Nansong Huang, a doctoral piano student of James Giles, was named a 2019 Luminarts Fellow in Classical Music by the Luminarts Cultural Foundation. The fellowship includes a $7,500 award.

The Luminarts Cultural Foundation cultivates Chicago’s vibrant arts community by supporting exemplary young artists through its competitive programs, which offer financial awards, artistic opportunities, and mentoring that bridge the gap between education and career. The foundation awards five Luminarts Fellowships to classical musicians in the categories of women’s and men’s voice, piano, strings, and winds.

Born in China, Huang started playing the piano when he was four years old. At the age of ten, he was accepted to the middle school affiliated with the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. In 2009, he moved to the United States and was admitted to the pre-college division of the Juilliard School of Music. He earned his B.A. from the Columbia-Juilliard Exchange program with degrees in political science and music and he recently graduated with a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music.

In recent years, Huang has won top prizes in many piano competitions, including first prize in the Minnesota International E-Competition Juniors, first prize in the 5th International Piano Competition “Dedication to Franz Liszt" in Moscow, and first prize and the best performance of Tchaikovsky piece award in the 6th International Tchaikovsky Competition for young musicians in South Korea. He also received the Special Jury Prize and Special Audience Prize for his performance in the 4th Sendai International Music Competition and second prize in the Virtuoso & Belcanto Festival’s piano competition.

Huang has collaborated with more than 20 orchestras around the world including the Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, Russian Symphony Orchestra, and many others. He is also an avid chamber musician and has performed chamber music in many prominent venues including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Peter Jay Sharp Hall, with works ranging from Franz Schubert to Leonard Bernstein.

A member of the Galvin Trio at the Bienen School of Music, Huang will advance to the 46th Annual Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in May. Learn More


  • piano
  • James Giles