Praised for her ”bountiful gifts and passionate immersion into the music she touches” (The Plain Dealer), Chinese pianist Fei-Fei Dong is a winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition and a top finalist at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. She continues to build a reputation for her poetic interpretations, charming audiences with her “passion, piquancy and tenderness” and “winning stage presence” (Dallas Morning News).
Fei Fei’s burgeoning career includes a number of prominent engagements in the 2015-16 season, including New York City debut recitals at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall (Concert Artists Guild Competition Winners Series), and at Merkin Concert Hall (Tuesday matinees series). Additional recitals include the Gilmore Rising Stars Series (Kalamazoo, MI), Washington Performing Arts “Music in the Country” series (DC), Macon Concert Association (GA), Atlantic Music Center (FL) and St. Vincent College Concert series (near Pittsburgh), where she receives the Father Joseph Bronder Memorial Piano Prize. She also appears a few times in Fort Worth, TX on behalf of the Cliburn Organization.
Featured concerto engagements in 15-16 include a special benefit performance with the Kansas City Symphony and Music Director Michael Stern, as well as with the Lexington (KY), Brazos Valley (TX) and Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic orchestras, and with the Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock in Germany.
2015 summer festival highlights include Bravo! Vail Valley, the Highlands Chamber Music and Lake George Music Festivals, and a recital for Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Concert Series. She is also showcased prominently in the new documentary film about the 2013 Cliburn Competition, Virtuosity, which premiered on PBS in August 2015.
Fei-Fei has performed at Alice Tully Hall in recital as the winner of Juilliard’s 33rd Annual William Petschek Recital Award and as a soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra under the baton of Jeffrey Kahane. She has appeared as a soloist with the Aspen Music Festival Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Corpus Christi Symphony, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Austin Symphony, Youngstown Symphony, Fort Collins Symphony, Denver Philharmonic, and in China with the Shanxi and Shenzhen Symphony Orchestras, working with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin, Randall Craig Fleisher, and John Giordano. Notable recitals include those at Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall and the Louvre, as well as The Cliburn’s spring 2015 Chopin Festival. She has also been featured numerous times on New York’s WQXR radio.
She is a member of the Aletheia Piano Trio, which debuted at the Kennedy Center in February 2014 as part of its Conservatory Project. Deeply committed to sharing her joy for music and connecting with communities, Fei-Fei also engages students and audiences through school and outreach concerts and master classes.
Born in Shenzhen, China, Fei-Fei began piano lessons at the age of 5. She moved to New York to study at The Juilliard School, where she earned her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees under the guidance of Yoheved Kaplinsky.
Chopin: Rondo in E-Flat Major, Op. 16
Clementi: Sonata in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 25 (Excerpt)
Lowell Liebernmann: Gargoyles, Op. 29
Schumann: Novelletten, Op. 21 - No. 8 in F-Sharp minor
Scarlatti: Sonata in F minor, K. 466
Mozart: Piano Sonata No. 18 in D Major, K. 576, Allegro
Liszt: Piano Sonata in B minor, S. 178 (Excerpt)
Volodos: Concert Paraphrase on Mozart's Turkish March
“Pianist Fei-Fei Dong gave a superb performance comprised of equal parts power and nuance. Her playing was clean, her interpretation was vibrant, and her performance was compelling.”
“She has tremendous technical facility, a laudable ability to bring out a work’s narrative arc, and a great deal of coloristic resource… you got the distinct impression that this is an artist who is honest, responds with spontaneity to the music as it’s happening, and who is unafraid to take risks to get her musical thoughts across.”
–Palm Beach Arts Paper
“In her mid-20s, she is one of the most engaging and promising rising stars in the musical firmament.”
–James Cotter, Times Herald-Record
“Fei-Fei Dong’s classical concert delivers drama, energy and nuance.”
In this performance, Dong extracted every last ounce of energy where needed and gentle nuance when required. The audience held its breath in rapt attention to this amazing musical experience.”
–Palm Beach Daily News
“The evening’s highlight, an excellent performance of the popular Edvard Grieg Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16, featured the young and remarkably talented Fei-Fei Dong as soloist.”
“Fei-Fei Dong is already marketable as an accomplished pianist, well trained, with generally good musical instincts and a winning stage presence.”
– Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News
“She displayed a natural musicality and beauty of tone; I enjoyed her fluid technique and her presence at the piano.”
– Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer
“The evening’s highlight, an excellent performance of the popular Edvard Grieg Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16, featured the young and remarkably talented Fei-Fei Dong as soloist.
…performed by Dong with steely precision and poised expression.”
–Robert Rollin, ClevelandClassical.com
“The night’s most promising music-making came last, when Chinese pianist Fei-Fei Dong, 22, was soloist in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3. The work’s fiendish difficulties held little terror for the pianist, who managed the cascades of notes with aplomb and occasionally reveled in the wealth of poetic writing.”
– Donald Rosenberg, The Plain Dealer
“Fei-Fei Dong teamed up with the Brentano in a Brahms Piano Quintet that made most of the right gestures, if not always in the right degrees. There was passion, piquancy and tenderness, and every one of the five musicians lent eloquent nuances.”
– Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News
“Dong’s unforgettable Beethoven Fourth stretched the dimensions of the music’s time and space with risk-taking rapture… It was illuminating, poetic Beethoven that faltered only in the composer’s insatiable demands for energy from both soloist and orchestra in the last movement.”
– Laurence Vittes, Huffington Post
“The 22-year-old Chinese pianist played with exceptional control of dynamics and articulation, and she gauged the second movement’s conflict with the strings to striking effect. Given Dong’s bountiful gifts and passionate immersion into the music she touches, it should be intriguing to hear how she approaches the Beethoven fourth – and other works – in a decade or so.”
– Donald Rosenberg, The Plain Dealer
- Orchestral Repertoire
Beethoven: Concerto No.1, Op.15
Beethoven: Concerto No.2, Op.19
Beethoven: Concerto No.3, Op.37
Beethoven: Concerto No.4, Op.58
Brahms: Concerto No.1, Op.15
Mozart: Concerto No.20 in D minor, K. 466
Mozart: Concerto no.23 in A Major, K. 488
Mozart: Concerto No.21 in C Major, K. 467
Chopin: Concerto No.1 in E minor, Op.11
Chopin: Concerto No.2 in F minor, Op.21
Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue
Grieg: Concerto in A minor, Op.16
Liszt: Concerto No.1 in E-flat Major, S. 124
Mendelssohn: Concerto No.1 in G minor, Op.25
Schumann: Concerto in A minor, Op.54
Tchaikovsky: Concerto in B-flat minor, Op.23
Shostakovich: Concerto No.1 in C minor, Op.35
Rachmaninoff: Concerto No.2 in C minor, Op.18
Rachmaninoff: Concerto No.3 in D minor, Op.30
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, Op.43
Yellow River Concerto