“Ahfat is poised to become one of the young heirs of the classical piano realm, with a bold, boundary-pushing, millennial style matched by refined execution.”
As a pianist that “leaves no question about his riveting presentation and technical finesse” (Seattle Times), Canadian-born pianist Kevin Ahfat is acclaimed to be “poised to become one of the young heirs of the classical piano realm, with a bold, boundary-pushing, millennial style matched by refined execution” (Vanguard Seattle). He is an artist recognized for his deeply passionate and highly compelling performances, possessing “a balanced mix of expressiveness and virtuosity” (Musical America).
This upcoming 2017-18 season, Mr. Ahfat will appear throughout North America and abroad as soloist and chamber musician, most notably at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, at the Dame Myra Hess Recital Series in Chicago, and throughout the United States under the auspices of the National Federation of Music Clubs for which he received a Young Artist Award for the 2017-2019 seasons. This winter, he is thrilled to give the North American Premiere of Camille Saint-Saëns’ Third Cello Sonata (1919, unfinished), recently published by Bärenreiter-Verlag, with his longtime artistic collaborator, cellist Juliette Herlin.
Highlights of the previous season include a return to the Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall for its first-ever Shostakovich Concerto Festival, a two-evening celebration of all six of Dmitri Shostakovich’s piano, violin, and cello concertos with violinist Aleksey Semenenko and cellist Edgar Moreau. Other highlights include a partnership with Richard Alston & Juilliard Dance in their recreation of Alston’s Sheer Bravado (2006), set to Shostakovich’s First Piano Concerto with the Juilliard Orchestra, as well as giving the inaugural masterclass & recital for the Las Vegas Masterclass Series at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
In recent seasons, Mr. Ahfat appeared as a multi-faceted solo and chamber artist at venues nationally and internationally, most notably at Boettcher Hall in Denver, Benaroya Hall and the Meany Center in Seattle, Fumin Hall in Kyoto, Japan, and Troldhaugen in Bergen, Norway. Recent highlights include performances with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra, and the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra, as well as performances at the Music@Menlo, Perlman Music Program, Breckenridge, Southeastern International, and Kyoto International Music Festivals. Throughout the years, Mr. Ahfat has had the privilege of performing and collaborating with artists such as Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Joshua Roman, Paul Katz, Ani Kavafian, Ludovic Morlot, and Jeffrey Milarsky.
He has also spent recent summers learning from artists such as Dmitri Alexeev and Bernd Goetzke at PianoTexas, Wu Han and Gilbert Kalish at Music@Menlo, and Alan Gilbert, Jonathan Biss, and Jeremy Denk at the Music Academy of the West where he was the recipient of the Hyon Chough Full Scholarship in Solo Piano.
A two-time winner of the Juilliard Concerto Competition, Mr. Ahfat has garnered numerous awards across the globe, including the First Prize at the inaugural Seattle Symphony International Piano Competition in 2015, as well as top prizes at the 5th Schimmel International Piano Competition, Steinway & Sons Concerto Competition, and the Arthur Fraser and Eastman International Piano Competitions. Recently, Mr. Ahfat captured the First Prize at the National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist Awards for 2017-2019.
Mr. Ahfat recently worked with Juilliard Global Ventures as part of the Juilliard Open Classroom team, where helped to develop new digital learning environments to reach musicians across the globe. In this capacity, he offered his skills as a teacher, curriculum writer, and course builder to a number of online courses, including Juilliard Open Classroom’s first release: Sharpen Your Piano Artistry. He was a curriculum writer for Piano Preludes: Bach, Chopin, and Debussy which continues to be offered through the online educational platform edX.
Currently, Mr. Ahfat continues his studies at the Juilliard School in New York under the tutelage of Mr. Joseph Kalichstein and Mr. Stephen Hough after having previously studied with Mr. Choong-Mo Kang. At Juilliard, Mr. Ahfat also serves as a Teaching Fellow while holding the Rhea Cloe and Carl Cloe Memorial Scholarship