In addition to her work as a studio instructor, Ya-Fei Chuang has designed the Piano Interpretation & Performance Seminar offered through NEC's School of Continuing Education.
Acclaimed by critics in the United States and abroad for performances of stunning virtuosity, refinement and communicative power, Ya-Fei Chuang’s playing has been named the equal of Vladimir Ashkenazy, Garrick Ohlsson, and Idil Biret (The Boston Musical Intelligencer), and Alfred Brendel has praised her as “a pianist of extraordinary ability, intelligence, sensitivity and command . . . approaching the height of her powers.” Commenting on her newly released Chopin/Liszt recording, he stated, "If you want to listen to Chopin and Liszt with different ears, Ya-Fei Chuang's ecstatic performances cannot leave you cold, and her pianism is staggering;" and Remy Franck called it "...masterful...thrilling...phenomenal" (Classical Music Journal, Luxembourg). Reviewing her live recording of the Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No.1, Fanfare Magazine hailed her “delicacy and fluidity of touch ... this version now sits at the top of the pile of Mendelssohn Firsts, alongside Perahia, [Rudolf] Serkin, and John Ogdon.”
She has performed with orchestras in Berlin, Boston, Birmingham, Israel, Malaysia, and Tokyo; at the Berlin Philharmonie and Schauspielhaus, the Gewandhaus (Leipzig), Queen Elisabeth Hall (London), Boston’s Symphony Hall, the National Concert Hall (Taipei), and Suntory Hall (Tokyo). More recent appearances include New York, San Francisco, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, at the International Grieg Piano Competition in Norway (where she also served as member of the competition jury three times), and the Grand Piano Series in Naples, Florida. She has performed at the Verbier, Shannon and Oregon Bach Festivals, the Mozartwoche (Salzburg), the Mozart Festival (Romania), Beethoven Festival (Warsaw), European Music Festival (Stuttgart), Bach Festival (Leipzig), Schleswig-Holstein, Gilmore, Nevada, Newport, Ravinia, Sarasota, Tanglewood, the Taiwan Maestro Piano Festival, and the Taipei International Music Festival. She has performed in the Celebrity Series in Boston, at the Fromm Foundation concerts at Harvard, at the Harvard Musical Association, at the International Music Sessions in Prussia Cove, England, and with the New York Philomusica. She performs frequently with the Spectrum Ensemble Berlin (Germany), and has appeared in duo performances with Alban Gerhardt, Kim Kashkashian, and is a frequent partner of Steven Isserlis and Robert Levin. She has collaborated in chamber music performances with concertmasters, principal players and members of the orchestras of Berlin, Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.
Equally at home on the fortepiano, she has appeared as period pianist with Boston Baroque, the Handel & Haydn Society, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Philharmonia Baroque, and Concerto Köln, as well as a recital at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
Ya-Fei Chuang has recorded for ECM, Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, and New York Philomusica Records. Upcoming CD releases include the complete piano solo works by Ravel for Le Palais des Dégustateurs. The Ruhr Festival has released a number of her live recordings, including a solo recital distributed as a premium by Fono Forum Magazine in Germany. Her recording of Hindemith chamber works was awarded a special prize by the International Record Review.
Ya-Fei Chuang’s mastery of the most challenging solo and chamber repertoire is complemented by her commitment to contemporary music. She has given the world premieres of works by Stanley Walden, Thomas Oboe Lee, and Pulitzer prizewinners John Harbison and Yehudi Wyner.
She is on the faculty of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and of the New England Conservatory Preparatory & Continuing Education division, where she teaches a piano performance seminar. She gives master classes throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, and since 2008 an annual two-week master class at the International Summer Academy at Mozarteum in Salzburg.
Prizewinner in the Cologne International Piano Competition at age 18, Ya-Fei Chuang first performed on television in her native Taiwan at the age of eight and gave her first public solo recital at age nine. She won first prize at the nationally televised ‘Genius vs. Genius’ Competition at age ten and first prize at the National Competition (Taiwan) at age eleven. The following year she received unprecedented fellowships and scholarships from several prestigious foundations in Germany and Taiwan that enabled her to pursue pre-college, undergraduate, and masters-level studies at the Freiburg Conservatory (Musikhochschule) with Rosa Sabater and Robert Levin, completing the six-year course of study in four. During this time she was awarded numerous prizes, including the Basel-Colmar-Freiburg Arts Prize, the Mendelssohn Prize (Freiburg) and Parke-Davis Prize (Germany). She subsequently concluded her German studies with Pavel Gililov, receiving a concert diploma (final degree) at the Cologne Conservatory, and earned a graduate diploma at the New England Conservatory in Boston with Russell Sherman. Her master class teachers included Leon Fleischer, Gil Kalish, Elisabeth Leonskaja, John O'Conor, Meneham Pressler, Karl-Ulrich Schnabel. In recent years she has worked regularly with her mentor Alfred Brendel.