album was released on the same label in 2015 showcasing sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, for which the pianist selected 39 of the 555 sonatas and presented them in Baroque suites and classical sonatas. In so doing, she illustrates Scarlatti’s transition through music history. The recording was awarded the German Record Critics’ Award and “Editor’s Choice” by Gramophone magazine: “This is Scarlatti artistry of the highest order. (…) It’s gratifying to have followed Huangci’s progression from a 16-year-old prodigy to a 25-year-old artist poised for greatness”.