Return to the Frederick Collection Homepage

Historical Piano Concerts Series
About the Musicians

Yuan Sheng

Yuan Sheng, piano

Yuan Sheng has gained international recognition through his extensive performances in more than twenty countries. The New York Times wrote, “Mr. Sheng’s ear for balance is unfailing … the attraction was entirely visceral.” The  New York Concert Review proclaimed, "Mr. Sheng is an artist of the highest quality" Renowned music author David Dubal wrote, “Just listen to him, you will be touched!”

Mr. Sheng has performed in Carnegie Hall in New York, Cadogan Hall in London, Ford Performing Arts Center in Toronto, Seoul National Center for the Performing Arts as well as National Center for the Performing Arts, Forbidden City Concert Hall, Beijing Concert Hall in Beijing, and Shanghai Concert Hall in Shanghai, China. He has been heard and seen on WQXR in New York, WGBH in Boston, NPR in U.S.A, National Radio Station of Spain, National Radio Station of France, National Television of Poland, China Central TV, and Beijing Music Radio.

As a soloist, Mr. Sheng has performed with the Gran Canaria Philharmonic and Tenerife Symphony of Spain, Oradea State Philharmonic of Romania, Kazakhstan National Symphony, National Symphony of Cuba, National Philharmonic of the Philippines as well as China Philharmonic and most of the major orchestras in China.  As a chamber musician, Mr. Sheng is a founding member of the China Trio together with violinist Vera Tsu and cellist Yi-Bing Chu. He has performed with the Shanghai String Quartet, violinists Aaron Rosand, Arnold Steinhardt, Vadim Repin, Dong-Suk Kang, Rachel Barton Pine, Siqing Lu as well as cellist Young Chang Cho and Andres Diaz.

Mr. Sheng’s performances and research on the music of Bach have attracted international attention in recent years. The New York Times wrote, “The A-major and A-minor Preludes and Fugues from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier Book I, were models of clarity, balance and proportion. That is not to say that they were straightforward or unmediated: Mr. Sheng made the A-minor Prelude into a fiery drama, with the equally energetic but stunningly voiced Fugue as an otherworldly rejoinder.” The International Piano Magazine considered Yuan Sheng “The nation (China)’s premier interpreter of Bach.”

His understanding and command of harpsichord and early pianos has also generated highest acclaim. He has performed the music of J.S. Bach and other Baroque composers on harpsichord regularly in recent years. In reviewing his all-Beethoven recital program on the Frederick Collection’s c.1805-1810 Katholnig piano, the Boston Musical Intelligencer states: “Sheng had absorbed this music so thoroughly that a listener might easily have imagined the composer at the keyboard.”

Mr. Sheng records under the Piano Classics label. His two CD recordings of works by Bach and a Three-Disc Set of works by Chopin performed on the Frederick Collection’s 1845 Pleyel piano have been released internationally. In the next ten years Mr. Sheng will record and release all major keyboard works by J.S. Bach and complete works of Chopin. In addition, he will also record major keyboard works by Bach on harpsichord for NCPA (China National Center for the Performing Arts) Record label.

Born to a family of musicians in Beijing, Yuan Sheng began his music studies with his mother at age five, continuing them later at the Central Conservatory with Professors Qifang Li, Huili Li, and Guangren Zhou.  From 1991 to 1997 Yuan Sheng was a scholarship student of Solomon Mikowsky at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where he completed his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. His interest in the music of Bach inspired him to study intensively with Rosalyn Tureck. 

Yuan Sheng is a professor of piano at the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music.

Having performed for us the first time in 2009, this is Yuan Sheng's thirteenth appearance in our series of Historical Piano Concerts. We feel honored and most fortunate each time.