ROCO welcomes pianist, Christopher McKiggan, whose performance of the ROCO Unchambered Concert, “Piano vs. Piano” will feature a “side-by-side” comparison of an 1863 Steinway and a modern one.
Hailed as a pianist “[with] astounding technique… startling poise and control” (Kansas City Star), “[with] astonishing virtuosity and piano coloration” (The Citizen) and “proving to be Colossus, converting every piece into a virtuoso composition” (The Manila Times), Christopher McKiggan won a top prize as laureate at the prestigious 12th UNISA International Piano Competition (WFIMC) 2012. He has won numerous other awards, including the Gold medal in the Seattle International Piano Competition, second prize in the Isabel Scionti International Music Competition, first prize in the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, and awards in other prestigious international and national competitions around the world. He is also the recipient of the Presser Award, in which he was awarded a grant to create an international relations project titled “Resonance of Hope”, which will be released as a CD album later this year. His recording of the duo work, “Cantos for Slava” by Augusta Read Thomas, will also be released with Nimbus records in late 2014, with multiple Grammy Award winning sound engineer, Christopher Willis, at the helm. Additionally, his solo CD entitled “Paganimania”, mixed and mastered by Grammy nominated sound engineer Ken Gorres, was published by Albany Records, and released February 2015. In a review of “Paganimania”, Fanfare Magazine heralded Christopher as “the best hope for a global music of the future,” and praised the production of his CD as “exemplary.”
Since being introduced to contemporary music by his teacher Bennett Lerner, Christopher has been heavily involved with contemporary music. This has led to Chris performing world premieres of multiple modern compositions including works by Robert Beaser, Howard Shore, Augusta Read Thomas, Paul Schoenfeld, Hans Jürgen von Bose, Viktor Ekimovsky, Atsuhiko Gondai, Ryo Kunihiko, Thomas Larcher, Emile Naoumoff, Peteris Vasks, Stewart Wallace, and Harald Weiss. In 2012 he opened the Beijing Modern Music Festival, performing the Asian premiere of Robert Beaser’s Piano Concerto with the National Center for Performing Arts Orchestra, under Lv Jia, in the National Center for Performing Arts Concert Hall. The Asian premiere of Norbert Palej’s Piano Concerto was also performed by Christopher in 2013, and he will be performing the world premiere of Daniel Knaggs’ Piano Concertino “Secret Alchemy” for Piano, String Trio and Orchestra in 2015. Additionally, he performed Zhou Long’s Piano Concerto with the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra under maestro José-Luis Novo. Christopher has also worked closely with other composers of today including Carter Pann, Zhou Long, Claude Baker, Paul Lansky, John Sharpley, Tison Street, and David Vayo. He has commissioned works from Robert Beaser, Narong Prangcharoen, Karim Al-Zand, James Mobberley, Peace Nistades, Moon Young Ha, Zhou Jing, Cheol Woong Kim, and Wang Jie. He has shared the stage with many acclaimed artists including Clive Greensmith, Richie Hawley, Michael Webster, Susan Dunn-Rachleff, the Dover String Quartet, and many others. His also has a contemporary music group, Vicennium Void, which is dedicated to performing music of the last twenty years.
Christopher has been a guest artist at multiple music festivals including the Thailand International Contemporary Music Festival, the Geneva Music Festival, and Electronic Music Midwest. He has performed at numerous venues including Weill Recital Hall, Salle Cortot, The Kennedy Center, Melbourne Recital Center, the Cultural Center for the Philippines, Saugatuck Center for the Arts, The Egg Beijing, Le Poisson Rouge, Benaroya Hall, Hahn Hall, Paul Hall, and Jin Mao Concert Hall. He was the founding pianist of the Bangkok Piano Trio and the Eon Piano Trio, which was honored at one of their concerts by the presence of H.R.H Princess Galyani Vadhana. Christopher is also the founding member and one of the producers of the “JEEB” ensemble, based in Bangkok, Thailand. Their concerts have gathered an enormous following both on the concert stage and through social media. He has been featured in over a dozen magazines (Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, L’officiel, and L’optimum, among others), appeared in many television programs, and been featured in numerous newspapers around the globe. He has also been featured on multiple TV and radio programs around the globe, including being a resident artist for “Performance Today” on National Public Radio.
Christopher’s playing of “Three Minds” by Thai composer Narong Prangcharoen has been hailed as “evocative” (The Daily Sound), and he recorded the piece for Albany records as part of the album “Phenomenon”. He also recorded “Between Heaven and Earth” for the album “Mantras”.
Born in Christchurch, England, Christopher began his piano studies at age six with his father. He moved to Thailand at age seven, residing with his father, who is British, and mother, a Thai citizen of Chinese heritage. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a Bachelor of Music, having studied under Dr. Robert Weirich. McKiggan completed his Master’s Degree at Rice University, and is currently there pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piano Performance under Prof. Jon Kimura Parker.