Les Tung, Chair
"Amiable and engaging, full of verve, energy, and rhythmically both vibrant and elastic... stylistically informed and technically brilliant."
American Record Guide
Leslie Tung has been praised for his "sense of history, combined with skill and heart" (Stereophile) and "artistic courage and conspicuous energy" (Indianapolis Star) for his interpretations on the classic fortepiano, the instrument favored by Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven. Tung has been recitalist at the First International Festival and Conference on Fortepiano in Antwerp, the Michigan MozartFest, the Connecticut Early Music Festival and Festival Indianapolis. He has also been soloist with the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival orchestra and with the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, and duo pianist with his wife Silvia Roederer at the Carinthian Summer Festival in Austria and at the Conservatories of Music at Beijing and Shanghai, China. In addition he has appeared at over 30 colleges and universities, most recently as Distinguished Guest Artist at the University of Memphis School of Music, as soloist at the Conservatoire National de Région Chabrier, and guest artist at the Academy for Performing Arts in Hong Kong.
Tung began his study of piano in his native St. Louis, Mo., but pursued interests in the natural and social sciences at Yale where he graduated with a degree in sociology. His professional commitment to music was as result of intense study under pianist and scholar John Kirkpatrick. Graduate piano studies followed under Barry Snyder at the Eastman School and with both Brooks Smith and John Perry at the University of Southern California. He is currently Professor of Music at Kalamazoo College in Michigan, where he teaches a wide range of topics, including a course in the Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
His instrument is a five-octave fortepiano was completed in 1983 by Janine and Paul Poletti and based on the c. 1795 instrument of Munich builder Johan Lodewijk Dulcken which is currently in the collection of the Smithsonian Institute.
"Tung's performance of these three Sonatas is unequivocally amiable and engaging, full of verve, energy, and rhythmically both vibrant and elastic, as the music demands. His recording is an impressive accomplishment…and is stylistically informed and technically brilliant…All pianists should study and delight in good recordings like this, for their exposure to the original sound will inevitably affect their eventual concept of the sonority of Beethoven's keyboard music."
David Mulbury, American Record Guide
"...his sense of history, combined with skill and heart, make his performance [of the Beethoven Pathetique] a splendid success...One may hear more emotional Haydn, but rarely a performance so clear, with notes and chords laid out with natural understanding for the work...The performance of Mozart's K. 332 is a delight..."
Kevin Conklin, Stereophile
"The result was a revelation, but only because the benefits of a more modest keyboard instrument were displayed with artistry...Tung bridged the gap between nearly irreconcilable realities with artistic courage and conspicuous energy. It was a performance that those who heard it will not soon forget."
Jay Harvey, The Indianapolis Star
Beethoven Sonatas for Fortepiano
Leslie Tung's recording of the Beethoven Op. 2 sonatas was released by Centaur Records (CRC 2499).
Office phone: 269-337-7074