The Juilliard School Announces the Faculty Appointments of Pianists Sergei Babayan, Hung-Kuan Chen, and Juilliard Alumnus Stephen Hough Beginning This Fall 2014

Start Date

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Press Release Images

Stephen Hough (Photo by Sim Canetty-Clarke)
Stephen Hough (Photo by Sim Canetty-Clarke)
Hung-Kuan Chen
Hung-Kuan Chen


The Juilliard School is pleased to announce the appointments of three distinguished pianists and educators, Sergei Babayan, Hung-Kuan Chen, and Juilliard alumnus Stephen Hough, to its piano faculty beginning this fall 2014. Mr. Chen will be a full-time faculty member of Juilliard’s College and Pre-College Divisions; and Mr. Babayan and Mr. Hough will be part-time faculty members of the College Division.

Sergei Babayan began his career in the United States, Japan, and the UK, winning several consecutive prizes in major international competitions, including the Cleveland, Hamamatsu, and Scottish international competitions. As soloist, he has performed with the Mariinsky Theater, London, Cleveland, Baltimore, Detroit, BBC Scottish, and New World symphony orchestras, the Warsaw and Rotterdam philharmonic orchestras, and the Orchestre National de Lille. He has collaborated with conductors Valery Gergiev, Yuri Temirkanov, David Robertson, Neeme Järvi, Tugan Sokhiev, Hans Graf, and Kazimierz Kord, among others. Mr. Babayan is a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory and has studied with Georgy Sarajev, Vera Gornostayeva, Lev Naumov, and Mikhail Pletnev. His deep interest and love for the music of Bach led him to study with Helmuth Rilling, and he also studied conducting in order to deepen his orchestral understanding. Mr. Babayan’s concerto repertoire includes 54 concertos, and he has made several highly-praised recordings for EMC, Connoisseur Society, Pro Piano, and Mariinsky labels. As a soloist and chamber musician, Mr. Babayan has appeared at numerous major music festivals, including Klavier-Festival Ruhr, Salzburg Festival, Gergiev Festival in Rotterdam, Stars of White Nights in St. Petersburg, and Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano. Among his chamber music partners are Martha Argerich, Daniil Trifonov, Ivry Gitlis, and the Borodin Quartet. He has made numerous appearances with Valery Gergiev in recent years in the most prestigious venues. Their live performance of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 5 was recorded for Medici TV. Mr. Babayan will remain as the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Gilliam Artist-in-Residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Raised in Germany, Hung-Kuan Chen’s early studies fostered strong roots in Germanic Classicism, which is tempered with the sensibility of Chinese philosophy, earning him a reputation as a dynamic and imaginative artist. His early studies were with Hans Leygraf at the Hannover Hochschule and with Béla Böszörményi-Nagy; and he holds an artist diploma from the New England Conservatory (1989) where he studied with Russell Sherman. Winner of Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition, Young Concert Artists International Auditions, second place in the Rubinstein Competition, and recipient of an Avery Fisher Grant, he has appeared with many of the world’s leading orchestras and has given recitals in the major cities of Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Mr. Chen has collaborated with esteemed conductors such as Christoph Eschenbach and Hans Graf, and colleagues including the Tokyo and Shanghai string quartets, Yo-Yo Ma, Cho-Liang Lin, Roman Totenberg, David Shifrin, and his wife, Tema Blackstone, as his duo piano partner. Adjudicator in international competitions, including the Van Cliburn, Busoni, Honens, and International China Competition, Mr. Chen is a former faculty member of Boston University, New England Conservatory, and the Shanghai Conservatory, and has been a visiting professor at Yale University since 2010.

One of the most distinctive artists of his generation, Juilliard alumnus Stephen Hough combines a distinguished career as a concert pianist with those of composer and writer. Named by The Economist as one of 20 Living Polymaths, Mr. Hough was the first classical performer to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2001 and was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2014 New Year's Honours List. He has performed extensively in recital and with most of the world’s major orchestras, and his catalogue of more than 60 CDs has garnered four Grammy® nominations, eight Gramophone Awards, and France’s Diapason d'Or de l'Année. He has been commissioned as a composer by Westminster Abbey, Wigmore Hall, and members of the Berlin Philharmonic, among others, and his blog for London's Telegraph newspaper is a widely-read cultural forum. Mr. Hough holds a master of music degree from Juilliard where he studied with Adele Marcus and Martin Canin. He won the Naumburg International Piano Competition the same year he graduated from Juilliard (1983) and made his New York debut in 1984. More at: www.stephenhough.com.

Juilliard’s Piano Department is the second-largest department within the Music Division, representing about one-quarter of its total student enrollment. Students come from all over the world to study with members of a faculty that includes some of today’s most illustrious performers and distinguished pedagogues. Among its piano alumni are Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Van Cliburn, Jeremy Denk, Simone Dinnerstein, Garrick Ohlsson, and Conrad Tao.

About The Juilliard School

The Juilliard School established this country's standard for performing arts education, beginning with music in 1905. Its alumni are among the most famous recitalists, orchestral and operatic musicians, administrators, and teachers. In 1951, its Dance Division was established, combining contemporary and ballet technique. Its accomplished alumni also include many of today’s celebrated choreographers. Juilliard became part of Lincoln Center in 1968, and added a four-year drama program. Jazz performance was initiated in 2001 and Historical Performance in 2009.

Most recently, Juilliard expanded its acting education to include a master’s degree program whose first class entered in fall 2012. In 2009, Juilliard inaugurated its partnership with the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program; and also collaborates with Carnegie Hall, founding The Academy, a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, and Ensemble ACJW; Signature Theatre – for Juilliard Drama’s ‘Professional Studio’; and the New York Philharmonic, whose music director Alan Gilbert also is Juilliard’s director of conducting and orchestral studies. Juilliard alumnus Wynton Marsalis, artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, was recently appointed artistic director of Juilliard Jazz. Currently more than 800 artists from 35 states (plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico) and 44 foreign countries attend Juilliard.

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