Rating the album four stars, The Guardian, writes "Haochen Zhang is both a prodigiously award-winning pianist and a self-confessed introvert, and the wide-ranging choice of repertoire on his first studio disc reflects this. He captures the childish, quickly dissipating seriousness of Schumann’s Kinderszenen, and plays it with the kind of artistry that sounds sincerely artless.
Liszt’s Ballade No 2 has Zhang creating great rumbling waves in the left hand, then closing in an atmosphere of hard-won peace. In this, and in Janáček’s Sonata 1 X 1905, he excels in conveying the larger shape of the piece, knitting the phrases together into long paragraphs, yet he doesn’t short-change the showier passages. Brahms’s Three Intermezzos, Op 117, make for an understated close to an intimate, inward-looking disc, and their feeling of slow rise and fall evokes the breathing of a huge creature asleep. Rarely on this recording does his playing make a forceful bid for the attention, but it certainly rewards close listening."
See the review on The Guardian's site here.
The German online classical magazine, Klassik Heute, gives Haochen's new BIS album 9/10 stars!
See the full review here.
Haochen is a featured soloist of the Abu Dhabi Festival performing Sergei Rachmaninoff's famed second piano concerto alongside China’s National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) orchestra at Emirates Palace on March 24.
Haochen spoke with United Arab Emirates' The National preceding the performance; read his comments here including his thoughts about his new album release.
Haochen is very honored to be the only pianist of the four 2017 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipients announced today. These Grants of $25,000 give professional assistance and recognition to talented instrumentalists believed to have great potential for solo careers.
The ceremony at WQXR's Greene Space will be streamed live as a webcast here today, March 15, at 6:00 PM EDT. The radio broadcast of the ceremony will air on WQXR at 9:00 PM EDT on Monday, April 24. More information about this year's winners may be found here.
Previous recipients of the Avery Fisher Career Grant include Gil Shaham, Yuja Wang, Jonathan Biss, Hilary Hahn, Joshua Bell, Escher String Quartet, Anthony McGill, and Augustin Hadelich.
Peter Dobrin wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer:
"Portrait of a pianist. Haochen Zhang was a pianist about whom aficionados were whispering expectant superlatives as he came through the Curtis Institute of Music. The next Yuja Wang, perhaps? Now, the 2012 Curtis graduate has released a studio album on BIS Records of some ambition: Schumann's Kinderszenen, the Liszt Ballade No. 2 in B Minor, Brahms' Three Intermezzi, and Janácek's Piano Sonata 1.X.1905, "From the Street."
Some might recall the 2011 Curtis recital when he filled in for Wang after travel problems. Zhang, who won a Van Cliburn International Piano Competition gold medal in 2009, was 20 at the time of that recital, and many of the characteristics he displayed then are apparent in this recording: restraint and control - until a specific moment of arrival.
The Kinderszenen are lovely, and he alternates between a gauzy dream state and great heat in the Liszt. Janácek arrives with a finely shaped sense of quiet, questioning wonder. Zhang's love for Brahms was clear at that Curtis recital. So, too, here, where he uncovers ideas well beyond those apparent from just the written note."
Read on Philadelphia Inquirer's site here.
Haochen Zhang is delighted to announce the release of his first studio album on February 10, 2017 on BIS Records. The album features works by Schumann, Liszt, Janácek, and Brahms.
Haochen reflects on his new release saying:
"This album consists of works which not only speak to me in a very intimate way, but also connect with one another at a corresponding level of intimacy: as a whole they form a unique musical narrative. Although I have always been keen to learn and perform all genres and styles, I feel irresistibly drawn to music of a reflective and introspective nature. This is perhaps in part due to the inward-looking aspect of the classical culture of my home country which has fascinated me since childhood, and also to the innate introverted side of my personality."