Whirlwind American tours and performances across the globe have earned pianist Alpin Hong the reputation as a modern day Pied Piper. His combination of stunning technique, emotional range, and rare humor continues to bring audiences young and old to their feet.
The New York Times lauded his "crystalline energy…clear and persuasive ideas…and remarkable breadth of coloration" and called him "a pianistic firebrand" in a review of his standing-room only New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall. Other critics have raved about Mr. Hong's performances: "Hong's warmth, charm and seemingly boundless energy were contagious, and he brought those qualities in abundance to his performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3, Op. 37 in C minor with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra," praised the Mobile Press-Register. The Idaho Statesman said, "Hong cut a magnetic physical presence and charmed the audience with engaging, powerful movements that were fun to watch. Throughout the piece he and the orchestra showed a wonderful give and take."
Rooted in extensive classical training and a background in skateboarding, snowboarding, martial arts, and video games, Mr. Hong is a creative force unmatched in his youthful vivacity and boundless energy. His astonishing ability to connect to people of all ages, experiences, and backgrounds distinguishes him and shapes his evolving performance style. The Ocala Star-Banner called Mr. Hong "Classical for the iPod generation."
Mr. Hong's uniquely humorous and visionary approach to arts education has resulted in artistic residencies worldwide. In recognition of the pianist's gift for communicating his passion for music to audiences of all ages, The McGraw-Hill Companies honored him with the Robert Sherman Award for Music Education and Community Outreach. His tireless pursuit to find, inspire, and collaborate with talents in every community results in unforgettable presentations that both expand worlds and hit close to home.
Mr. Hong completed performances in all fifty states with concerts in Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska in 2011. In August, Mr. Hong made his debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, performing Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Later that summer, the audience of Crested Butte, Colorado witnessed Mr. Hong in an unprecedented collaboration with multiple-Grammy-Award-winning bluegrass and folk rock legend John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
His triumphant return to Steamboat Springs' Strings in the Mountains Festival featured the world premiere of Sonata for Mallets and Piano by Mike Garson with percussionist and composer Simon Boyar, as well as collaborations with festival directors Andrés Cardenes and Monique Mead. Mr. Hong and Mr. Boyar went on to collaborate in a two-week residency in Las Vegas/Henderson, Nevada, during which they shared their gifts with thousands of area students. The grand finale of this residency featured the Las Vegas Youth Orchestra in a Halloween concert titled "Heroes and Villains, Might and Magic". A lightsaber duel, and the premiere of their composition Heroes and Villains for piano, percussion and orchestra, was a spectacle of light and sound that thrilled the capacity crowd. In December, Mr. Hong performed as a guest artist of the White House as part of the 2011 White House Holiday celebration.
Alpin Hong is a native of Michigan and made his orchestral debut with the Kalamazoo Symphony at the age of ten. He moved to Los Angeles soon after and garnered competition victories at a young age with wins at the 1989 Stravinsky Piano Competition, the 1993 SYMF Competition and the 1994 Los Angeles Spotlight Awards Competition. He was the winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition in 2001. His teachers include Mark Richman and Emilio del Rosario. He completed his Master's degree as a student of Jerome Lowenthal at The Juilliard School.