Sascha Gorodnitzki Music Professor of Piano Studies
Music and Performing Arts Professions
Eduardus Halim is the inaugural holder of the Sascha Gorodnitzki Chair in Piano Studies. Known as both a performer and a pedagogue, Halim has appeared with such orchestra as the Baltimore Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Malaysian Philharmonic, and the Russian National Orchestra. He has given recitals at Alice Tully Hall and the 92nd Street Y in New York and at the Kennedy Center in Washington. His awards and honors including the Young Concert Artists International Auditions as well as the Avery Fisher Career Grant. Halim's recordings include "Presenting Eduardus Halim: A Program of Piano Transcriptions," on the Arabesque label and two discs on the Reservoir Studio Productions label, one featuring the works of Grandos and the other devoted to the works of Chopin.
Eduardus Halim has been hailed as a pianist whose virtuosity is only matched by his distinctive artistry. Since making his New York debut in 1987 he has performed with major orchestras around the world. Recognized for his superb technique, beautiful tone and poetic interpretations, Professor Halim was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1996. Professor Halim has appeared with such orchestras as the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, the Malaysian Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony, the Russian National Orchestra, the Saint Louis Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony. He has collaborated with many distinguished conductors, including Kees Bakels, Herbert Blomstedt, Sergiu Comissiona, Andreas Delfs, JoAnn Falletta, Hans Graf, Gunter Herbig, Jahja Ling, Jesús López-Cobos, Gerard Schwarz, Leonard Slatkin, Vladimir Spivakov, Mario Venzago and David Zinman. He has given recitals at Alice Tully Hall and the 92nd Street Y in New York and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, and has been a featured guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Brooklyn’s renowned Bargemusic. He has appeared at numerous major festivals, including Ravinia, Grant Park, Newport, Stockholm, the Baltimore Symphony Summer Musicfest, the Britt Festival, the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, the Minnesota Orchestra’s Viennese Sommerfest and Wyoming’s Grand Teton Festival. In 1997 he made a triumphant recital debut at Wigmore Hall in London, earning an invitation from the BBC to return in 1998 for a broadcast from the hall.
Professor Halim’s recent seasons have included performances with the Baltimore Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Houston Symphony, the Saint Louis Symphony and the Seattle Symphony, among other ensembles. In 1999 he performed with the Milwaukee Symphony on its history-making tour to Florida and Havana, Cuba, where it became the first U.S. ensemble to perform since the embargo. Highlights of his 2004-2005 season include a return engagement with the Baltimore Symphony and performance of the Beethoven Chorale Fantasy with Jahja Ling at the Carnegie Hall, recitals of Granados’s sweeping, Goya-inspired piano suite Goyescas at the Frick Collection in New York, the Gardner Museum in Boston, and Arizona’s Scottsdale Center for the Arts.
Professor Halim began his piano studies at age 6 with Alfons Becalel, and continued his musical training with pedagogues P.I. Ibrahim and Stephen Sulungan. He played the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3 in public at age 11 and made his recital debut when he was 13. At 19, he entered the Juilliard School on a full scholarship, studying with Sascha Gorodnitzki and Rudolf Firkusny. He began his professional career in 1989 after winning the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. As a young soloist, Professor Halim’s bold interpretations of the Romantic repertoire caught the attention of Harold C. Schonberg, author of The Great Pianists from Mozart to the Present and former chief music critic of the New York Times. In an unprecedented turn of events, Schonberg contacted Vladimir Horowitz about the young pianist’s great potential, and a subsequent introduction by music writer David Dubal led Horowitz to accept Proferssor Halim as his student. The remarkable artistic exchange between the two pianists is documented in the chapter “Last Pupil,” in Schonberg’s book, Horowitz: His Life and Music (Simon and Schuster, 1992).
Professor Halim’s first recording, “Presenting Eduardus Halim: A Program of Piano Transcriptions,” was released on the Arabesque label to wide critical acclaim. John Ardoin of The Dallas Morning News wrote that “[Halim] has staked out an imposing claim as a Romantic pianist who has the fingers for virtuosity and the imagination for poetry…Mr. Halim does more than meet the challenges placed in his way. He surmounts them with aristocratic ease and remarkable expressiveness.” Fanfare Magazine wrote: “Winged by an effortless technique, Halim is relaxed, spontaneous, almost casual in this superhumanly demanding fare…Enthusiastically recommended!”
Professor Halim’s second CD release, a Chopin disc for Reservoir Studio Productions, also drew rave reviews. “Anyone who misses Vladimir Horowitz would be wise to investigate this all-Chopin recital by Eduardus Halim, the last of the master’s students,” writes Stephen Wigler. “He is a born Chopinist…Rather than call him his master’s disciple, it would be better to call him his successor.” This disc was named one of the top classical instrumental CDs of 2000 by Amazon.com/newCDnews.com. Professor Halim’s latest recording for Reservoir Studio Productions features two works by Enrique Granados—the piano suite Goyescas, based on the paintings of Francisco Goya and subtitled "Los Majos Enamorados" (Eng. “the dashing lovers”), and the seven Valses Poéticos. When Mr. Halim performed Goyescas as part of his Wigmore Hall recital in 1997, The Independent wrote that he “squeezed them for the last drop of voluptuous abandon.” The American Record Guide praises this recording with “How good is Eduardus Halim? In the Goyescas and Valses Poeticos, absolutely magnificent!…Halim continues to amaze by the rightness of his inflections and the subtlety of his rich sound palette….This deserves a standing ovation.”
Professor Halim’s distinctive approach to the piano is matched by a charismatic personality. He has captured the attention of the media and been profiled by The New York Times (Arts & Leisure), The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Piano Quarterly and Clavier. Born in Bandung, Indonesia of Chinese parents, he is currently a member of the Artist Faculty at New York University and the Sascha Gorodnitzki Professor in Piano Studies.