Joel Fan

Pianist Joel Fan is acclaimed as “soaring” (Los Angeles Times), “fantastic” (Washington Post), and possessing a “probing intellect and vivid imagination” (New York Times). Celebrated for his exuberant virtuosity, and a bold repertoire that embraces piano classics and inspired discoveries of contemporary and world music, Fan re-invents the piano recital by illuminating the rare and unexpected – creating, in the words of the Baltimore Sun’s critic Tim Smith, “one of the most satisfying piano performances I’ve heard.”

Joel Fan’s discography illustrates Fan’s highly creative musical persona. Following his work on Leon Kirchner: Revelations – critic Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times proclaimed Fan as an “impressive pianist.” Of Fan’s recital disc, West of the Sun, the Toronto Star stated, “Fan offers nine stunningly brilliant renditions drawn from a wide range of styles and sources… Capping it all off is an arresting interpretation of Samuel Barber’s fearsome 1949 Piano Sonata. Wow.” Fan’s solo CD World Keys contains five world premiere recording tracks – creating a “deeper, more rewarding experience” (Minnesota Public Radio) – and reaching #3 on Billboard’s Classical Chart.

As a concerto soloist, Fan has performed over 40 different concertos with orchestras worldwide, including the New York Philharmonic, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Odessa Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony, and London Sinfonietta, with conductors such as David Zinman, Zubin Mehta, Alan Gilbert, and David Robertson. According to the Boston Music-Intelligencer: “We’ve heard many of the great pianists… Fan belongs in the company of the best.”

Joel Fan Reviews:

“Pianist Fan endows each selection not only with his fabulous technique but his knowing musicianship. Maestro Christophe Chagnard, founding director of the Northwest Sinfonietta, supplies sensitive accompaniment that partners the piano perfectly in each of these true showpieces for the keyboard. … I happened to have on hand an HDCD version of this program that Joel gifted me last Christmas. While it is a humdinger of a disc, the HRx disc has noticeably more air, a more potent low end, and fuller piano sound. … In the continually growing tradition of Reference Recordings, we get another completely cherishable disc that should enjoy many plays on your system, be it a computer-based server or a compatible disc-spinner. … As for pianist Fan, I hope that Reference Recordings folks queue him up for many more recitals. Highly recommended.” —Lawrence Devoe, Blu-Ray Definition

“This diverse and engaging program of works for piano and orchestra reflects Joel Fan’s ongoing commitment to international music. … There is…a real sense of intelligence and enjoyment. Captured in excellent sound, this program has a wide potential audience, from piano students and teachers to the adventurous listener. … I can’t imagine any piano fan not wanting this for the range and quality of the performances. Fan’s piano sounds terrific, and from a label that does so few concerto collaborations, the high standards of the house are upheld. This is a joyous and intriguing album that truly sparkles.” —Brian Wigman, ClassicalNet

“This pianist reveals passages of fine breadth and sweep, showing a great subtlety and fine rubato. A terrific performance. … This is a terrific new release with, in my download, a detailed recording full of depth, space and detail.” —Bruce Reader, The Classical Reviewer

“[Fan] offers nine stunningly brilliant renditions drawn from a wide range of styles and sources… Capping it all off is an arresting interpretation of Samuel Barber’s fearsome 1949 Piano Sonata. Wow.” —John Terauds, Toronto Star

“Fan is just marvelous… A well—curated, excellently engineered program of this caliber warrants our highest recommendation.” —Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com

“You go from one encounter to another, dazzled by this musician, whose sensitivity allows him to give to each piece the color of the country that inspires him… The production of this HDCD recording is superb.” —Reine Lessard, Ultra High Fidelity

“Fan plays it all authoritatively with sensitivity to the unique flavor of each work. He leaves the listener hankering for more of everything…There’s excellent percussive attack without claustrophobia and a wonderful sense of the body of the instrument.” —Andrew Quint, The Absolute Sound