“The unique thing about music is that it is an art form combining both sound and time to create space. As a pianist, I aspire to articulate a range of sounds, from complex orchestral sounds to the singing human voice, through my own genuine expression."
Tianyu Deng began her piano studies at the age of 5. When she was 11 years old, she began attending Xinghai Conservatory of Music's Middle School in Guangzhou. In 2013, Tianyu was admitted to the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts where she studied with Professor Eleanor Wong. Tianyu is currently a master's student at the Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Dr. Marc Silverman in solo piano performance and has studied with Dr. Heasook Rhee in piano collaboration. As a solo pianist, Tianyu has won numerous piano awards. In 2011 she was awarded the first prize at the Luofu Cup Lang Lang Music Piano Competition and first prize at Macau-Asian Piano Competition Open Group. In 2015, Tianyu participated in the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York and the International Summer Academy in Salzburg in 2016. Tianyu has also attended many piano master classes with Manfred Fock, Aquiles Delle Vigne, Matti Raekallio, Pavlina Dokovska, Jerome Lowenthal, Victor Rosenbaum, and many more.
“Ms. Wong (Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts) has always encouraged her students to experience different sounds. When I collaborate with different instruments, I am always fascinated by the orchestral sounds other instruments produce. They are imaginative and powerful. You need to be a comprehensive musician in order to be a better pianist."
Pianist Tianyu Deng performing Schumann’s Dichterliebe Song Cycle with Kwok Ho Lam
Tianyu is a school accompanist at the Manhattan School of Music. She was brought to the chamber music world when she was in middle school. “I was learning Beethoven's first violin sonata with my best friend. Instead of just making sure all the notes were correct, the violin teacher Miss Kaiyi Ma who is a renowned chamber prize winner taught me the musical ideas phrase by phrase. Since she couldn’t teach me how to do that on the piano, she picked up her violin and coached me. That opened up my interest in and fascination with piano collaboration.” Later on, Tianyu began to collaborate with different instruments and has done many collaborative recitals. In 2016, she was awarded the Best Piano Accompaniment at the Sixth Hong Kong International Violin Competition, and the prize for Best Piano Collaborator in 2017 by the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
Awards from the Hong Kong International Violin Competition and the 11th Zhongsin International Music Competition
As a pianist, Tianyu loves playing on Steinway pianos. "I remember that when I was a student in Hong Kong, I would try to get up early and get to school at 7 am in order to practice on a Steinway concert grand piano before classes began at 9 am. Steinway pianos are beautiful instruments with the dignity that inspires you and teaches you, helping you to explore different voicing, articulation, and color. A good instrument is like a good teacher, a mentor that you want to stay with. I once tried a Steinway Crown Jewel Model L piano at Park Avenue Pianos. I loved it so much, but it was sold right away to a jazz pianist in New York!"
2003 Steinway Model L Grand Piano Mahogany Crown Jewel at Park Avenue Pianos
Tianyu also has a passion for harpsichord playing. She has performed pieces from 18th century by composers such as Frescobaldi, F. Couperin, J.S. Bach, all the way to 20th-century music by Ligeti, Martinu etc. She has collaborated with the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Academy Symphony Orchestra as an organist, performing Bach's Christmas Oratorio under the baton of Helmuth Rilling. She performed Martinu Promenades for Flute, Violin and Harpsichord in Hong Kong Art Festival 2017.
Pianist Tianyu Deng performing Martinu Promenades for Flute, Violin and Harpsichord with Liu Suet-ming Doris (flute) and Korn Roongruangchai (violin) at the Hong Kong Arts Festival 2017
Tianyu Deng performing on the organ with the Academy Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Helmuth Rilling at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
As a piano teacher, Tianyu’s students have got excellent achievements in ABRSM exams, competitions and auditions. Tianyu was awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award at the 11th Zhongsin International Music Competition and at the 10th and 11th Hong Kong International Music and Arts Competition.
Pianist Tianyu Deng with her piano students
Beyond music, Tianyu enjoys practicing yoga and writing. "Nowadays people are often busy and distracted with too much information, but these two practices help me to look into myself. Once I know more about myself, I can make better decisions for myself."