Aspen Music Festival And School

Tengku Irfan Back To Performers

Instrumental Focus

  • piano

TENGKU IRFAN, Malaysian pianist, composer, and conductor, praised by the New York Times as “eminently cultured” and possessing “sheer incisiveness and power,” Making his debut at eleven with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto WoO 4, Irfan improvised his own cadenzas under Claus Peter Flor with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. He has appeared as soloist under many conductors around the world, including Neeme Järvi, Osmo Vänskä, David Robertson, and Robert Spano. He has performed with AXIOM, São Paulo State Youth Orchestra, Aspen Philharmonic, MDR Sinfonieorchester, and world-class Symphonies from Seattle to Singapore. 

In 2013, he won the Aspen Music Festival Piano Concerto Competition, and he served four consecutive seasons as pianist for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. Irfan received the 2012 ASCAP Charlotte Bergen Award, and the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award in 2012, 2014, and 2017. His compositions have been premiered by the New York Philharmonic, MusicaNova Orchestra, MDR Sinfonieorchester, New York Virtuoso Singers, and others. Irfan made his conducting debut with MusicaNova in 2015, and recently led the Malaysian Philharmonic in their 20th Anniversary Gala. Holding undergraduate degrees in piano and composition from Juilliard, he is pursuing a master’s degree in piano with Veda Kaplinsky. Irfan is a Kovner Fellow at Juilliard, and is Youth Ambassador of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO