At ripe old age of 23, Chu-Fang Huang won first prize at the prestigious Cleveland International Piano Competition in August, 2005 — the first Chinese pianist to win the award. From the original field of 240 applicants, 30 pianists from 17 countries competed in Cleveland through three solo rounds. The four finalists performed concertos with the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra.

Huang, who earned a degree in piano performance from the Curtis Institute of Music and is completing her master’s degree at Juilliard in New York, performs on Saturday, March 31, at the Peddie School in Hightstown. She has made recordings for the Alpine label, the Camus label, and will soon make a record for the international Naxos label.

Huang has won prizes in numerous such competitions throughout the world including the Chinese Prodigy Piano Competition, the Southeastern Asia Piano Competition in Hong Kong, the Beijing International Piano Competition in China and the Sydney International Piano Competition in Australia, and was a finalist at the renowned Van Cliburn Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas.

She has already won rave reviews from the press. Allan Kozinn of the New York Times lauded her “energetic, vividly accented performance.” Cecilia Porter of the Washington Post wrote: “Chu-Fang Huang has already chalked up a long list of awards and performances. Her playing Monday made it clear why: Her fingers flew over the keyboard, managing onrushing octaves and other technical hurdles with seeming ease. She unfolded lyrical passages with a fluid legato and tonal warmth, while she blazed through Grieg’s more passionate forays with demonic, impetuous intensity.”

Chu-Fang Huang, Saturday, March 31, 8 p.m. CAPPS, Mount-Burke Theater, Peddie School, Hightstown. First prize winner of the 2005 Cleveland International Piano Competition. $20. 609-490-7550. $20. Visit www.peddie.org/capps or call 609-490-7550. The series concludes with the Cuartetango String Quartet on Saturday, May 19.

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