Jury of China Shenzhen International Piano Concerto Competition—Chen Sa

There is a female pianist who has been highly praised both in China and overseas:

“One of the most charismatic pianists of her generation.”

“One of the leading figures of the Chinese piano era.”

“One of the hundred great pianists of the 21st century.”

“The youngest jury of the Polish Chopin International Piano Competition 2021.”

“Her performance can be both tender as stream and powerful as flood.”

She is Chen Sa, the jury committee member of the 5th China Shenzhen International Piano Concerto Competition.

In 1996, Chen Sa appeared on the final stage of the Leeds Piano Competition in England since her early teens and became the youngest winner at the time. Soon afterwards, she gave outstanding and well-received performance at the 14th Chopin Piano Competition and the 12th Van Cliburn Piano Competition. Chen Sa is the only Chinese pianist who has won awards in the three top piano competitions so far, which began her professional performing career worldwide and become the female idol of piano world since then.

With her great attraction, Sa was invited to perform with many prestigious orchestras to name a few, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra dell’ Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Royal Stockholm Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic, China   Philharmonic Orchestra, China National Symphony Orchestra and so on; as  well she had worked with many great musicians such as Sir Simon Rattle, Semyon Bychkov, Sir Antonio Pappano, Fabio Luisi, Yuri Simonov, Myung-Whun Chung, Long Yu among many others. 

Sa has great enthusiasm for chamber music, which brought her into historical music festivals like the Lockenhaus Festival, Salzburg Festival, Dusznicki Festival, Ruhr Piano Festival, St. Petersburg Piano Festival, where she also enjoyed playing with Gidon Kremer, Natalie Gutman, Jian Wang.

Chen Sa recorded her first studio album Chopin Impression for JVC in 2001, and later the Chopin complete Waltzes for IMC in Japan in 2006.  Two live recordings from both Chopin and Cliburn competition were published by the Chopin Competition Warsaw and Harmonia Mundi, then three albums with Pentatone in Neatherland, of which two featured Chopin Piano Concerti and one was Russian Solo Works. Her Chopin Album was selected by Classical FM as the “Best CD of the Month” for her “performance from the soul”. At the beginning of 2015, Chen Sa has then recorded a Chinese Compositions album for BIS which she had experienced piano concerti with Chinese instruments instead, and it was described as “the most interesting and successful recording of new Chinese music so far” by BBC Music Magazine.

In pursuance of wider and comprehensive creativity freedom, Sa established her office ATELIER_SA in 2015. Since then, she has launched a new recital and held “themed” concerts every year. Sa and her office came together with recording producer Johannes Mueller and Neri & Hu Design and Research Office, for her first solo album featuring the complete 24 Preludes by Claude Debussy. Mr. Müller describes, “…to my ears without a doubt, of all my recent recordings this one sticks out for me, because Sa really meticulously worked out every nuance and every detail, while at the same time presenting the full range of both dynamics and colors – I really love it..!”

In the 2019/20 season, Sa continues to concertize with her new discoveries in diversity of annually renewed recital program in France, Italy, UK, US and greater China. Few highlights would be the debut in Marinskii Theater in St. Petersburg Piano Festival, appearing in Champs Elysees Theater in Paris and Pyeong-Chang Winter Olympic Game 1st Anniversary Festival, and to hold Singapore International Piano Festival. 2020 is an unusual year for people all over the world. Also, the life of Chen Sa is divided into pre- and post-epidemic. During this period, Sa was invited to attend the world’s first offline forum of the UNESCO “ResiliArt” to share reflections and prospects on the industry. On the occasion of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, Chen Sa held recitals and concerto concerts in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and other more than ten cities to perform Beethoven’s music, which has given courage to people in the post-epidemic era. Her virtuosity and personalized interpretation also brought a long-lost touch to audiences.