Jiayan Sun – US Ambassador for TFW Foundation


The Thomas Fredrick Willetts Foundation are thrilled to announce the first US Ambassador for the Charity, Jiayan Sun. Jiayan is a phenomenal pianist with a host of experience and awards to his name. We are thrilled to work alongside such a talented artist and look forward to expanding our work across the US this year.

Jiayan Sun


Born in Yantai, Shandong Province, China in 1990, Mr. Sun studied in the Central Conservatory in Beijing with Jin Zhang before moving to the United States in 2006 to study at The Juilliard School Pre-college Division with Victoria Mushkatkol where he graduated with the achievement award in 2008.

He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School in 2012 and 2014 respectively. He continues his studies at Juilliard as a doctoral candidate under the tutelage of Yoheved Kaplinsky and Stephen Hough.
He performs frequently at Juilliard and has participated in the annual ChamberFest and Focus! Festival. He has performed and participated in Aspen Music Festival, Verbier Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, PianoTexas, Pianofest on Long Island, etc. His devotion to the art of composition led him to study with the composer Philip Lasser and subsequently, his works have been performed in concerts at Juilliard.

Mr. Sun has been awarded many major prizes in international piano competitions, including the third prize in Leeds International Piano Competition, the second prize in Dublin International Piano Competition, the fourth and audience prize in Cleveland International Piano Competition, the first prize in the inaugural CCC Toronto International Piano Competition, among others. He was named a “Sylff Fellow” by The Tokyo Foundation and a Center for Musical Excellence Young Artist.

Playing early keyboard instruments and studies on historical performance practice play a significant role in Mr. Sun’s musical activities.He has studied harpsichord with Lionel Party and fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson and Audrey Axinn.

Jiayan has been praised for his “revelatory” (New York Times) and “technically flawless, poetically inspired and immensely assured playing” (Toronto Star). Pianist Jiayan performs extensively in the North America, Europe, and Asia in a number of prestigious venues from the Lincoln Centre in New York to the National Concert Hall in Dublin.

He has performed frequently with several Orchestras and collaborated with prominent conductors including; Sir Mark Elder, Michail Jurowski, Stefan Sanderling, Leon Fleisher, David Hayes, Thomas Crawford, Kerry Stratton, and Xincao Li.

Important engagements include recent appearance with the American Classical Orchestra in a critically acclaimed concert.

His performances have been broadcasted on BBC, RTÉ, China Central Television, and classical music radio stations in North America.

For more information about out work and to help support talented young artists like Jiayan, please visit our website www.tfwillettsfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter @TFWilletts

Written by Abbie Bolitho

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