Tiffany Poon (潘活活) displayed a remarkable gift for the piano very early in life.
Around the age of 2, Tiffany’s parents gave her a toy piano which immediately gained her attention. Even at this young age, she would often sit and try to imitate melodies she heard on the TV and that her father would play on the stereo system he had recently built with a friend.
At age 4.5, Tiffany began taking formal lessons on piano and for the next two years until she was 6.5, she practiced around 4 hours per day. During this period, Tiffany became capable of performing pieces that were well beyond anything that might be expected of students at this age. At age 7, she was doing less practice (about 1 or 2 hours per day), because her school required more homework.
From age 6, Tiffany began performing in concerts and radio broadcasts in Hong Kong where she won numerous awards at various piano competitions, including Asian Youth Music Competition, Hong Kong (Asia) Piano Open Competition, Beethoven Piano Competition, and Hong Kong Schools Music Festival.
When Tiffany was 8 years old, she was accepted by the prestigious Juilliard School with a full scholarship. At age 9, she moved to New York to attend The Juilliard School Pre-College Division. She now studies piano with Pre-College Artistic Director, Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky. Tiffany is currently a senior at The Calhoun School, one of Manhattan’s most renowned private schools. She was also awarded a full scholarship from The Calhoun School.
Tiffany has won numerous top awards at international piano competitions, including the First Prize and Special Award for Best Performance of Romantic piece at Kaufman Music Center International Youth Piano Competition, held in New York in June 2013; First Prize and the Best Performance of Concerto Award at the VIII Moscow International Frederick Chopin Competition for Young Pianists, held in Moscow in September 2012; the Grand Prize and First Prize at the World Piano Competition held in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2007 and the Gold Medal at the Young Pianist Competition of New Jersey in 2007. Beside winning numerous awards at piano competitions, Tiffany has also achieved distinction in both music and academic studies at Julliard and Calhoun School. She has been granted the opportunity to perform annual solo recitals at The Juilliard School, an honor reserved for only the most talented students.
At age 10, Tiffany made her concerto debut performing Mozart Piano Concerto in F Major, K.459 in April 2007, which was broadcast on Plainfield television program “Young People’s Concert”. The same year, she made her recital debut at Juilliard School in November 2007. Since then, Tiffany has given solo recitals across the United States, Canada, Italy, Germany, Russia, Australia and China. She has appeared as a soloist with orchestras such as the Moscow Chamber Orchestra at the Pavel Slobodkin Center in Moscow, and in the United States, the Plainfield Symphony Orchestra, Fort Smith Symphony, and the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra. She has performed at the prestigious venues such as Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall and Steinway Hall in New York; Great Hall of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois; Southern Theatre in Columbus, Ohio; Salle Claude Champagne in Montreal; Sala Mozart (Mozart Hall) in Bologna, Italy; and Armory Museum of the Moscow Kremlin in Russia.
At age 11, Tiffany appeared as a soloist with the Fort Smith Symphony Orchestra performing Mozart Piano Concerto in A Major, K.488, at Arkansas Best Corporation Performing Arts Center in Fort Smith, Arkansas on March 8, 2008. In recognition of her outstanding performance, Former Fort Smith Mayor Ray Baker proclaimed the date of the concert as Tiffany Poon Day. He also granted her the title of Honorary Citizen and presented her with the Key to the Frontier. Few months later, Tiffany was invited to perform a solo recital at the Great Hall of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in November 2008.
At age 12, Tiffany made her European debut at the prestigious Sala Mozart (Mozart Hall) of Accademia Filarmonica in Bologna, Italy in February 2009. Not long after, Tiffany was invited to perform a solo recital for the 7th Asia-Pacific Symposium on Music Education Research, held in the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in China in June 2009. She also appeared as a soloist with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra at Dublin Scioto High School and Southern Theatre respectively in Columbus, Ohio in October 2009.
At age 14, Tiffany made her Australian debut in Melbourne Recital Centre’s Elisabeth Murdoch Hall in Melbourne in July 2011.
At age 15, Tiffany was honored to perform on legendary pianist Van Cliburn’s piano at Christie’s New York in May 2012. In September 2012, she won the First Prize and the Best Performance of Concerto Award at the VIII Moscow International Frederick Chopin Competition for Young Pianists, held in Moscow.
At age 16, Tiffany made her Canadian debut in Salle Claude Champagne in Montreal in January 2013. Furthermore, she was invited to perform at the Juilliard eLearning press conference in March 2013 and a solo recital at the XIV International festival “The Young Musical Kremlin” in Moscow in April 2013.
In June, 2013, Tiffany won the Grand Prize and the Best Performance of Romantic Piece Award at Kaufman Music Center International Youth Piano Competition, held in New York. She has performed in the Winners Showcase Concert in New York’s prestigious Merkin Concert Hall. The concert was broadcast on New York’s foremost classical radio station WQXR’s “Young Artist Showcase”. Most recently, Tiffany won the Juilliard School Pre-College Concerto Competition on January 17, 2014.
Tiffany has been a grant recipient from the Children’s Foundation for the Arts since 2008 and was invited to perform at the Achievement Grant Award Ceremony. As one of the most deserving and gifted artists, Tiffany was awarded the David & Goldie Blanksteen Fellowship Grant by Salon De Virtuosi in 2009 at the age of 12, the youngest winner in its 21-year history. She was invited to perform at the Gala Grant Award Concert at Steinway Hall in New York, in which her performance and interview was broadcast on WQXR’s “Young Artists Showcase”. In addition, Tiffany was selected as 2009 Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist and top winner of Jack Kent Cooke Foundation scholarship. She has appeared on the hit National Public Radio’s “From the Top” live taping radio program, showcasing America’s best young classical musicians. In November 2013, Tiffany has been named a 2014 YoungArts Winner by The National YoungArts Foundation in recognition of her exceptional artistic achievement in classical music.
Despite Tiffany’s busy schedule, she also volunteers to serve the community with her talent. She has performed fundrasing solo recitals to benefit Doctors Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, Heart’s Home USA and The Calhoun School. She has also performed solo recitals at senior center and nursing home such as JASA West Side Senior Center in New York and Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center in Lenox, Massachusetts. Tiffany is also a Teaching Artist Intern at the Bridge Program of the New York Philharmonic Education Department, where she spend one day per week assisting middle school students with their composition.
Her most recent performances including a concert tour in Italy and Germany, where she had also recorded a CD produced by Kawai in November 2013.