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Biography

Kadar Derek Qian is a pianist and conductor who hails from Boston, MA. He began studying piano at the age of 4, first appearing as a soloist with an orchestra at the tender age of 11 playing Chopin’s second concerto. Since then, he has given over one hundred performances in the U.S. and China in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall, and the Harvard Sanders Theatre. Qian has soloed nearly two dozen times with orchestras, debuting with the Boston Pops at the age of 15 performing Prokofiev’s third piano concerto.


In addition to performing, Qian has been a prizewinner at international competitions, including the Arthur Fraser International Competition and the MostArts International Piano Competition. He claimed first prize at the Chopin International Piano Competition in Hartford, receiving special prizes for the best Bach and best Chopin performances, and for four years straight, he was a recipient of the Chopin Foundation of the United States Scholarship.


Qian’s playing has been broadcast throughout the nation, as he appeared on NPR’s From the Top , WGBH’s Drive Time Live , and WHDH’s TV show, Asian Focus . And in 2013, he released an album for Naxos Records, playing a diverse set of works by Bach, Haydn, Chopin, and Liszt. He has attended music festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival and Southeastern Piano Festival and performed in masterclasses for world-renowned pianists, including Leon Fleisher and Sergei Babayan.


At the age of 11, Qian began studying conducting with Maestro Yoichi Udagawa. He was appointed the Assistant Conductor of the Melrose Symphony in 2013 and remained in the role until his high school graduation in 2016. He was also the music director and conductor of the Fusion String Ensemble from 2014 to 2018, a group which gives free performances for the greater Boston community and combines classical and popular music in its concerts.


Qian currently studies piano with Professor George Barth and music composition with Maestro Giancarlo Aquilanti at Stanford University. His former piano teachers include Kumaran Arul, Angel Ramón Rivera, Bruce Brubaker, and Ronald Kmiec. Outside of the practice room, Qian is a symbolic systems major and music minor passionate about Apple, technology, and soccer.

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