Jan. 17, 2018
An accomplished pianist who has traveled the world over, Li-Shan Hung has much wisdom to offer her students in order to aid them on their journey to greater artistry. Acting as the Keyboard Area Coordinator, Hung teaches private piano lessons and also teaches the Piano Seminar (in which she teaches Piano Literature). One of her students notes, "She has taught me, more than anyone, the inseparability of music as performance and worship, both in the way she discusses it and in the way she herself performs. Her musical insight is so incredibly deep, and I feel as though she herself continues to learn, even in her position as a phenomenal instructor. She demands excellence, yet exhibits grace. She teaches me, but prays that God would teach all of us. I couldn't be more thankful for her and I am so privileged to study with her." Besides acting as mentor and teacher, she has had a powerful impact on the lives of young people through her participation in summer festivals such as MasterWorks Festival and through her regular master classes throughout the United States, Taiwan and China.
Education & Influences
Looking back at her musical growth, Hung expresses deep gratitude for the variety of ways that all of her teachers influenced her life. She says, "God is amazing that at different stages he would provide different teachers for me." One of her most influential teachers was Ann Schein, with whom she studied at Peabody. Hung recounts, "She helped me to establish my musical personality; she helped me to become my own person. She never imposed her own personality on her students, all of whom played gorgeously but in their own way." Hung also looks to Ann Schein as a role model who exemplifies her goals as a teacher who simultaneously cares for her students and pushes them to reach their fullest potential.
Hung's career has spanned the globe with performances in Germany, Italy, France, Russia, Austria, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Canada and the United States. Perhaps her most notable performance was her Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Hall in 2003 as an award recipient of the Artists International Audition. As a result of her beautiful performance, the Music Director of the Artists International Foundation invited her to present a second Weill Hall recital in 2005. Timothy Gilligan of the New York Concert Review praised her performance of Franck's Prelude, Chorale and Fugue as "perhaps the finest performance of this piece I've ever heard." The Baltimore Sun and the Washington Post have also given her artistry high commendations.
In addition to Weill Hall, she has performed in many other notable venues including:
Hung has also appeared as a featured artist in the Shriver Hall Concert Series in Baltimore, the Orpheus Concert Series in Chicago, the Steinway Society of the Bay Area Recital Series in San Jose, the Chazen Museum Live Concert Series in Madison (Wisconsin), the 2002 Rome Festival in Italy, and the Maud Powell Music Festival in Illinois in 2003-2004.
She has received many awards for her artistry, including:
She is also a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.
Hung has appeared with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Stockton Symphony, Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra, the Palo Alto Philharmonic and the Hunan Symphony Orchestra in China. She has collaborated with conductor Peter Jaffe, legendary pianist Menahem Pressler, and violinist Bin Huang, the winner of the 1994 Paganini International Competition and 1999 Munich International Competition.
Besides serving as faculty at Biola, Hung has also been a faculty member at MasterWorks Festival since 2008. She has been particularly delighted to be involved in this summer festival which provides her with another opportunity to serve God outside of her regular work at Biola. She notes that her time there was always stimulating as she witnessed God's work through the intensive studies and marveled at the unity of the body of Christ as students and faculty from across the globe joined to worship God through their talents.
Furthermore, she regularly gives master classes and performs at universities and festivals throughout the United States, Taiwan and China. These festivals and institutions include:
Hung has been on the faculty at Cremona International Music Academy and Competition in Italy in the summer of 2013. Previously, she was also a guest artist at Ball State University and at Northern Florida State University.
Faith in Action
Looking back, Hung sees God's sovereign hand leading her to Himself through certain teachers in her life. She recalls that Dellinger, her teacher during her undergraduate years, was the person who first introduced her to the gospel. He also played a role in her choice to attend Peabody, and it was during her graduate studies that she came to faith in Christ.
Now, her musical performances have become opportunities for conveying the grace and truth that God has shown her. She recalls a particular performance of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 31, Op. 110, in which she sees a reflection of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. Following the recital, an audience member approached her and told her how the music lifted her from hopelessness over her mother's recent death, and conveyed the glory of resurrection to her. Hung remarked, "This is something God can do, and it's beyond language."
She also sees her teaching as an avenue for ministry. Teaching in the collegiate setting since 2001, Hung has a deep passion for sharing her faith with her beloved students. Noting the importance of a student's college years in his or her development, Hung's hope is that she would play a role in leading them closer to Christ, just as her teachers did for her. "If God would use me to help in shaping them — this is my privilege."
Hung began teaching at Biola in 2004, and she was overjoyed to work in an atmosphere that allowed her to share her faith with her students. She notes, "I know that God is my source, my everything; all good things come from Him. He is the ultimate goal of everything I do, and not being able to share it with my beloved students [would be] a pity." She also notes the special camaraderie that Biola students, faculty and staff share, and the blessing of being able to come to the Lord together. Hung says, "I feel blessed and privileged to be at Biola, and to sense that God is using me for His kingdom."
Following in her teacher's footsteps, Hung remarks that her desire is to pour herself out for her students, while also holding them to high standards, which she says is a reflection of God's righteousness. "Here, we love our students dearly, but we also want them to strive for excellence. We want them to reach the fullest potential that God put into them." This emphasis on excellence is always balanced with the continual demonstration of God's love. Hung concludes, "I want my students to learn that God is love. Despite what career you have or what success you have (or failures, according to your own judgment), God is love. That never changes."