Click here for Solungga Liu's recital at the Library of Congress
Click here for Charles Griffes: The White Peacock
Solungga Liu has been acclaimed as a pianist of great breadth. In addition to her commanding performances of standard piano repertoire, she is a champion of early twentieth-century American music as well as an uncanny interpreter of new music. Her discography is both wide-ranging and extensive.
Liu’s 2017 debut at the Library of Congress was praised for its “rhythmic precision, expression and a finely calibrated sense of balance between all of the moving parts.” There she performed a solo recital of works by Charles Griffes, Amy Beach and César Franck, a concert tailored to her strengths and uniquely composed of music from the Library’s manuscript collection.
The American Record Guide described her recording “The Pleasure-Dome of Kubla Khan: Piano Works of Charles Tomlinson Griffes” for Centaur Records, as having, “excellent sound, sensitivity and beguiling color”. This recording led to the special request by the Library of Congress that she premiere Griffes’s 1915 piano transcription of Debussy’s Les parfums de la nuit from his orchestral work Iberia, once thought lost by Griffes’s biographers. About this world premiere, the Washington Classical Review wrote, “The piece retained an orchestral spectrum of colors in Liu’s hands. She served as the knowing conductor—the glue that held it all together while still allowing the transcription to shine through on its own merits”.
Liu’s newest Album, “The Passionate Amy Beach: Piano Quintet and Selected Works for Solo Piano” (Centaur, 2023), was praised by the Piano Magazine as “with a deep sense of poetry and lyricism and is full of depth, color and nuance”.
A dedicated performer of new music, Liu has had numerous premieres and recordings of contemporary works to her credit and has collaborated with many composers of our time. Her recent projects have included seven video releases of works by Stephen Hartke, Eric Nathan and Aaron Jay Kernis. Other major performances included Lutoslawski’s Piano Concerto with OSSIA, Steve Reich’s The Desert Music and Tehillim with Alarm Will Sound, Aaron Travers’s Concierto de Milonga, written for her and the Indiana University New Music Ensemble, and Gregory Mertl’s Piano Concerto, commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for her, conductor Craig Kirchhoff and the University of Minnesota Wind Ensemble. The 2017 Bridge Records release of the Mertl concerto has received great praise from the American Record Guide, Toronto’s WholeNote and Fanfare.
Liu enjoys an active career across five continents and has collaborated with the National Theater Symphony Orchestra of Brazil, the National Institute of Health’s Philharmonia in Washington D.C., the Taipei Metropolitan Orchestra, and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra/Choral Society. She has performed solo and chamber concerts at venues such as Carnegie Hall, The National Concert Hall in Taiwan, the Goethe Center in Bangkok, the Brazilian National Museum of Sculpture (MUBE) in São Paulo, and the Cultural Center of Braśilia, where she presented a series of solo recitals for the public as well as for members of the Cabinet and the Supreme Labor Court of Brazil.
In addition to her dedication to students at BGSU, Liu is a sought after Artist-Teacher at major international festivals and competitions, among them the 2023 Lied Center for Performing Arts Summer Piano Academy, the Eastman School of Music Summer Piano Festival, the Atlantic Music Festival, the Sicily International Piano Festival and Competition, the Thailand International Mozart Competition, and the Piano Plus International Piano Festival in Greece.
Liu holds a doctoral degree in piano performance from the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Alan Feinberg, Douglas Humpherys and Elizabeth DiFelice.