NZ pianist Henry Wong Doe is tonight's soloist for the APO 9 August playing Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 2. We hear about his love of contemporary New Zealand music, and his fascination with new technology. While based largely in the United States, the Auckland-born pianist's four recordings have been devoted to new New Zealand music, his first the music of Gareth Farr, which he discusses.
Henry also talks about the experience of using modern technology: interactive piano at Carnegie Hall ("It was almost as if the piano was alive!") but why the performer remains important. Henry's doctoral dissertation “Musician or Machine: The Player piano and composers of the Twentieth Century” examined the influence of the player piano on the works of Stravinsky, Hindemith, Nancarrow and Ligeti.
Here's a video of Henry playing Rachmaninoff's Moments Musicaux, Op. 16 Movements 1-4 at St.Martin-in-the-Fields, London, May 26 2017.
Henry Wong Doe received his early training from Susan Smith-Gaddis, followed by Bryan Sayer at the University of Auckland. In the United States, he received a Masters degree from Indiana University Bloomington, studying with Evelyne Brancart and Leonard Hokanson, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School, studying with Joseph Kalichstein.
Henry has released four commercial recordings: Horizon (2012, Trust Records MMT 2070), of piano and chamber works by Gareth Farr; Five in the Sun (2013 Klavier Records K11193) as a member of the Keystone Chamber Players consists of 20th century chamber works for woodwind instruments and piano; Landscape Preludes (2014, Rattle Records RAT D046), is a set of 12 short piano works by New Zealand composers and Pictures on Rattle Records (August 2017) features Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and a new work, a zigzagged gaze by Eve de Castro-Robinson, written in response to ten art pieces from the Wallace Arts Trust arts collection.
Henry has performed with noted orchestras such as the Pittsburgh Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Australian Chamber, and Israel Philharmonic and in New Zealand, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Auckland Chamber Orchestra and Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.