Sharon Su is a professional finger wiggler. While she hails* from a very sunny state (California), her work has taken her to concert halls, churches, ballrooms, and the occasional palace throughout the cloudier sections of the world, both as a solo and collaborative keyboard-masher. She has extensively performed pieces from the classical canon (sadly, that is “canon” with one “n” in the middle) as well as premiered a number of newly composed works, likely because the composers were in a hurry and couldn’t find a better pianist to perform their works for the first time. Her work has earned her recognition as an American artist and, most importantly, she has recently been hailed by her mother as being “pretty good at noise-making.”
*She finds this tenuous pun hilarious, as it rarely hails in California.
She has been poking piano keys since the age of five; teachers she has confused and disappointed include Yoshikazu Nagai, Gideon Rubin, Frank Wiens, Rex Cooper, and Marina Grudskaya. She has further baffled great artists in masterclasses; these patient musicians include Alon Goldstein, Martina Filjak, and Michael Coonrod. She has finagled lessons with and picked the brains of so many respectable people it would be obnoxious to list them, but here they are anyway: Ian Jones, Inna Faliks, Steven Spooner, Hong Xu, Chun Chieh Yen, Michael Coonrod, Enrico Elisi, James Giles, Luiz de Moura Castro, and Mario Balzi. Don’t ask her to give an acceptance speech, it’ll take years.
Sharon can often be seen creating some sort of noise in public. Her 2018 season included lecture concerts and master classes in which she convinced audiences that she was imparting interesting musical knowledge and wisdom; in 2017 she completed an artist’s residency with Chamber Music Silicon Valley, collaborating and performing with so many musicians and ensembles that the number of group texts on her phone exploded beyond control. (That is her excuse for why she hasn’t gotten back to you.) She has also loosed her ivory-mashing** scheme on unsuspecting audiences outside of the United States, most recently at the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy, where listeners either said very nice things about her playing, or said mean things while smiling very nicely. (It should be noted that Sharon does not speak fluent Italian.) Once in a while she turns her nonsense into good by playing benefit concerts for charitable causes. In 2012 she appeared with the University of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra performing Prokofiev’s Third Concerto. She holds a very decorated multi-degree in music which is either extraordinarily useful or completely pointless, depending on the occupation of the person you’re asking.
**Not literal ivory, as pianos are now produced with plastic key covers.
In addition to her work at the piano, Sharon also has a great deal of experience making sounds of varying pleasantness on the violin, having studied with Cecilia Huang and Ann Miller. Her misguided but heartfelt sawing on the instrument in multiple orchestras has earned her the right to claim that she is not always an egotistical soloist, and is capable of being a dedicated and humble ensemble musician.
She is also particularly passionate about music history (the professional term for this is “nerd”) and has professionally presented her research on Beethoven and recorded period music on the fortepiano for research by historian Sarah Waltz. This work led to Sharon being mentioned in a book for some reason. She has written numerous research papers on topics in music history that she still reads herself, despite having access to a library with presumably better reading material. Her non-musical work in the visual arts has fooled the media into thinking that she is someone of importance, and she was named on an Internet list as a top American artist to follow. (As this is the Internet, you can do so on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.)
Sharon is currently an active performer who resides somewhere in the Los Angeles area (that’s the obscenely sunny part of California if you’re not familiar) and when she is not at some kind of keyboard (computer keyboards included), she is likely on her phone, which doesn’t count. She is totally going to respond to your email someday.
For those wondering why Sharon has such a silly bio, see her blog post on the subject.