Masterclass with Sa Chen

Wednesday 20 July 2016

Recital Hall East

Level 1, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia offer you the opportunity to attend a masterclass with acclaimed pianist, Sa Chen. You are invited to witness her working with talented students, workshopping techniques to perfect their craft in an ‘open lesson’ format.

Sa Chen

Over the past decade, Chen has established herself as one of the most charismatic pianists today. She earned critical acclaim at the International Chopin Piano Competition in 2000 and the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2005 after which began her professional performing career, bringing her evocative performances to audience around the world.

In recent years, Sa has performed with many prestigious orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, NHK Symphony Orchestra, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, and with renowned conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Myung-Whun Chung, Semyon Bychkov, Fabio Luisi, Vasily Petrenko, Long Yu among many others.

As an enthusiastic chamber musician, Sa frequently collaborates with many great musicians. She appeared with Gidon Kremer and Natalie Gutman on many tours and music festivals and has performed solo recitals at venues workdwide including the prestigious Schleswig Holstein Festival, the Rurl Piano Festival in Germany, the Lockenhaus Music Festival in Austria, the Bad Kissingen Festival, the Prague Spring Festival, Sala Verdi, Milan and the Aix-en-Provence Festival in France.

Sa recorded her first album “ Chopin Impression “ for JVC in 2001, and later the Chopin complete Waltzes for IMC in Japan in 2006. Harmonia Mundi released her live performance recording from the Van Cliburn competition worldwide in 2005. Her albums with PentaTone include Chopin: The 2 Piano Concertos and Russian Solo Compositions released in 2008 and 2009 respectively.


Classical FM selected her Chopin Album as the “Best CD of the Month” for her “soulful performance”. Her concerto album, Rachmaninov’s Concerto No.2 and Grieg’s Piano Concerto was released in 2011. Her latest album “ Memories Lost “ featuring modern Chinese compositions has been released worldwide by BIS record in January 2015, described as “the most interesting and successful recording of new Chinese music.” by BBC Music Magazine.

Sa is a Steinway Artist. She has been nominated for the esteemed Tokyo series “The 100 Greatest Pianists” and as the cover artist for the launch issue of Gramophone magazine Chinese edition. In 2009 Sa was named by the French magazine “L’OFFICIEL” as one of the “Top ten Chinese Artists” . In 2010, the Polish Government honoured her with the Chopin Art Passport, acknowledging her unique interpretation and achievement in Chopin’s music.

Aside from her performance schedule, Sa engages herself in charity work too. In 2007, she was invited by the World Bank and the Norwegian government to premiere the multimedia piano concerto Green Call with the China National Symphony Orchestra in Beijing as part of the environmental protection educational program. She also visits and performs for the students who almost lost their ability to hear at local Special schools in China.

Born in China, Sa grew up in a musical family. Her mother is a professional dancer and her father is a French horn player. She received her first violin lesson from her father at the age of 6 and started her piano lessons with Prof. Dan Zhaoyi at age of 9. She appeared as the youngest contestant at the age of 16 at the 12th Leeds International Piano Competition and won the fourth prize. The year after, she received a full scholarship to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Prof. Joan Havill in London and received her Master’s Degree in Performance. In 2000, she placed Fourth and the Best Polonaise Performance Award at the 14th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw and received the Crystal Award at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in the year of 2005. Sa graduated from Arie Vardi’s Solo Class at the Hannover Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Germany in 2007, received PhD in Performance.

In the 2015/16 season, Sa will maintain a busy international schedule, including a 22 recital tour in Germany, a 10 recital tour in China, a solo recital at the Barbican Center, London and concerto performances across Europe, SE Asia and the USA.

ticket pricing
  • Free, bookings not required.