New Zealander pianist, Jason Bae was born in Daejeon, South Korea in 1991 where he began studying piano at the age of five. At the age of twelve, he made his concerto debut with Auckland Symphony Orchestra performing Grieg Piano Concerto Op. 16. A year later, he became the youngest concerto soloist to perform with Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra for the 'SkyCity Starlight Symphony Concert in the Park' at the Auckland Domain in front of 200,000 people. Under the baton of Rossen Milanov, Jason performed Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Winds as a soloist with New Zealand National Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2010. He has also appeared as a concerto soloist with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra of Australia, Auckland Youth Symphony Orchestra, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Bach Musica NZ. As a recitalist Jason has performed in U.K (King’s Place, Royal Academy of Music, Royal Academy of Arts, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, St. James' Piccadilly, Steinway Hall, Royal Academy of Music), U.S.A (Carnegie Hall), France, Finland, South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand.
Jason was awarded 1st Prize in the 2008 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition in New York, which led to a performance at the Carnegie Hall in Weill Recital Hall. In the same year, he won the New Zealand Young Performer of the Year. In 2009, he won 2nd prize at the Lev Vlassenko International Piano Competition in Brisbane, Australia, where he also received the 'Pnina Salzman Memorial Prize for the Best Performance of Work by Chopin'. Then in 2010 Jason’s performance of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 achieved 1st Prize at the University of Auckland Gala Concerto Competition. Jason has competed in the 2012 Dublin International Piano Competition, graduating to the Top 24 second round. He was the Grand 1st Prize Winner of the 2013 New Zealand Inaugural Wallace National Piano Competition.
Jason was the first New Zealander pianist to perform for the HRH Duchess of Sussex, Meghan, at the grand opening of “Oceania” - U.K’s first large-scale exhibition of South Pacific art at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. He was also the first New Zealander to be invited by the former Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage of New Zealand, Hon. Christopher Finlayson, to present a piano solo recital at the Grand Hall of New Zealand Parliament, 'Beehive'. Also, he has performed for the both former Governor-General of New Zealand, Sir. Anand Satyanand and Sir. Jerry Mateparae, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark, and the former President of European Commission, Jose Manuel Barosso.
In the 2018-19 season, Jason will be giving recitals at Sibelius Academy of Music in Helsinki, recital debuts in Vancouver, Canada and HKRI Taikoo Hui in Shanghai, Cosmos Hall in Seoul, five recitals in New Zealand; Lewis Eady Showroom in Auckland, 'The Piano' at Christchurch, New Zealand School of Music at the Victoria University in Wellington, Bannockburn Memorial Hall and at the exclusive 'The Hills' in Queenstown. Jason will be presenting New Zealand launch of the new 'Spirio' Steinway Piano in Auckland collaborating with Bentley Auckland and Crown Range Cellar.
Jason will be involved in multiple collaboration projects this season. He will be collaborating with two pianists; CHO Garam, performing complete Rachmaninov Suites for two pianos in Seoul and Adam Gordon Herd; giving world premiere of his transcriptions for two pianos in Helsinki. He will be performing Dvorak Piano Quintet No.2 with Gdańsk String Quartet in Poland.
Parallel to his concerts as a pianist, Jason will be making conducting debut with Aurora Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm, South Denmark Philharmonic Orchestra and making his New Zealand conducting debut with Westlake Symphony Orchestra in Auckland.
Jason received his Master of Arts in piano performance with the highest distinction award, 'DipRAM' at the Royal Academy of Music in London under the tutelage of Christopher Elton and Joanna MacGregor in 2015. He received his Bachelor of Music in piano performance with First Class Honours at the University of Auckland under Dr. Rae de Lisle in 2013. Jason also studied piano at the Aspen Music Festival and School with Ann Schein and John O'Conor from 2007 to 2013. Jason currently studies orchestral conducting and he is being mentored by both Jorma Panula and Jukka-Pekka Saraste.
After just four years since Jason became the first New Zealander Young Steinway Artist at the age of 20, he became Steinway Artist in 2016. He has been a proud beneficiary of Lewis Eady Charitable Trust in Auckland since 2004 and he served as an artist of 'Talent Unlimited' in London from 2014-17. In 2015, Jason became the first South Korea-born New Zealander Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society awarded by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust. Jason has been appointed as the youngest School of Music Visiting Fellow at University of Auckland at the age of 24 and he was a Visiting Artist at University of North Florida in U.S.A last year. This year, Jason has been recently selected and honoured as the most prestigious alumni, ‘40 Under 40’ from the University of Auckland.