Biography – English
Lucille Chung, Piano
Born in Montréal, Canadian pianist Lucille Chung has been acclaimed for her “stylish and refined performances” by Gramophone magazine, "combining vigor and suppleness with natural eloquence and elegance" (Le Soir).
She made her debut at the age of ten with the Montréal Symphony Orchestra and Charles Dutoit subsequently invited her to be a featured soloist during the MSO Asian Tour in 1989. Since then, she has performed an extensive concerto repertoire spanning from Bach to Adams with over 70 leading orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Moscow Virtuosi, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Flemish Radio Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerífe, Orquesta Sinfónica de Bilbao, Staatskapelle Weimar, Philharmonie de Lorraine, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Belgrade Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic, KBS Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Dallas Symphony, UNAM Philharmonic (Mexico), Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires, MAV Symphony (Budapest), Lithuanian National Symphony, Israel Chamber Orchestra as well as all the major Canadian orchestras, including Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, National Arts Centre (Ottawa), Calgary, Winnipeg and Métropolitain, among others. She has appeared with conductors such as Krzysztof Penderecki, Vladimir Spivakov, Vasily Petrenko, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Stéphane Denève, Peter Oundjian, Gerd Albrecht and Charles Dutoit.
As a recitalist, she has performed in over 35 countries in prestigious venues such as the Wigmore Hall in London, New York's Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center and Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., Spivey Hall, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional, the Great Hall of the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, the Seoul Arts Center, and Sala São Paulo. Festival appearances include the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, Incontri in Terra di Siena in Italy, MDR Sommer Festival in Dresden, Lübecker Kammermusikfest, Salon-de-Provence Festival, Santander International Festival and Gijón International Piano Festival in Spain, Felicja Blumental Festival in Israel, Music@Menlo, Mainly Mozart, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Montreal International Festival, Ottawa Chamber Festival, Bard Music Festival in NY, International Keyboard Institute and Festival in NYC, Chang Chun Festival in China, and the Bravissimo Festival in Guatemala.
In 1989, she was recognized on the international scene as the First Prize winner at the Stravinsky International Piano Competition. She won Second Prize at the 1992 Montreal International Music Competition, at which she also won a Special Prize for the best interpretation of the unpublished work. In 1993, she received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Governor General of Canada and in 1994 won the Second Prize at the First International Franz Liszt Competition in Weimar. In 1999, she was awarded the prestigious Virginia Parker Prize by the Canada Council for the Arts.
Before turning twenty, she graduated from both the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School, where she studied with Seymour Lipkin. She decided to further her studies in London with Maria Curcio-Diamand, Schnabel’s protégée, at the "Mozarteum" in Salzburg with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling and received the Konzertexam Diplom from the Hochschule "Franz Liszt" in Weimar, where she worked with the late Lazar Berman. She was the first non-Italian recipient of the honorary title of “Master” upon graduating from the Accademia Pianistica “Incontri col Maestro” in Imola, Italy. She also worked with Joaquín Achúcarro at Southern Methodist University, where she held the Johnson-Prothro Artist-in-Residence endowed position. Ms. Chung is the recipient of the Honors Diploma at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy and was named Honorary Professor of the Jilin Arts College in China.
Lucille Chung has been hailed as “a considerable artist, admirable for her bold choice of music” by The Sunday Times for her recordings of the complete piano works by György Ligeti on the Dynamic label. The first volume was released in 2001 to great critical acclaim, receiving the maximum R10 from Classica-Répertoire in France, 5 Stars from the BBC Music Magazine, and 5 Stars in Fono Forum in Germany. The final volume, which also contains works for two pianos, was recorded with her husband, Alessio Bax and once again received the prestigious R10 from Classica-Répertoire. Her all-Scriabin CD won the “Best Instrumental Recording” prize at the 2003 Prelude Classical Awards in Holland as well as the coveted R10 from Classica-Répertoire in France.
She also recorded the two Mendelssohn Piano Concerti on the Richelieu/Radio-Canada label, which was nominated for the Prix Opus in Canada. In August 2005, Bax and Chung recorded Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals with the Fort Worth Symphony and Maestro Miguel Harth-Bedoya with narration by Michael York. In 2007 she released a solo album for the Fazioli Concert Hall Series. Lucille then embarked on an exclusive contract with Disques XXI/Universal: Camille Saint-Saëns Piano Transcriptions and Mozart & Me. 2013 marked the release of a piano duo disc with Alessio Bax, presenting Stravinsky’s original four-hand version of the ballet Petrouchka as well as music by Brahms and Piazzolla for Signum Records. In 2015, she released an all-Poulenc album for Signum Records, which was chosen as the “Recording of the Month” on MusicWeb and most recently in 2018, her 14th album titled Liszt Piano Works was released to great acclaim. Her upcoming album for Signum Records will feature works by Debussy and Ravel.
Lucille is fluent in French, English, Korean, Italian, German, and Russian. She and husband, pianist Alessio Bax make their home in New York City with their daughter, Mila, and are artistic co-directors of the Joaquín Achúcarro Foundation, which seeks to further the careers of young pianists.