alpin hong, pianist
Whirlwind American tours and performances across the globe have earned pianist Alpin Hong the reputation as a modern day Pied Piper. From Walt Disney Hall to the White House, his combination of stunning technique, emotional range, and rare humor continues to bring audiences young and old to their feet.
Rooted in extensive classical training and a background in extreme sports, martial arts, and video games, Mr. Hong is a creative force unmatched in his vitality and charisma. The New York Times called him “a pianistic firebrand” in a review of his standing-room only New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. 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.” The Santa Barbara News Press hailed him as “…a tour de force. Mr. Hong evoked a kind of Beatlemania when he came on stage. What a showman! What a musician!” His ability to captivate young audiences prompted the Ocala Star-Banner to call him “Classical for the iGeneration”.
Recent performance highlights include the world premiere of his collaboration with The Flying Carpet Theater, Chasing Chopin. A daring mashup of autobiographical storytelling and dazzling piano performance, this extraordinary production will be performed at Lincoln Center in New York City during the 2015-2016 season. His recent debut with Maestro William Intriligator and the Dubuque Symphony electrified the audience in a no-holds-barred performance of Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1. His third studio album Myths and Legends featuring works by Mussorgsky, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff and Chopin was released to rave reviews, and his groundbreaking collaborations with rock bands Crushed Out and Harrison Fjord redefined the classical concert experience.
Mr. Hong’s visionary approach to arts education makes him a sought-after clinician and Artist-in-Residence worldwide. He was the inaugural artist for the PLAY! series for Premiere Performances of Hong Kong, performing and lecturing in the country’s premier schools. His collaboration with Atlanta’s Trinity School culminated in a gala performance in Atlanta Symphony Hall, featuring Mr. Hong, members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, rising violin star Ben Beilman and Trinity students. He recently returned to his hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan to curate a concert combining orchestral musicians from six different area schools with the Kalamazoo Symphony. His triumphant return to the Seattle area resulted in unforgettable performances with students from Edmonds area schools and Kent-Meridian High School. 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.
In addition to his musical talents, Mr. Hong is an internationally renowned speaker and host. His message of artistry, tolerance, and service knits communities together in a spirit of common humanity. Mr. Hong’s recent TEDx talk “Transform Yourself Into a Performer” at La Sierra University showcased his ability to inspire excellence in everyone. Mr. Hong is regularly featured as a keynote speaker for philanthropic and educational events, including the Korean American Scholarship Foundation’s National Gala, the Michigan Music Teacher’s Association annual conference, WDPR Dayton’s Catch a Rising Star Gala, the Alvord School District’s 2015 Convocation in Riverside, California, and Diversity Day in Idaho Falls in honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
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 Southern Youth Music Festival 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.