Pianist-composer Elena Chiu is a highly versatile and vibrant musician. The eminent British composer-pianist Douglas Finch praised her performance as ‘a compelling recital by a real musician’. Her adventurous composition pursuits are honed by performing a diverse repertoire at various international platforms. Elena enjoys a versatile career as a composer, recitalist and collaborative artist. She gives lecture-recitals, composition workshops and actively collaborates with musicians from various professional groups in Hong Kong and worldwide.
Elena spent seven years in London, she graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, earning both her Master of Music in piano performance and LRAM in distinction. During her time at the RAM, Elena studied piano with Rustem Hayroudinoff and Carole Presland, and studied composition with Ruth Byrchmore. She then completed her doctorate studies in music composition at the Chinese University of Hong Kong under the supervision of Professor Victor Chan. Elena received numerous awards for all her study programmes, including the Composers and Authors Society Hong Kong Scholarship, King’s College London Hong Kong Foundation Scholarship, the RAM Second-Study Scholarship and the RAM Foundation Award. During her studies, Elena’s ‘Enigma’ for piano quartet won the 2016 David Gwilt Composition Prize and Audience Prize at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, her 'Piano Suite; won the Christian Carpenter Recital Prize among post-graduate recitals at RAM in 2013; her 'Tango' won the Italy (Treviso) International Contemporary Music Competition in 2012.
As a concert pianist, Elena’s musical craftsmanship is enriched through working with distinguished artists, including Stephen Hough, Michael Finnissy, Freddy Kempf, Yevgeny Sudbin, Vanessa Latarche, Joanna MacGregor, Kathryn Stott and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies amongst others. She has performed at main concert venues including St. Martin-in-the-Fields, St. John Smith Square and the cathedrals of Chichester and Winchester. She also participated in notable music festivals such as the BBC Proms and Aldeburgh Festival. Since her return to Hong Kong, Elena is active as a piano performer and accompanist; in 2019, she worked as a freelance pianist of Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.
As a composer, some of Elena's choral music is published by the Hong Kong Children's Choir and Alpha & Omega Company. Her other compositions have been performed by distinguished artists and appeared at notable festivals and conferences, such as the Royal Academy of Music Summer Piano Festival, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Musicarama (Hong Kong), the Asian Composers' League Conference and Festival; her music was performed by the Hong Kong Oratorio Society, Die Konzertisten, Ponte Singers and Orchestra, Taipei Chamber Singers, Anonymous Quartet, Hong Kong Strings, St. John's Cathedral Choir, Hong Kong Hymn Society, to name a few. In 2016, Elena worked as composer-in-residence at the Dixie State University in Utah; she was a choir trainer, both as pianist and composer, at the Children’s International Voices of Enfield during her time in London.
Royal Academy of Music Hong Kong Alumni Association
Hong Kong Composers' Guild
Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong
Chinese University of Hong Kong Music Department