A Native of Baltimore, pianist Thomas Hecht immigrated to Singapore as one of the Original “pioneers” of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, founded in 2003 as a joint collaboration with the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. Over the span of three decades, he has concertized internationally as concerto soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and as a member of the acclaimed duo-piano team Hecht & Shapiro, winners of the Munich International Two Piano Competition and USA National Duo Piano Competition.
He is currently the Head of Piano Department at the Conservatory and was the former Head of Piano Studies and Artist-In-Residence at the School of Music at Victoria University in New Zealand. Prior to that, he served for many years as Professor of Piano and Artist-In-Residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music (USA).
Professor Hecht has performed in many of the world’s cultural centres, appearing with leading orchestras, such as the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Stuttgart Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Johannesburg Festival Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Artsakh Symphony Orchestra and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Highlights include performances at the Lincoln Center in New York, Berlin Philharmonic Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington, and recitals in Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Italy, Serbia, Montenegro, Germany, Armenia, South Africa, and throughout all the major centres of Australia and New Zealand.
He graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory, where he won First Prize in the Concerto Competition and the Kaufmann Award for Excellence in Chamber Music. Later, he was accepted for graduate studies at the Peabody Institute as a student of Leon Fleisher. Impressed with the young pianist’s abilities, Fleisher asked Hecht to become his mentor’s teaching assistant, an honor which Fleisher had never before bestowed on any pianist. His merits and many noteworthy achievements were celebrated at Peabody, where he was presented with the coveted Young Maestro Award. The award honours alumni who have distinguished themselves in their performing careers.
Dr Hecht enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the leading teachers of his generation, having a multitude of first prize winners produced in Solo and Two Piano Competitions throughout the United States, Europe and Australasia. He has given master classes at renowned institutions, such as the Royal Academy, Royal Northern and Royal Welsh Colleges of Music, the Paris, Eastman, Oberlin, Peabody, Sydney, Beijing and Sichuan Conservatories, and the Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts.
He recently served as Visiting Professor at the Peabody Institute under the auspices of the first YST-Peabody Faculty Exchange Programme. Other guest residency invitations have included the Conservatoire de Paris, Guildhall College of Music & Drama Trossingen the University of Western Australia and the Academy for the Performing Arts.
His highly sought-after piano class has nurtured young talents for over twenty five on three continents. He has produced concerto soloists with the Singapore, New Zealand, Christchurch, Lamont, Lima, Kaunas, Artsakh and Peabody Symphony Orchestras, the Cleveland, Philippines, Singapore and Dnipropetrovsk Philharmonic Orchestras, the London Soloists Chamber Orchestra, the Melbourne and Wellington Youth Orchestras, the Auckland Philharmonia, the Singapore Festival Orchestra and Orchestra of the Music Makers.
Throughout his career, he has represented USA, New Zealand and Singapore on Jury panels of the Gina Bachauer, Geneva, Isangyun, Ibiza and Paralympic International Piano Competitions in addition to the national piano competitions of Japan, Thailand, Australia and South Africa. He receives regular invitations to summer piano festivals, including performances in Sydney, Beijing, Wellington, Lausanne, Chethams, Taichung, Bavaria, Artsakh and Brasov (where he is Honorary Professor of Piano at the University of Transylvania), and continues to be in demand for Workshops and Conferences Throughout the world pedagogy. Thomas Hecht is a Steinway Artist and Records for the Azica, Elysium and Atoll labels.