From recitals at Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Jordan Hall in Boston, the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in NYC and The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., to the University of Calgary Celebrity Series, and performances with the chamber orchestra, A Far Cry, performing Mozart at the Gardner Museum in Boston, the Newman Center in Denver and the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek, Colorado, Joel has found an enthusiastic following that landed his first CD at No. 3 on the Billboard Classical Chart. Joel's past appearances also include performances with Yo-Yo Ma with the New York Philharmonic, The Boston Symphony Orchestra, as well as performances with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, The New Hampshire Festival Orchestra, and the Singapore Philharmonic. He has worked with conductors such as Alan Gilbert, Zubin Mehta, David Alan Miller, Gustav Meier, and David Robertson, all the while traversing an ever-expanding repertoire of piano music. Playing composers such as Olivier Messiaen, Leon Kirchner, William Bolcom, Derek Bermel, Eliot Carter, Alexander Scriabin, Mozart, Beethoven, Gershwin and Rachmaninoff, and bringing to the fore music of the East and South America, Fan has been hailed by critics as having "uncanny technical skill..." (Washington Post) and as possessing playing that is "the picture of textural clarity," and a "probing intellect and vivid imagination," (New York Times).
Joel is now moving forward with an even more assertive path towards commissioning younger composers who are on the rise and creating programs that reflect a pianist who "takes you inside the music offering a deeper, more rewarding experience..." (Minnesota Public Radio). With two impressive CDs, Joel has established himself as a seeker of unusual works and the way they intermingle with classic standards of the past. World Keys, is an album featuring five world premiere recordings, ten composers from ten different countries including Peteris Vasks, Dia Succari, Qigang Chen, Adnan Saygun, as well as Prokofiev, Liszt, and Schumann, and West of The Sun, displays his "spice and pizzazz ..." with readings of Barber, Bolcom, Ginastera, Gottschalk, Piazzolla and Villa-Lobos and two little-known works by Amy Beach and the African-American composer Margaret Bonds.
In collaboration with cellist Yo-Yo Ma as a member of the Silk Road Ensemble, Joel has appeared in numerous venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and on the popular nationally televised programs Good Morning America and Late Night with David Letterman. He also shared the stage with Mr. Ma for performances of Beethoven's Triple Concerto with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of David Zinman. Mr. Fan has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras throughout the world, including the New York Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, Singapore Symphony, New Symphony Orchestra of Bulgaria, and Odessa Philharmonic, among others.
As a "champion of new music" (Boston Globe), Mr. Fan commissioned, performed and recorded the world premiere of Leon Kirchner's Sonata No. 3, "The Forbidden." His album West of the Sun includes the world premiere recording of William Bolcom's "Nine New Bagatelles." He is active as a chamber musician as well having played with The Shanghai String Quartet, The Enso String Quartet and the Imani Winds. Joel Fan began his performing career with the New York Philharmonic at age 11, as a winner of the Philharmonic's Young People's Concert Auditions. A native New Yorker, he studied at the Juilliard Pre-College Division as a student of Katherine Parker and Martin Canin. He received his bachelor's degree from Harvard University, where his teachers included the composer Leon Kirchner. He holds a Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance from the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Leon Fleisher. He is also a prize winner of several international competitions, including the Busoni International Piano Competition in Italy. He was also the winner of the Kosciuzko Foundation's Chopin Prize and named a Presidential Scholar by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Joel Fan is a Steinway Artist.