His teaching career spans 30 years, including positions at the Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo, Taipei National Normal University, Université de Montréal and, last but not least, his alma mater, the Vietnam National Academy of Music in Hanoi. In each of these posts, Dang Thai Son chose to be a guest professor.

Vietnam’s world-renowned concert pianist Dang Thai Son

“I have only agreed to be a ‘guest’ professor, which speaks volumes about my love for independence," he told the Oberlin College and Conservatory website.

"This time is different: No more being an outsider! I have decided to change my life by joining the music family at the Oberlin Conservatory, which has truly welcomed me. I very much look forward to building our new house together.”

In March 2017, Dang Thai Son gave master classes in a residency which was part of the Oberlin-Como Piano Academy, an exclusive partnership with Italy’s International Piano Academy Lake Como.

As a member of the Oberlin piano faculty, he will mentor Oberlin-Como Fellows and have his own studio of undergraduate pianists.

"We are thrilled that the esteemed pianist Dang Thai Son will be joining our faculty,” says Professor of Piano Alvin Chow, chair of Oberlin’s Piano Department. “He has such a distinguished international career not only as a superb performing artist, but also as a master teacher and jury member of the world’s most prestigious piano competitions. We are truly excited about the insights and passion he will bring to our already acclaimed piano faculty."

Son made headlines around the world when he became the first Asian to win first prize and the gold medal at the 10th Warsaw International Chopin Piano Competition in 1980.

Born and raised in Vietnam, he began piano studies with his mother, Thai Thi Lien, co-founder of today’s Vietnam National Academy of Music. Growing up, he joined the music school and the rest of the residents evacuating cities for the countryside during the US war in Vietnam.

Discovered during a visit to Vietnam by Russian pianist Isaac Katz, Son later took up studies at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory under Vladimir Natanson and Dmitri Bashkirov.

His discography - much of it devoted to the music of Chopin - includes a pair of 2017 releases: a recording of Schubert on JVC Kenwood and a collection of works by Paderewski that includes a concerto recorded with the Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Ashkenazy.

In 2016, he won Canada’s Prix Opus for Concert of the Year, an award presented by the Fondation Arte Musica. He is a recipient of an honorary doctorate from the Music Academy in Bydgoczsz, Poland, and is the subject of the biography A Pianist Loved by Chopin: The Dang Thai Son Story, published by Yamaha Music Media Corporation in 2003.

Source: VNA