“A genuine musician” - Isaac Stern
An outstanding international musician of our time, Vietnamese pianist Dang Thai Son was propelled to the forefront of the musical world in October 1980, when he was awarded the First Prize and Gold Medal at the Xth International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. It was also the first time that a top international competition was won by an Asian pianist.
He began piano studies with his mother in Hanoi. Discovered by the Russian pianist Isaac Katz, who was on visit in Vietnam in 1974, he pursued his advanced training at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Russia with Vladimir Natanson and Dmitry Bashkirov.
Since winning the Chopin Competition, his international career has taken him to over forty countries, into such world renowned halls as the Lincoln Center (New York), Barbican Center (London), Salle Pleyel (Paris), Herculessaal (Munich), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Opera House (Sydney), and Suntory Hall (Tokyo).
Photo: Harold Fortin
He has played with numerous world-class orchestras such as The Philharmonia Orchestra , BBC Philharmonic , City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, St-Petersburg Philharmonic, Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal , Czech Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Berlin, Dresden Philharmonic Oslo Philharmonic, Warsaw National Philharmonic, Prague Symphony, NHK Symphony, New Japan Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Hungarian State Symphony, Moscow Philharmonic, Russian National Symphony, as well as Virtuosi of Moscow, Sinfonia Varsovia, Vienna Chamber, Zurich Chamber, Royal Swedish Chamber Orchestras, and the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris. Also, he has appeared under the direction of Sir Neville Marriner, Vladimir Ashkenazy , Pinchas Zukerman, Mariss Jansons, Pavvo Jarvi, Ivan Fisher, Frans Brüggen, Vladimir Spivakov, Dimitri Kitaenko, Sakari Oramo and John Nelson among others.
In the field of chamber music, he has performed with the Berlin Philharmonic Octet, the Smetana String Quartet, Barry Tuckwell, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Pinchas Zukerman, Boris Belkin, Joseph Suk, Alexander Rudin, and he has played duo-piano with Andrei Gavrilov.
Other career highlights include a New Year's Day concert (1995) with Yo Yo Ma, Seiji Ozawa, Kathleen Battle, and the late Mstislav Rostropovich, in a major international event produced by the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation NHK; in January 1999, a Gala-concert opening the Chopin year, where he was the only foreign artist invited to appear as soloist with the Warsaw National Opera Theatre Orchestra; concerts in Isaac Stern's last festival in Miyazaki, Japan in 2001, which included three performances with Pinchas Zukerman; a special performance in 2005 as the only guest artist at the Opening Gala Concert of the XVth International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, where he was also a member of the jury; and on Chopin's 200th Birthday, March 1st, 2010, he played at the Gala Concert the Concerto in f-minor with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century under the direction of Frans Brüggen at the Warsaw National Opera Theatre.
Dang Thai Son is frequently invited to give master classes around the world - such as the special class in Berlin in October, 1999, where he taught alongside Murray Perahia and Vladimir Ashkenazy. Since 2001, he teaches as Guest Professor at the Universite de Montreal (Canada.) He has sat on the juries of prestigious competitions such as the Warsaw International Chopin Piano Competition (2005, 2010, 2015), Cleveland (USA), Clara Haskil (Switzerland), Artur Rubinstein (Tel-Aviv), Hamamatsu, Sendai (Japan), Piano Masters of Monte Carlo, Sviatoslav Richter (Moscow), Prague Spring International, Montreal International Piano Competition, among others.
During the 2012-2013 season, Dang Thai Son toured around the world with an ambitious program of all five Beethoven's piano concertos, the Beethoven Marathon. This colossal project was considered the most significant since his winning at the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1980.
Dang Thai Son has recorded for Deutsche Grammophone, Melodya, Polskie Nagrania, CBS Sony, Analekta, Victor JVC, and the Fryderyk Chopin Institute.
Mr. Dang's album "Chopin's Concertos" on Fryderyk Chopin Institute label was awarded in 2013 a Platinum Disc by the Polish Association of Audio-Video Producers for sales of over 10,000 copies. This disc features recordings of the Chopin Piano Concertos on a 1849 Erard piano and period instruments under the baton of the late Frans Brüggen and his Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, documenting two memorable events in the festival ‘Chopin and his Europe’ in 2005 and 2006.
Dang Thai Son is the featured artist in the television program “Tomorrow”, produced by NHK (Japan Broadcast Corporation) in which he visited music students that were the victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster in the Tohoku area in Fukushima (Japan). He shared with them his musical experiences but most importantly he encouraged them to continue their music education, to fight on, and to look forward to the future. The program was broadcast worldwide in February 2013.
Dang Thai Son has received the “Doctor Honoris Causa” from the Music Academy in Bydgoczsz, Poland.
Mr. Dang is the subject of the biography, “A pianist loved by Chopin - The Dang Thai Son Story”, published by Yamaha Music Media Corporation in 2003.
More information about Dang Thai Son’s worldwide appearances can be found under the “News” section.