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Music & Artists

Silk Road Ensemble percussionists passing sheet music around a picnic table at Tanglewood


Developing New Music
Silk Road Ensemble percussionists Dong-Won Kim, Sandeep Das, Shane Shanahan and Joseph Gramley collaborate on new music. Commissioning workshops and Silk Road Ensemble retreats provide opportunities for Ensemble members to improvise and trade ideas for new compositions. Percussionists developed the popular piece "Vocussion," recorded on the New Impossibilities album during a workshop at Tanglewood.

Joel Fan


“Fan plays beautifully, turning all the spice and pizzazz into pure pleasure.”


Joel Fan

Piano (United States) Acclaimed as a "superb" (The Boston Globe), "extraordinary" (The Village Voice), "versatile and sensitive pianist" (The Washington Post), Joel Fan combines virtuosity with a gift for lyricism.

Fan began his performing career with the New York Philharmonic at the age 11, and has since appeared in recital and with orchestras throughout the world. Fan's eclectic repertoire includes the traditional piano classics, piano concertos, his own piano transcriptions and cadenzas, and newly commissioned works.

Within the last three seasons, Fan has performed to critical acclaim with orchestras in the United States such as the New York Philharmonic, Albany Symphony, the Santa Fe Pro Musica, Greater Bridgeport Symphony, Pueblo Symphony, Marion Philharmonic and Rhode Island Philharmonic. Internationally, Fan’s concerto appearances include Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, New Symphony Orchestra of Bulgaria, London Sinfonietta, and Singapore Symphony. Fan has collaborated with conductors such as David Zinman, David Alan Miller, Larry Rachleff, Gustav Meier, David Robertson and Alan Gilbert. Fan made his BBC Proms Debut at Royal Albert Hall with London Sinfonietta in Bright Sheng’s Song and Dance of Tears. Fan’s schedule includes recent notable performances: in May 2006, Fan performed the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the New York Philharmonic and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, David Zinman conducting; in August 2006, Fan made his debut at the Saito Kinen Festival of Japan.

Fan's commitment to music of our time has led to recent performances including the world premiere of Leon Kirchner's Sonata No. 3, The Forbidden, at Pickman Hall in Cambridge, Massachusetts in November 2006, and January 2007's performance of Daron Aric Hagen's Concerto for Left Hand, Seven Last Words with the Waukesha Symphony, Alexander Platt conducting. Upcoming commissions include a piano concerto written by the composer Steven Mackey for Joel Fan and the American Composer's Orchestra scheduled for 2008-2009.

Fan’s debut solo recording World Keys was released in June 2006 on the Reference Recordings label and includes works of Prokofiev, Schumann, Liszt, and recent works by Dia Succari, Qigang Chen, Peter Sculthorpe and Peteris Vasks. Called a "technical wonder" by The Los Angeles Times, he was a prizewinner of several international competitions, such as the D'Angelo Young Artists International Competition in the United States and Busoni International Piano Competition in Italy. In addition, Fan was named a Presidential Scholar by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts.

As a member of the Silk Road Ensemble, Fan has appeared in numerous performances at venues such as Carnegie Hall; Symphony Center in Chicago; the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; as well as on the television shows Good Morning America and David Letterman. Fan’s work appears on Sony Classical recordings of the Silk Road Ensemble and the Albany Records label. In the media, Fan has appeared in publications ranging from the Asian Wall Street Journal and CNET News to the Dagens Nyheter of Sweden.

A native New Yorker, Fan received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University, where his teachers included the composer Leon Kirchner. He also holds a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from Peabody Conservatory as a student of Leon Fleisher.