“Every time I see a Steinway piano on stage my heartbeat quickens a little and my excitement builds. Steinway liberates and enriches my music making, releasing a palette of artistic expression like no other piano. Playing a Steinway never ceases to surprise and delight me in the most subtle of ways.”
Albert Lau (MMus, LRAM, LRSM) was born in Hong Kong and performs internationally both as a solo pianist and chamber musician. His repertoire ranges from Bach to Birtwistle, and includes rarities as well as his own transcriptions. He was named a Young Steinway Artist by Steinway & Sons in 2018.
Albert Lau started learning the piano at the age of 7, and had his formative training with Josephine Cheung. He studied with Emile Naoumoff at Indiana University in the USA, where he completed his Bachelor of Music with High Distinction. He then furthered his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, under the tutelage of Joanna MacGregor, Head of Piano. Upon graduation he was awarded Distinction for his Master of Music degree, in recognition of his achievements at the Royal Academy.
His performances span international venues. In 2019 he played at ‘Pianos en Fête’ as part of the Festival International de Piano de La Roque d’Anthéron in France. He also made his solo début at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London as part of its ‘Pianists of the World’ series. Together with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, he performed the Chinese premiere of ‘Three Movements’ by Steve Reich in Hong Kong. In 2018, Albert Lau performed a solo recital at the Kammermusiksaal in Beethoven-Haus Bonn to great acclaim. Other concert highlights included Palazzo Spinola in Genoa, the Gürzenich in Cologne, Charlton House and The Foundling Museum in London, and the Chinese University and City Hall Recital Hall in Hong Kong. In 2019 he released his début solo album ‘Unveiled’ with piano works by Clara Schumann and Hensel.
A versatile pianist, Albert Lau performed in 2013 at the Royal Opera House Linbury Studio Theatre, London in ‘Draft Works’, alongside principal dancers from the Royal Ballet. In the same year, he made his London Southbank début at the Purcell Room, performing John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano.
While at the Royal Academy of Music, Albert Lau was awarded a number of prestigious prizes, including the Lloyd Hartley Prize for Best Postgraduate Recitals, the Nancy Dickinson Award, the Franz Reizenstein Award, and the Else Cross Modern Piano Prize. At the 2009 Seattle International Piano Festival Albert Lau was awarded the prize for the best performance of a work by Gabriel Fauré.
His recording with the Academy Chamber Ensemble was released by Linn Records in 2013, in which he performed works by Mahler and Debussy under the baton of renowned conductor Trevor Pinnock. In June 2012 he performed with the Academy Symphony Orchestra in the European premiere of Charles Ives’ Universe Symphony at the Aldeburgh Festival.
Albert Lau has played in master classes given by Stephen Hough, Christopher Elton, Maxim Vengerov, Joshua Bell, Roy Howat, Peter Mack and Pascal Nemirovski, among others. He has studied chamber music under prominent pedagogues such as Maurice Hasson, Mimi Zweig, Felix Schmidt, Paul Silverthorne, Martin Outram and Kevork Mardirossian.
Albert Lau pours creativity into crafting innovative programmes in his concerts. He is fascinated by rarities in the piano repertoire, from salon pieces to arrangements of symphonic works. He has written piano transcriptions in which he ‘re-imagines’ popular German melodies, such as “Für mich soll’s rote Rosen regnen”. Albert Lau has lived in Cologne since 2016.