Albert Tiu’s Grand Russian gets thumbs-up

Grand Russian, a CD recording by Associate Professor Albert Tiu of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music at NUS, was named one of the Best Classical Albums by The Straits Times in December 2018.  The Singapore broadsheet cited, “Tchaikovsky’s Grand Sonata and Rachmaninov’s First Sonataplay for well over half an hour each and Singapore-based Filipino pianist Albert Tiu goes for the big picture. Tiu is a Romantic at heart and this production of Singapore’s Yong Siew Toh Conservatory can stand up to scrutiny with the best recordings of the classical catalogue.”

American Record Guide, the oldest classical music review magazine in the US, noted in its January/February 2019 issue, “Even with some legendary competition in this repertoire, Tiu stands tall with his interpretations and technical accomplishment. His musical phrasing and balancing of simultaneous melodic ideas, especially in the Rachmaninov, are notable. He brings out things I have not heard before in a lifetime of listening to these works. The piano playing, along with superb recorded sound, put this recording very high on my ‘recommended’ list."

The Classical Elements, another CD by Assoc Prof Tiu, was rated 5 out of 5 stars by International Piano in its September/October 2018 issue. The collection of 20 pieces is based on the four elements of Earth, Air, Water and Fire. The review said, “The four Berio pieces, ErdenklavierLuftklavierWasserklavierand Feuerklavier form the spine of the recital, performed with high intellect and superb technique. But what really grips is the juxtaposition of the familiar (Debussy’s Preludes) with lesser-known offerings (Griffes' The Night Winds, charmingly Impressionistic, or Ibert’s Le vent dans les ruines). Superb and well recorded.”

Released on the Centaur label and produced by Professor Bernard Lanskey, Dean of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, the two CDs were recorded at the Conservatory Concert Hall. Both projects were made possible with funding from the Conservatory.

This article was first published on 24 Jan for the NUS Staff Awards here.