On 8 November 2014, the Dutch pianist Mengjie Han won the Third Prize at the 10th International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Utrecht, The Netherlands. He received his prize in the main hall of TivoliVredenburg, in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Máxima. During the finals, Mengjie Han played Franz Liszt’s Totentanz with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of James Gaffigan. The performance also won him the Capgemini Audience Award, voted for by the public present in the hall as well as online by the many followers world-wide.
As the first Dutch Prize winner of the Liszt Competition since nine years, Mengjie Han embarked on extensive concert tours both in the Netherlands and abroad, taking him to countries such as the USA, Turkey, Saudi-Arabia and Lithuania.
The leading Dutch newspapers called his performances during the competition “impressive” (NRC Handelsblad), “visionary” (de Volkskrant), “electrifying” (Trouw) and “unsurpassed” (de Telegraaf). The jury remarked that Mengjie Han is a “… bold and noble performer who tackles the highest musical mountains with great skill and courage.”
Mengjie Han enjoyed his first major success at the age of 12, when he won the International Piano Contest Maria Campina in Portugal. In the same year, he gave his debut performance in the Great Hall of the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He won First Prizes at the Steinway Piano Competition, the Young Pianist Foundation Competition and the Princess Christina Competition, which led to performances in North-America, Africa and Asia.
Next to his accomplishments as a soloist Mengjie Han is a passionate chamber musician. Together with the Amatis Piano Trio he has won prizes at the International “Joseph Joachim” Chamber Music Competition in Weimar, the International Schubert Competition in Graz and the International Haydn Competition in Vienna. The trio has been named “New Generation Artists 2016-18” by the BBC as well as “Rising Stars” by the European Concert Hall Organisation, which led to a concert tour of the most important European concert halls in season 2018/19. They have performed in prestigious venues such as the Wigmore Hall in London and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, following major successes at the International Parkhouse Award in 2015 and Dutch Classical Talent 2015/16. They frequently perform at major festivals in the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, as well as on international tours to the USA, Indonesia and China.
Mengjie Han started playing the piano under the tutelage of Marlies van Gent at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, before he finished his studies summa cum laude under Jan Wijn at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Afterwards Mengjie Han enrolled in the Piano Trio Master Studies with the Amatis Trio at the prestigious “Mozarteum” University in Salzburg, under the tutelage of Prof. Imre Rohmann. Mengjie Han has enjoyed significant musical influences from esteemed musicians such as Boris Petrushansky, Idil Biret, Jacques Rouvier, Menahem Pressler, Lukas Hagen, Rainer Schmidt and Dmitri Bashkirov, to name a few.