As our guest pianist, Sheng Cai was unable to cross the Canadian border due to remaining restrictions, Dr. Wael Farouk is graciously joining us in his place. Read below to learn a little bit more about our incredible new guest artist!

Dr. wael farouk

Wael Farouk portrait 3.jpg

Dr. Wael Farouk has performed on five continents in such venues as the White Hall in St.
Petersburg, Schumann's house in Leipzig, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New
York, where his solo debut performance in 2013 was described as "absolutely masterful."

 

Praised as a "formidable and magnificent pianist" by the New York Concert Review, Dr.
Farouk has had an extensive performing career. He commands a vast repertoire of more
than 70 concertos and 60 solo programs, spanning from Scarlatti to Bolcom and including
the complete piano works of J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin, Brahms, Debussy,
and Rachmaninoff.


In the spring of 2021, Dr. Farouk gave a performance of Rachmaninoff’s concerti Nos. 1, 2,
and 3 in a single evening with the New Philharmonic Orchestra and Conductor Kirk
Muspratt, which the Chicago Tribune music critic described as “a history-making concert.”
The entirety of the concert was also broadcast on WFMT, Chicago’s Classical Music station.
Dr. Farouk has appeared as a soloist with such orchestras as the North Czech Philharmonic
Orchestra, the Saint-Etienne National Orchestra, the Academy of the Arts Orchestra, the
Manhattan Symphony, and the Cairo Symphony Orchestra for more than 20 concertos,
including the Egyptian premieres of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3; Brahms Piano
Concerto No. 2; Prokofiev Piano Concertos Nos. 1, 2, and 3; and the rarely heard
monumental 75-minute-long Busoni Piano Concerto, which was also an African premiere.
Dr. Farouk has performed with numerous conductors and artists, including Philippe
Entremont, Ilya Kaler, Patrick Fournillier, Christoph Mueller, Steven Lloyd, Simone
Dinnerstein, Kirill Gerstein, and Jean-Philippe Collard. In addition to regular performances in
the United States and Egypt, he has toured China, Russia, Germany, England, Italy, France,
Spain, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Colombia, Mexico, Japan, and the Philippines. In
2004, Dr. Farouk was given the honor of playing on Tchaikowsky's piano—the first pianist to
do so since Vladimir Horowitz.


Russian Portraits, his debut solo album, was released on the Carlock Records label in
2013. The all-Russian album has drawn praise for its musical beauty and virtuosity. David
Dubal has described the album as one that "gives us familiar repertoire played with a new
light and freshness. Here is piano playing that brings chills to the flesh, performed with a
rare virtuoso technique."


Dr. Farouk is known for his groundbreaking performance projects and vast repertoire.
Between 2014 and 2018, Dr. Farouk performed 30 different recital programs, including the
complete solo piano works of Rachmaninoff and Brahms, as well as the complete piano
chamber music of Brahms.


Dr. Farouk also performed during these four years the complete piano concertos of
Rachmaninoff, Brahms, and Beethoven—including all five of Beethoven's concertos in a

single concert, which he did three days in a row. His historical "Beethoven: 5 Concertos, 1
Pianist" performance was a top pick in all the Chicago-area newspapers, and a related
interview he gave with NPR was also a top choice for 2018.


Other programs included works by Chopin, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Ravel,
Bolcom, Busoni, Godowsky, the complete Transcendental Etudes by Liszt, Beethoven's
Hammerklavier Sonata, and Bach's The Art of the Fugue.


In 2017, Dr. Farouk gave the African premiere of the monumental 75-minute Busoni piano
concerto with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra and performed concertos by Liszt, Prokofiev,
and Chopin with orchestras in the United States. His 2014-2015 series featuring the
complete solo works of Rachmaninoff in 5 recitals was a feat the Chicago Tribune hailed as
"historical" in a front-page feature. The series made additional headlines on the front pages
of the New Jersey Star-Ledger and the Clavier Companion.


Beginning in the 2019-2020 season, he will be performing a three-year series of the
complete solo piano works of Chopin, spread over nine recitals. In that same period, he will
be performing the complete piano chamber works of Beethoven.


The Manhattan School of Music has honored Dr. Farouk by featuring his portrait on its wall
of distinguished graduates. He is featured alongside Kirill Gerstein, a recipient of the
prestigious Gilmore Award and the Avery Fisher Award, and the acclaimed Sony artist
Simone Dinnerstein.