Saturday, April 13 2024,  8 pm
at Jordan Hall, NEC


Kuok-Wai Lio 廖國瑋, piano












Robert Schumann  (1810-1856)

Kinderszenen, Op. 15
Von fremden Ländern und Menschen
Kuriose Geschichte
Bittendes Kind
Glückes genug
Wichtige Begebenheit
Am Kamin
Ritter vom Steckenpferd
Fast zu ernst
Kind im Einschlummern
Der Dichter spricht

Kreisleriana, Op. 16
Äußerst bewegt
Sehr innig und nicht zu rasch
Sehr aufgeregt
Sehr langsam
Sehr lebhaft
Sehr langsam
Sehr rasch
Schnell und spielend

Fantasie in C major, Op. 17
Durchaus fantastisch und leidenschaftlich vorzutragen; Im Legenden-Ton
Mäßig. Durchaus energisch
Langsam getragen. Durchweg leise zu halten


Hailed as "a musician’s musician" by the Vancouver Sun, Kuok-Wai Lio gave an exquisite performance: sensitive, thoughtful, innovative, with lightning-fast fingers and astonishing touch control. Lio’s artistry shone especially in the quiet moments of the Fantasie, with his exquisite and effortless shaping of the melodies, and in the ethereal tenderness of the 3rd movement. Taking his bows, he encored with a sublime rendition of the Aria from Bach’s Goldberg Variations, which moved the audience to sighs and more enthusiastic applause.  
 -Boston Musical Intelligencer



photos: Chung Cheng

  event photos: Xiaopei Xu and Chi Wei Lo
Kuok-Wai Lio 廖國瑋, piano

A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, pianist Lio Kuok-Wai is a recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant administered by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Career Advancement Award given by the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia, and a Scholarship award by the Feltsman Piano Foundation.

Praised by the Vancouver Sun as a "musician's musician,” for his "sensitive playing" by The New York Times, and his “hypnotic” effect by The Boston Musical Intelligencer, the Macau-born pianist is active as a soloist and chamber musician worldwide. He has performed at venues such as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Tonhalle Zürich, Herkulessaal in Munich, Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, Daiichi Semei Hall in Tokyo. He has given recitals at the Ravinia Festival, Gilmore Rising Stars, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Amelia Island Music Festival, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation, Kissinger Sommer, Klavier-Festival Ruhr, Hong Kong Arts Festival, and Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts in Boston. Kuok-Wai was chosen to step in for the legendary pianist, Radu Lupu, for a recital in Town Hall, New York to critical acclaim.

Kuok-Wai is currently a student of Stanislav Ioudenitch at the International Center for Music at Park University. He has studied under Gabriel Kwok, Gary Graffman, Claude Frank, Peter Frankl, Boris Berman, Jack Winerock, among others. He was invited by Sir András Schiff to take part in many of his masterclasses in Europe and by Leon Fleisher to attend a mentorship program at Caramoor Rising Stars in upstate New York.

A frequent participant in the Marlboro Music Festival and Marlboro on Tour, Kuok-Wai has performed with musicians such as Kim Kashkashian, Pamela Frank, Harvey de Souza, Cho-Liang Lin, Christoph Richter, Hsin-Yun Huang, and the Shanghai Quartet, among others. At an anniversary celebration of Sándor Végh, founding member of the International Musicians Seminar in Prussia Cove, Kuok-Wai was chosen to take part in masterclasses and concerts at Wigmore Hall in London and the Salzburg Festival. He has also performed at the Schubertiade curated by Vancouver Recital Society alongside pianists Jonathan Biss and Inon Barnatan.

As a concerto soloist, Kuok-Wai has performed with orchestras that include the China Philharmonic, Macau Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Camerata Salzburg, Kansas City Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra and conductors Li Xin-Cao, Edo de Waart, Francois Xavier-Roth, and Michael Stern.

A top prize winner in the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians, Gina Bachauer International Young Artists Competition, Fulbright Concerto Competition, Chopin International Piano Competition in Asia, International Institute for Young Musicians Piano Competition, Ettlingen International Piano Competition, Steinway & Sons International Piano Competition, Kuok-Wai received an Honourific Title of Merit given by the Chief Executive of Macau. He has also performed for Hu Jin-Tao, then President of the People’s Republic of China; the late Stanley Ho; Tung Chee-Wha, former Chief Executive of Hong Kong; and Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent.

Apart from music, Kuok-Wai enjoys reading, taking walks in nature, traveling, going to museums, playing with pets, and cooking for friends. His interests include art, literature, poetry, psychology, philosophy, theology, history and languages. He speaks English, German, Portuguese, Mandarin, and is working on Hebrew.

Lio Kuok-Wai was featured in the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May 2023.

被溫哥華太陽報譽為"音樂家中的音樂家",更被紐約時報評論他的演奏為細膩纖細。廖國瑋,一位出生於澳門的鋼琴家,活躍於世界的舞台上的鋼琴獨奏家以及室內樂音樂家。 20141月,他代抱恙的拉杜·魯普出演了在紐約市政大廳舉行的人民交響音樂會,而後受到轟動好評。

(Santa Fe)、拉維尼亞(Ravinia)、普魯士港(Prussia Cove)、馬爾博樂(Marlboro)、卡拉穆爾(Caramoor)、魯爾(Klavierfestival Ruhr)、基辛根之夏(Kissinger Sommer)和香港藝術音樂節。廖國瑋在溫哥華演奏協會(Vancouver Recital Society)、舊金山演奏系列(San Francisco Performances)、吉爾摩新星系列(Gilmore Rising Stars Series)、菲利普洛倫茲追憶鍵盤系列音樂會(Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concerts)以及費城室內樂協會上均有舉辦獨奏音樂會。他曾在卡內基音樂廳的威爾音樂廳(Weill Recital Hall)、蘇黎世音樂廳管弦樂團(Tonhalle Zürich)和位於慕尼黑的赫拉克勒斯演奏廳(Herkulessaal)等會場進行演出。作為協奏曲獨奏家,他曾與澳門管弦樂團,香港管弦樂團,香港小交響樂團,中國愛樂樂團,廣州交響樂團,汎亞交響樂團,堪薩斯城交響樂團,大急流城交響樂團,加州交響樂團,休斯頓交響樂團,俄羅斯交響樂團和薩爾茨堡室內樂團合作。

(東京)、第五屆國際柴可夫斯基青年音樂家比賽(日本)、艾特靈根(Ettlingen)青年鋼琴家國際比賽(德國)、第三屆青年鋼琴家國際比賽(德國)、第65屆施坦威國際青年鋼琴比賽(北京)2005年吉娜巴考爾(Gina Bachauer)國際青年藝術家比賽(美國)2007年國際富布賴特協奏曲比賽(美國)的獲獎者。 20041月,他獲得澳門特區行政長官頒發的表彰獎。國瑋是林肯表演藝術中心頒發的富有盛譽的2013年度艾弗里費舍爾職業獎學金獲得者。

by Dr. Jannie Burdeti

Robert Schumann  (1810-1856) : Kinderszenen, Op. 15

In man, there resides a tender genius that gently opens up gateways to new worlds and creations for the eternal child, and that, unnoticed and as if by chance, leads the youth in his first love to the blossoming spring with his beloved, uniting and revealing to each other their dreams.” —Robert Schumann (from his diary)

Throughout his life, the experience of childhood captivated the imagination of Robert Schumann, whether it was through his children, literature, or music. While he wrote some pieces explicitly for children to play, Kinderszenen (Scenes from Childhood), Op. 15, was meant for adult consumption, a reminiscence about life as a child. Composed in 1838, it was conceived as a set of thirty pieces to be a part of his Novelletten, Op. 21, but Schumann later decided on separating the sets.

The first piece, Of Foreign Lands and Peoples,” expresses childlike wonder. Its melody opens with the notes B-G-F#-E-D, which appear throughout the entire cycle as a unifying motive. A Curious Story” follows and is full of excitement, portraying an eager child listening to a captivating tale. The subsequent Blind Mans Bluff” is a reference to a childhood game that Schumann played with Clara and her younger brother, Alwin, when he lived at their house. It is in essence a form of tag, similar to Marco Polo.” “Pleading Child” begins and ends the same way, on an unresolved chord, as if to ask, Please?” The next piece answers with Happy Enough”—perhaps the child made do with what they had. An Important Event” asserts itself, full of pompous rhythms. The most famous piece of the whole collection is Dreaming,” or Träumerei, a favorite encore of Vladimir Horowitz. It suggests a childs inner dreamworld, possibly taking place At the Fireside,” the following piece. The twelfth piece, Child Falling Asleep,” is gentle, swaying, and subdued. Schumann later added the thirteenth and final piece, The Poet Speaks,” to be included in the publication. Here, Schumann breaks the fourth wall and emerges as a grown-up for the first time in the piece, addressing the audience in the most intimate and eloquent of moments.

He was pleased with these pieces and humorously wrote to his fiancée, Clara Wieck that they were, “gentle and loving and happy—like our future,” contrasting them with his next opus, Kreisleriana.

Robert Schumann  (1810-1856) : Kreisleriana, Op. 16

Robert Schumann’s love for literature undoubtedly stemmed from his father, August Schumann, who believed that it was literature that kept Germany united as a nation. A publisher, bookseller, and writer himself, August strongly nurtured his son’s reading habits. Schumann scholar Eric Frederick Jensen writes, “What makes Schumann’s literary interests particularly intriguing is the close association in his mind of words with music.” In Schumann’s diary from 1828, he wrote, “Music is the higher power of poetry; angels must speak in tones, spirits in words of poetry[….] Every composer is a poet, only at a higher level.” Almost as someone with synesthesia would see colors when hearing sound, Schumann seemed to experience novels while listening to music: “When I hear music by Beethoven, it is as if someone were reading to me a work of Jean Paul. Schubert reminds me of Novalis.”

Of the many authors who played an influential role in Schumann’s work, one of the strongest was Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann (better known as his pen name, E.T.A. Hoffmann, having changed Wilhelm for Amadeus out of his love for Mozart), whose life paralleled Schumann’s. As students, their parents persuaded both to study law. However, most importantly, they held a dual-love for both literature and music. Although Hoffmann is most remembered as an author of fantasy and horror, he also was a composer, music critic, and conductor. One of Hoffmann’s most famous literary characters was Kapellmeister Johannes Kreisler, appearing primarily in two works by Hoffmann: Phantasiestücke in Callots Manier (Fantasy Pieces in the Manner of Callot) and Lebensansichten des Kater Murr (The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr), an unfinished, satirical novel. Kreisler was Hoffmann’s alter ego and must have struck great sympathies in Schumann: he was a musical genius, suffered from manic-depressive moods, and was the epitome of the passionate Romantic artist. Schumann himself suffered from manic-depressive disorder and expressed them in his alter egos, Florestan and Eusebius, and near the end of his life, committed himself to the asylum, much like Kreisler, whose fate ended in madness.

While Schumann’s title directly points to the literary character Kreisler, musicologist Charles Rosen argues that Schumann’s Kreisleriana is not so much based on Hoffmann’s collection of stories and essays titled Kreisleriana, but more on Kater Murr. In this novel, the published biography of Johannes Kreisler is found by his cat, Murr, who proceeds to inscribe his own autobiography on the back of each torn-out page. The manuscript is sent in this state to the publisher, who prints it as he finds it—Kreisler’s impassioned life as a Romantic artist, interleaved with Murr’s philosophical musings. While the cat is very erudite and knows German philosophy, he does not understand humans and Rosen writes that the reader, too, deduces by this, that we humans do not make sense of our lives.

Schumann’s Kreisleriana, subtitled Phantasien für das Pianoforte, reflect the novel’s juxtapositions of expression and mood. In eight contrasting movements, it explores the superlatives of emotion: from extremely animated to very inward to very lively. The opening movement is marked ‘extremely animated’ and begins with an eruption of wild madness. Following is a poetic movement, marked “very inwardly and not too quickly,” which is the longest, containing two contrasting Intermezzi. The third movement is neurotic, which the composer marks as “extremely agitated.” A lyrical, intimate theme emerges, heard between two interweaving voices, perhaps representing his love affair with Clara. The fourth seems to hearken to the poetic dreamer—bringing to mind “The Poet Speaks” from his preceding work, Kinderszenen. A cynical scherzo ensues. The following, sixth piece, begins with what feels like the emotional center of the work, with a most poignant lullaby, that although has moments of foreboding, is ultimately hopeful. After the dreaminess of this movement, the penultimate movement wakes us up abruptly with a tumultuous, driving momentum, brimming with terror. The whirlwind of raw emotions finally gives way to the last movement, which before long, trips away into a ghostly silence, leaving one to contemplate the work’s unsettling nature.

Of his piano works during this time, Kreisleriana was his favorite.

Schumann wished to dedicate it to his fiancée, Clara Wieck, whose father at this time, refused to allow Schumann to have anything to do with his daughter, least of all to have his daughters hand in marriage. As a result, he replaced the dedication with Frédéric Chopin’s name, who unfortunately did not appreciate the piece except for its title.

Robert Schumann  (1810-1856) : Fantasie in C major, Op. 17

Robert Schumanns Fantasy in C major, Op. 17, written in 1836, directly before his Kreisleriana Op. 16 (despite the opus numbers), was originally entitled Obolen auf Beethovens Monument: Ruinen, Trophäen, Palmen: grosse Sonate für das Pianoforte für Beethovens Denkmal, von Florestan und Eusebius, Op. 12 (Small Contribution to Beethovens Monument: Ruins, Trophies, Palms: Grand Sonata for the Pianoforte for Beethovens Memorial, by Florestan and Eusebius). This project of erecting a statue, with monetary help from Franz Liszt, the dedicatee of this piece, came to fruition in 1845. The work, in addition to being a tribute to Beethovens life, was also a passionate declaration of love to Clara Wieck. As he was forbidden to see Clara at this time by her father, the work fittingly uses a quote from Beethovens An die ferne Geliebte (To the Distant Beloved), revealed at the end of the first movement.

Schumann wrote to Clara in March 1838: The first movement [of the Fantasie] is the most passionate I have ever composed; it is a profound lament on your account.” In the beginning of the piece is a quote by Friedrich Schlegel:

Through all the sounds that sound
In the colorful dream of earth
A soft sound comes forth
For the one who listens in secret.

Schumann had written to Clara, Are you not the secret tone that runs through the work? I almost think you are.” Charles Rosen writes that the secret tone” is Schumanns quotation from the last song in Beethovens An die ferne Geliebte. For pianist Murray Perahia, the secret tone is the note G, the opening pitch of the work, which remains a central tone throughout. However one may wish to interpret the idea of the secret tone, Schumanns quotation at the end of the first movement is a hymnic culmination after the movements impassioned turmoil. With regard to the second movement, Clara had a visceral response: It makes me hot and cold all over.” The musics march-like quality, filled with unwaning energy is reminiscent of the League of David fighting the Philistines. In this movement, Clara heard “an entire orchestra.” Moreover, it brings to mind Beethoven’s march movement from his Sonata Op. 101. The sublime last movement is an extended song without words.

Schumann wrote to Clara: “You can understand the fantasy only if you think back to the unhappy summer of 1836, when I renounced you; now I have no reason to compose such unhappy and melancholic music,” in which she responded, “Yesterday I received your wonderful fantasy—today I am still half ill with rapture; as I played through it I was drawn involuntarily towards the window, and there I felt like leaping out to the beautiful spring flowers and embracing them.”

Press Chinese: pianist Kuok-Wai Lio 廖國瑋 at NEC’s Jordan Hall, Saturday, April 13, 2024, 8 pm

中華表演藝術基金會第35屆音樂季第4音樂會,將於413日週六晚上八時,邀請澳門出生的鋼琴家名家 廖國瑋在紐英崙音樂學院喬登廳 (Jordan Hall) 舉行一場鋼琴獨奏會。曲目包括舒曼的作品:兒童場景(Kinderszenen)、克莱斯勒 (Kreisleriana) 幻想曲 (Fantasie ) .

曾獲著名的艾弗里·費舍爾職業獎 (Avery Fisher Career Grant), 及費城音樂基金協會職業發展獎的廖國瑋畢業於柯蒂斯 (Curtis) 音樂學院,和耶魯大學。他應安德拉斯·席夫爵士 (Sir András Schiff) 之邀,在歐洲參加了許多他的大師班,並應里昂·弗萊舍 (Leon Fleisher) 的邀請參加了紐約州北部 Caramoor 的新星指導計劃。

他在世界各地與頂級音樂家以及室內樂音樂家合作和演出,例如 Kim Kashkashian, Pamela Frank,林昭亮、黃心芸以及上海、茱莉亞、多佛 (Dover) 和愛默森 (Emerson) 弦樂四重奏等合作

溫哥華太陽報 (The Vancouver Sun) 稱讚鋼琴家廖國瑋為音樂家中音樂家 。而《紐約時報》(The New York Times)則稱其演奏細膩動人。受到高度關注。

波士頓音樂情報 (The Boston Musical Intelligener) 稱讚廖國瑋在中華表演藝術基金會2022年夏日系列音樂會8 15 NEC威廉姆斯 (Williams Hall) 音樂廳的表現說: “這是音樂中罕見的超凡時刻之一,將觀眾帶入了不同的境界。廖國瑋的三首古典曲目, 以壓倒性的美感讓我們著迷。 該音樂會的視頻在中華表演藝術基金會 YouTube . 免費供大家欣賞。

音樂會票價為 $20 (7- 13)$40$60。提供14歲以上學生免費票,及非學生贈送卷。需事前預訂。6歲以下兒童請勿入場。詳情請在中華表演藝術基金會的官網查詢。線上售票413日下午2時將關閉。現場門票售價為10美元,僅限現金支付。


  Into the Deep

Of the 19th century’s great composers for the piano, Schumann may be the most difficult to play well. This is more than the matter of the music’s widely acknowledged technical difficulties, but of the courage of his interpreters. Far more than any of his contemporaries — Chopin, Liszt and Mendelssohn — Schumann had a propensity for exploring the dark places of the soul.   Throughout his life, which ended in an insane asylum, he was tormented by demons that included the symptoms of tertiary syphilis — paranoia, behavioral changes, hallucinations, mania, and cognitive impairment. And those demons express themselves in his music.

So programming his music demands courage. An all-Schumann program demands even greater bravery; but the three works — Kinderszenen (Opus 15), Kreisleriana (Opus 16) and the Fantasy in C (Opus 17) — that Kuok-Wai Lio chose for his recital in the Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts series (13 April, Jordan Hall) seems almost insanely valorous. Not only is this a treacherously difficult program, but, adding to the hazards, is that each of them ends quietly.

As it turned out, however, this program was a triumph not only for the pianist, but also the composer. Most of the 13 pieces that comprise Kinderszenen are relatively simple technically, though difficult musically. Kuok-Wai Lio struck a fine balance between intellect and emotion by not playing down to the audience and molding his phrases with care. The subtleties of his performance included bringing out inner voices, accenting certain notes in the bass line and distinctive pedaling, His extraordinary fluidity — his ability to lift a phrase and then let it subside — and nuance in tone made this thrice familiar work sound newly rapturous.

His playing in  Kreisleriana impressively held together what can seem a rambling work. Without overpowering the music, he used his wide tonal palette to illuminate the music’s occasional descents into nightmarish depths. The program concluded with a triumphal traversal of what may be Schumann’s greatest work, the Fantasying C. He played the first movement at an unusually slow pace that enabled him to emphasize its sudden explosions of passion. The second movement’s march, on the other hand, moved at a ferocious clip that never suggested a lock-step rhythm, but which unfolded in an almost improvisatory manner. Unlike many pianists, he did not proceed with caution when he arrived at the fearsome coda. Scarcely any pianist manages to get through without a few slips — — and Kuok-Wai Lio was no exception. But the fire of his temperament and the focus of his insight into the music’s passion carried him through. The Elysian final movement can, in less skillful hands, sound repetitious, but that was not the case here. I’ve never heard a more beautiful performance of this movement, which rarely rises above a mezzo-forte level, and it revealed layer after layer of unsuspected depths in its voyage into silence.

Stephen Wigler

(a contributing writer for International Piano, UK, and a longtime staff music critic at three newspapers)


音樂會門票分為$60 (貴賓保留區、可預先指定座位)及$40 (不對號自由入座) 兩種, 學生票$20 (不對號自由座區)  。六歲以下兒 童請勿入場 。網站購票無手續費 。
$60: VIP Reserved Seats
$40: open seating at non-VIP section
$20: student open seating at non-VIP section
Children under 6 not admitted.

提供100張免費學生票 (14歲以上, 每人一張) 請上 贈票網頁 索票  。
100 free student tickets available at only (1 per request for age 14 and up)

查 詢: 中華表演藝術基金會會長譚嘉陵, 電話: 781-259-8195


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