A New Twist on Classical Music – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

A New Twist on Classical Music

The Colleges welcomed Joel Fan, a classical pianist with a passion for both great works of the past and newly discovered music of cultures from around the world. A dynamic performer, Fan embraces traditional piano literature as well as an eclectic range of repertoire. Fan performed a wide variety of pieces, from new music commissioned especially for him to world music to his own transcriptions.

The concert was held on Friday, Sept. 10 in the Geneva Room.

“Joel Fan is a leading figure in the younger generation of concert pianist, and we are fortunate to be able to bring such a top-drawer musician to campus,” said Professor of Music Robert Cowles.

A testament to his popularity, Fan’s two CDs “World Keys” (2006) and “West of the Sun” (2009) have landed in the top 10 of the Billboard Classical Chart. Fan is known as a champion of “new music,” breathing life and a young spirit into a traditionally conservative genre of music.

Among his many achievements, Fan has collaborated with the renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, with whom he performed at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. He has appeared as soloist with various orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. Fan also played under the baton of conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Gustav Meier and David Zinman. At HWS, Fan played works by Villa-Lobos, Beethoven, Scriabin, Schoenberg, and Chopin, as well as works by lesser-known composers.

Fan is a graduate of Harvard College and received a master’s degree from Peabody Conservatory as a student of Leon Fleisher.