A New York Times headline appropriately characterized the Tengstrand-Sun Piano Duo as “Two pianos, four hands, but one heart.” These married pianists, with successful solo careers already in place, made their debut as a duo in October 2003 playing Mozart’s Two Piano Concerto with the Canton Symphony which led to their decision to enter the Murray Dranoff International Piano Competition in December. They received first prize and made their New York recital debut at Merkin Hall in January of 2004. Since then they have played with orchestras, in recital and at festivals throughout the US and Scandinavia. They have released a number of recordings on the Mindfeel label, the most recent of which features Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite and Arensky’s Silhouettes.
The duo made their New York recital debut in Merkin Hall in 2004 and performed there again the following season. Highlights since include performances of the Poulenc Concerto for Two Pianos with the Norrlands Opera Orchestra, Mendelssohn’s Double Concerto in A-flat Major with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, touring Sweden under the baton of En Chao, and performing at the Giresta Piano Festival and the Linkoping Chamber Music Festival, both also in Sweden. The duo has performed recitals for the Sunday Afternoons of Music series in Coral Gables, Four Seasons Concerts in Oakland, CA, California State University/Fullerton, the Wolf Trap Foundation, Rockefeller University evening series, and as the closing concert of the prestigious Sarasota Concert Association. At the 2006 Helsingborg Piano Festival in Sweden, they gave their first performance of the Bartók Concerto for Two Pianos and Percussion, and in 2005, the duo received a grant from the Salon de Virtuosi in New York City.
Tengstrand-Sun Duo’s latest release is on the Mindfeel label and includes works by Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Lutoslawski and Milhaud. Mr. Tengstrand is also represented on the Pro Piano label and Ms. Sun on the China Records label. A recording titled Mozart for Mothers was released on CD for the composer’s 250th anniversary.
Per Tengstrand was born in Sweden and made his first public appearance when he was seven years old. He studied at the Paris and Geneva Conservatories and took first prize at the 1997 Cleveland International Piano Competition. He enjoys great success internationally, and is the subject of an acclaimed Swedish documentary entitled Solisten (The Soloist).
Shan-shan Sun gave her first public performance in her native China at the age of six. At age nine, she was admitted to the Young Artist Program at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, performing throughout China. In 1991, Ms. Sun relocated to the United States, continuing her studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She is an active soloist as well as a chamber musician. Among her piano instructors have been Paul Schenly, Anne Epperson, Sergei Babayan, Qing-hua Wang, and Susan Starr.
Both Tengstrand and Sun take a special interest in presenting the repertoire of transcribed symphonic works in smaller cities where these works would otherwise not be heard. They are active participants of educational outreach in schools, pursuing a mission to bring classical music to young people.