B i o g r a p h y
Pianist Cong Ji is passionate about engaging her audiences with innovative programming and performances as a soloist, chamber musician and collaborative pianist. She performs regularly in major cities of Asia and the United States. Venues include Weill Hall at Carnegie, New York Steinway Hall, Elebash Recital Hall, Taipei National Recital Hall, and Music Halls of Universities and Conservatories in China. She has performed at concert series, such as the Music in Midtown Series in New York, Tutte le Corde-Piano Music after 1950, J. S. Bach in the 21st Century, Steinhardt at Saklad, Interstudio Showcase at Loewe Theatre, and the Zimmerli Art Museum. Among other prizes, she won the first prizes in the Pittsburgh International Piano Young Artist Competition (2017) and the MTNA Young Artist Competition (CO, 2009). In 2017-18 season, she was invited to perform a concert and to conduct a masterclass at the Hong Kong Baptist University (Sep, 2017), and music schools in Beijing and Xi'an (Dec, 2017).
Born in an artistic family in Tianjin, China with her mother as an accordionist and her father as a visual artist, Dr. Ji has shown her talents in music and arts at an early age. She began piano studies at age four, and made her public performance debut when she was eight years old. Unlike many other Chinese pianists, she went to the top liberal arts secondary schools in China, Tianjin Nankai High School. By the discovery of her real passion for music, she decided to pursue her major in piano performance. Dr. Ji earned degrees and scholarships from the Manhattan School of Music (Professional Studies), New York University (Master of Music), University of Northern Colorado (Bachelor of Music) and bachelor's studies from Tianjin Conservatory of Music in China. She has been studying with internationally renowned teachers who represent prominent pedagogical schools including those of Asia, Russia, and America. Her principal teachers include Phillip Kawin, Ursula Oppens, Thomas Sauer, Martin Canin, Miyoko Lotto, Jose Ramon Mendez, and Svetlana Sokolova. She has also worked with renowned musicians such as Pavel Gililov, Robert McDonald, Andre Laplante, Yin Chengzong, Alexander Kobrin, Boris Slutsky, Douglas Humpherys, HaeSun Paik, Frank Weinstock, Emanuel Krakovsky, Ruth Slenczynska, and Seymour Bernstein.
Dr. Ji has also given solo performances and participated summer festivals, including the International Holland Music Sessions, Orford Musique, the International Keyboard Institute and Festival, Adamant Masterclass Series, Summit Music Festival, and Viena do Castelo Music Festival. Dr. Ji was selected to participate and to perform in a masterclass in the documentary film Seymour: An Introduction, directed by Ethan Hawke.
Dr. Ji has a broad spectrum of piano and chamber repertoire. Her interests in early keyboard repertoire have led her to play the early Baroque compositions on the harpsichord, and "Rethinking Bach" under the guidance of Raymond Erickson. As a devoted advocate of new music, she has also played solo and chamber repertoire by Elliott Carter, Frederic Rzewski, Lowell Liebermann, John Corigliano, John Musto, Chinese-American composers Chen Yi and Zhou Long, as well as premiering music by her contemporaries.
As a full-tuition fellowship recipient, Dr. Ji has passed her defense of the dissertation on Chen Yi, and finishes a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Dr. Ji taught applied piano lessons, keyboard harmony and improvisation group lessons at NYU Steinhardt for two years. She currently serves on the piano faculty at Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of The Arts Extension Division and remains an active teaching studio in the Metropolitan New York Area and online teaching across the Pacific. Her students passed the auditions in the conservatory’s entrance exams and won prizes in competitions in the United States.
Dr. Ji likes to discover beauties around her in daily life, through photography, traveling, music, fashion and cooking.
(Last updated November, 2019)