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Thomas Hecht

Jury Member, 2019 Kaufman Music Center International Youth Piano Competition

Renowned American pianist and pedagogue Thomas Hecht is the founding Head of Piano Studies at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore. Over the span of three decades he has concertized on five continents as concerto soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and as a member of the acclaimed duo-piano team of Hecht & Shapiro, winners of the Munich International Two Piano Competition and USA National Duo Piano Competition. Professor Hecht has performed in many of the world's cultural centres, appearing with leading orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Stuttgart Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Johannesburg Festival Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Highlights of concert tours include performances at the Lincoln Center in New York, Berlin Philharmonic Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington, and recitals in Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Italy, Serbia, Montenegro, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Artsakh, South Africa and throughout all the major centres of Australia and New Zealand.

Dr. Hecht is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and was later accepted for graduate studies at the Peabody Institute as a student of Leon Fleisher, who was so impressed with the young pianist's abilities that he was asked to become his mentor’s first teaching assistant, an honour which Fleisher - one of the great pianists of our time - had never before bestowed on any pianist.  His merits and many noteworthy achievements were celebrated at Peabody, where he was presented with the coveted Young Maestro Award, honouring alumni who have distinguished themselves in their performing careers.

Professor Hecht also enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the leading teachers of his generation, having produced a multitude of first prizewinners in solo and two piano competitions throughout the United States, Europe and Australasia. He has been invited for master classes at the Royal Academy, Royal Northern and Royal Welsh Colleges of Music, the Paris, Eastman, Oberlin, Sydney, Beijing and Sichuan Conservatories and the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts. He has served on jury panels  of the Geneva, Bachauer, Isangyun, Cooper, Thailand and Piano Paralympic International Piano Competitions. Guest residencies have included the Conservatoire de Paris, the Sibelius Academy, the Guildhall College of Music & Drama, the Peabody Institute and the University of Trossingen. He receives regular invitations to summer piano festivals, including performances in Sydney, Beijing, Wellington, Engadin, Lausanne, Chethams, Taichung, Bavaria, Artsakh and Brasov (where he is Honorary Professor of Piano at the University of Transylvania), and continues to be in demand for workshops and pedagogy conferences throughout the world. Two of his Singaporean protégés have been named Young Steinway Artists.

Thomas Hecht is a Steinway Artist and has recorded for the Delos, Azica, Elysium and Atoll labels as well as the Steinway Spirio.
“Hecht obviously believes in this music, and plays it with loving care and commitment. He is more of a poet than a showman…he reveals a tempered, lyrical approach far removed from the pyrotechnics of Horowitz but equally engaging in its own right.”  Opus Magazine

“Hecht’s very polished reading [of the Copland Sonata] brings out its extremes in contrast—discordant harmonies, jazzy riffs and deep contemplation in the finale. This is as fine as the legendary 1951 William Kappell performance at the Frick Collection, but served with far better sound.”  Straits Time, Singapore