Heidi Hau started her piano studies at age four and has given annual solo recitals since the age of ten. Noted for her unique recital format, Heidi believes in making music understandable and approachable for everyone. Accordingly, she supplements her concerts with commentary and colorful anecdotes, rewarding the audience with unique insight into the music and the composers.
Heidi has performed in recital venues throughout the world including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Wiener Saal in Salzburg, Carnegie Recital Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Salle Cortot in Paris, the National Concert Hall and the John Field Room in Dublin, the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, and the San Juan Bautista in Gijon, Spain. She has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Peninsula Symphony, American Philharmonic, Palo Alto Philharmonic, Stanford University Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, and Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra.
Heidi’s playing has been praised by music critics and notable international musicians. Arie Vardi, Professor of Piano at the Hochschule fuer Musik in Hannover, Germany describes her playing as “compelling” and “distinguished by her intellect and poetry of expression”. An expert on the entire repertoire of Ravel and Debussy, Dr. Vardi lauds Heidi’s performance of Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales as being “one of the best performances I have ever heard . . . memorable in her fine delicacy of touch, exquisite tone and rich evocations of color.” According to John O’Conor, Director of the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Heidi is “without doubt one of the most accomplished, artistic and imaginative musicians I have ever come across.”
Heidi has also received numerous awards, including winning first prize in the 1990 Piano Competition of the Soviet/American Youth Festival of Music in New York, the 1993 Silver Lake International Piano Competition, the 1994 Palo Alto Philharmonic Concerto Competition, the 1996 French Piano Institute sponsored by the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, and the 1998 Carmel Music Society’s Piano Competition. She was also a finalist in the 2002 Naumburg International Piano Competition in New York, the 2003 AXA Dublin International Piano Competition, and the 2004 China International Piano Competition.
Since 1988, Heidi has studied with Erna Gulabyan, a faculty member of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She graduated from Stanford University in June 1998 and was one of eight recipients awarded the Deans’ Award for Academic Excellence. Heidi was then selected nationally as one of two Fulbright Scholars for graduate study in Ireland. In June 2001, she completed her Masters degree with a First Class Honors in piano performance at the Royal Irish Academy of Music under the director, Dr. John O’Conor.
Heidi is the founding Artistic Director of the Marilyn Mindell Piano Competition, held annually at Stanford University. She is also the educational music workshop coordinator for the Peninsula Symphony’s Bridges to Music program. Each workshop, attended by hundreds of fourth and fifth grade students, features piano performances by rising young stars and introduces children to classical music. In addition, Heidi hosts a television series documenting the annual Young Musicians Competition, which airs on Peninsula TV channel 26. In her spare time, she serves on the jury of several piano competitions, including the Menuhin-Dowling Competition and the MTAC Solo Piano Competition.
Currently, she is a member of the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and serves on the board of the Music Teachers Association of California (San Francisco division).