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Born in Cebu City, Philippines, pianist Albert Tiu has been labelled “an artist of uncommon abilities” by American Record Guide. His 2010 recording on Centaur Records, “Nocturnal Fantasies”, featuring the music of Chopin and Skryabin, has been garnering glowing reviews. In Gramophone, Bryce Morrison describes it as “performances where heart and mind unite in a deeply affecting union. Tiu is the sort of artist… who can make a single note or chord tell, yet always within an enviably natural, lucid and refined context.” According to American Record Guide, it is “one of the most inventive recital programs ever seen or heard” and Fanfare dubs it "one of the all-time great piano recordings.”
His collaboration with Li-Wei Qin in the Beethoven Cello Sonatas on Decca was nominated for Best Classical Album in the 2010 Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Awards. Other recordings include Rachmaninov's Works for Cello and Piano on Decca, “Variations” on Arktos Canada, as well as the Barber Piano Concerto in a live concert with the Orford Festival Orchestra and Yuli Turovsky in Canada.
In 2013, he collaborated with violinist Kam Ning on "Road Movies", a disc featuring American composers John Corigliano, John Adams and John Novacek, released by Meridian Records (UK). Soon to be released is another disc on Centaur with clarinetist Marcel Luxen and music by the "Germanic Giants" - Brahms, Schumann and Weber.
Known for his passion for innovative programming, he frequently presents recitals with themes including "The Classical Elements" (Earth, Air, Water and Fire), "Chopin without Chopin" (music by Godowski, Busoni and Rachmaninov influenced by Chopin), and "Bee Flat" (the two Sonatas in B-flat by Beethoven). He has appeared with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Hamburg Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony, Gstaad Festival Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, Baden-Baden Philharmonic, Calgary Philharmonic, Winnipeg Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Michigan Chamber Symphony, Johannesburg Philharmonic, Cape Town Philharmonic, Guangzhou Symphony, Philippine Philharmonic, and Juilliard Symphony. In 2005, he gave the Singapore premiere of Samuel Barber’s Piano Concerto with the Singapore Symphony under Muhai Tang in the Esplanade Concert Hall. With an eclectic repertoire ranging from Sweelinck to Stockhausen, he has performed in venues such as Orchestra Hall in Detroit, Carnegie Weill Recital Hall in New York, Finlandia Hall in Helsinki, Hamburg Musikhalle, and the Great Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg. His performances have been broadcast on WQXR New York, CBC Canada, SABC South Africa, BBC, ABC Australia, Radio YLE in Finland and Symphony 92.4 Singapore.
Currently an Associate Professor of Piano at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore, he studied with Jerome Lowenthal at the Juilliard School, where he made his New York recital debut in 1998 after winning the William Petschek Recital Award. He previously studied with Michael Lewin at the Boston Conservatory, John Winther at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and Nita Abrogar-Quinto at the University of the Philippines. An early period of rebellious youth led to his dismissal from the Philippine High School for the Arts, after which he flourished with Nelly Castro in Cebu.
In 1996, he won the First Prize and two special prizes in the UNISA International Piano Competition in Pretoria, South Africa. He is also a laureate of competitions in Calgary (Honens), Santander (Paloma O’Shea), and Helsinki (Maj Lind). He has collaborated in chamber music with the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Ysaÿe Quartet, Australian String Quartet, Muir String Quartet, violinists Pierre Amoyal, Cho-Liang Lin, Kam Ning, and Robert McDuffie, violist Nobuko Imai, and clarinetist Charles Neidich.
After a short teaching stint in the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School, Albert Tiu joined the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in 2003 as one of the pioneering faculty members. His students have distinguished themselves in competitions in Singapore, winning the 1st Prizes in the last three National Piano and Violin Competitions in the Artist Category, as well as in international competitions is Denmark, Japan and New Zealand. Under his guidance, several of them have made their orchestral debut with the Singapore Symphony, Singapore Festival Orchestra, Metropolitan Festival Orchestra, Vietnam National Orchestra and the Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra.
Recent recording projects include “The Classical Elements” on Centaur; Schubert’s “Winterreise” with tenor Alan Bennett; collaborations with violinist Kam Ning in "Road Movies", a Meridian disc featuring American composers; and with cellist Qin Li-Wei, in two discs on Decca of Beethoven and Rachmaninov.
He is absolutely addicted to Angry Birds, and in his spare time manages to practice some piano. This is a constant source of both humour and chagrin in the family. When it is in season, his addiction spreads to ice hockey, in which he supports the Pittsburgh Penguins.