Christopher Janwong McKiggan, acclaimed classical pianist at CCP | Inquirer Lifestyle

Christopher Janwong McKiggan, acclaimed classical pianist at CCP

Christopher Janwong McKiggan 3MANILA, Philippines—Acclaimed classical pianist Christopher Janwong McKiggan performs on February 10 at 7:30pm at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Little Theater. The concert is presented by the Cultural Center of the Philippines and KMP Artists.


Program includes Brahms’ “Piano Sonata No.2 in F sharp major, Op.2”; Narong Prangcharoen’s “Three Minds,” Beethoven’s “Piano Sonata No.31 in A flat major, Op.110”; Robert Beaser’s “Pag Rag,” Karim AI-Zand’s “Paganini Reverie” and Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite.”


Born in Christchurch, England, Christopher began his piano studies at age six with his father. He moved to Thailand at age seven, residing with his British father and mother, a Thai citizen of Chinese heritage.


He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Missouri-Kansas City as a Bachelor of Music studying under Dr. Robert Weirich, a Master’s Degree from Rice University is currently there as a Doctoral of Musical Arts Piano Performance under Prof. Jon Kimura Parker.


Hailed as a pianist with “astounding technique… startling poise and control” (Kansas City Star) and “astonishing virtuosity and piano coloration” (The Citizen), Christopher won a top prize as a laureate and finalist at the prestigious 12th Unisa International Piano Competition (WFIMC) 2012.


He has won numerous other awards including the Gold medal in the Seattle International Piano Competition, second prize in the solo division and third prize in the senior concerto division at the Kingsville International Music Competition, first prize in the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, Finalist in the World International Piano Competition, among many others.


He is also the recipient of the Presser Award in which he was awarded a grant to create an upcoming international relations project titled “Resonance of Hope.” His upcoming solo CD titled “Paganimania” will be published by Albany Records and released in fall 2014.


Christopher Janwong McKiggan 2Having been heavily involved with contemporary music, he has performed world premieres of multiple modern compositions including works by Robert Beaser, Howard Shore, Hans Jürgen von Bose, Viktor Ekimovsky, Atsuhiko Gondai, Ryo Kunihiko, Thomas Larcher, Emile Naoumoff, Peteris Vasks, Stewart Wallace and Harald Weiss.


In 2012 he opened the Beijing Modern Music Festival performing the Asian premiere of Robert Beaser’s Piano Concerto with the National Center for Performing Arts Orchestra under Lv Jia in the National Center for Performing Arts Concert Hall. The Asian premiere of Norbert Palej’s Piano Concerto was also performed by Christopher in 2013.


Christopher has also worked closely with other composers of today including Carter Pann, Zhou Long, Claude Baker, Paul Lansky, John Sharpley, Tison Street, and David Vayo. He has commissioned works from Robert Beaser, Narong Prangcharoen, Karim Al-Zand, James Mobberley, Peace Nistades, Moon Young Ha, Zhou Jing, Choel Woong Kim, and Wang Jie. His also has a contemporary music group, Vicennium Void, which is dedicated to performing music of the last twenty years.


Christopher has been a guest artist at multiple music festivals including the Thailand International Contemporary Music Festival, the Geneva Music Festival and Electronic Music Midwest.


He also attended Pianofest in the Hamptons, Music Academy of the West, among others. He has performed at numerous venues including Weill Recital Hall, Salle Cortot, The Egg Beijing, Le Poisson Rouge, Benaroya Hall, Hahn Hall, Paul Hall, Jin Mao Concert Hall. He is the founding pianist with the Bangkok Piano Trio and Eon Piano Trio which one of their concerts was graced by the presence of H.R.H Princess Galyani Vadhana.


Christopher has participated in master classes with many artists including Jerome Lowenthal, Joseph Kalichstein, Paul Schenly, Robert McDonald, Lang Lang, Frederic Rzewski, Philippe Bianconi, Anthony de Mare and Konstantine Lifshitz and had coachings with members of the T’ang Quartet and the Takács Quartet. Christopher is also the founding member and one of the producers of the “JEEB” ensemble, based in Bangkok, Thailand.


Their concerts have gathered an enormous following both on the concert stage and through social media. He has been featured in over a dozen magazines (Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Cosmopolitan, L’officiel, L’optimum among others), appeared in many TV programs, and been featured in numerous newspapers around the globe.


Christopher’s playing of “Three Minds” by Thai composer Narong Prangcharoen has been hailed as “Evocative” (The Daily Sound), and he recorded the piece for Albany records in the album “Phenomenon” and recorded “Between Heaven and Earth” in the album “Matras”.


Tickets are P800 (Center) and P600 (Sides).


For details, contact the CCP Performance and Exhibition Department at 832-1125 loc. 1606-1607 or CCP Box Office at 832-3704.