Iris Hsu at the piano


  • Piano Pedagogy


  • DMA, Peabody Conservatory of Music
  • MM, The Juilliard School
  • BM, Peabody Conservatory of Music

What is your hometown?

San Jose, California

What is your favorite recording? Why?

I have too many favorites! Vladimir Sofronitsky's Scriabin recordings never fail to inspire me, for his fantastic use of color and movement. These days, I also can't get enough of Rostropovich and Dedukhin's recording of Frank Bridge's Sonata for Cello and Piano.

What are you passionate about outside of music?

I enjoy cooking, visiting art and natural history museums, hiking, gardening, and generally spending time outdoors.

Who were your major teachers?

Boris Slutsky, Matti Raekallio, and Li-Shan Hung

What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?

"What do I envision for myself, and what are the steps to getting there?"

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Medtner, Scriabin, and Mozart.

What is your unrealized project?

I hope to someday finish learning all of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier.

Please list your most important collaborations.

Performing several of Beethoven's Violin Sonatas with Nicholas Kitchen (Borromeo Quartet), and the Chopin and Rachmaninoff Cello Sonatas with Julia Yang.

On the interdisciplinary side of things, I had the wonderful opportunity to perform Scriabin's Tenth Sonata and a selection of his Preludes and Etudes for UCLA's Scriabin Symposium, alongside presentations of Symbolist art and poetry by the UCLA Department of Musicology and Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.

Hailed an “exquisitely subtle pianist” by The New York Times, Taiwanese-American pianist Iris Hsu has garnered top prizes in the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, Baltimore Music Club, Pacific Musical Society, and Ross McKee Competitions. As an active solo and chamber musician, she has performed across the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Finland, Italy, and Spain, at major venues including The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Embassy of Singapore in Washington, D.C., and the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts in California.

Iris holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University and received her Master of Music degree in piano performance from The Juilliard School. She counts herself fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with renowned artist-pedagogues including her long-time mentor Boris Slutsky, as well as Matti Raekallio, Leon Fleisher, Ann Schein, Li-Shan Hung, and Robert McDonald. In the past decade, Iris’s versatility as a performer, educator, and collaborator has led her to serve as piano minor faculty at The Juilliard School, and as staff pianist at the New England Conservatory of Music, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the Walnut Hill School for the Arts. She has been invited in past summers to serve as collaborative faculty at the Heifetz International Music Institute in Staunton, Virginia and the Conservatory Audition Workshop in Burlington, Vermont. Now based in Los Angeles, California, she leads an award-winning private teaching studio and enjoys hiking, gardening, and a good cup of coffee in her free time.