The young American pianist, Albert Wong, has resided in Carrollton, Texas (a suburb of Dallas), since September 1990. Even though he could sing many entire songs before he could speak complete sentences, his musical interest was not revealed until he saw and heard the piano at age three-and-a-half. When he was four he enjoyed the instrument so much that he announced to everyone that he wanted to be a concert pianist. He won the grand prize of the North Texas Piano Competition at age five.
Albert Wong gave his first solo recital at age six and made his orchestral debut at seven, playing Bach’s Concerto in F minor, shortly after he won first price in the Dallas Symphonic Piano Concerto Competition. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2000 quite unexpectedly, thanks to his teacher Earl Wild. At the conclusion of Wild’s 85th birthday recital, Albert walked out with flowers for his teacher, who introduced Albert and asked the young ten-year-old prodigy to play. His first offering was “Happy Birthday.” Then, according to the New York Times review of December 5, 2000, he “gave an astonishing performance of the Hummel Rondo.” Albert doesn’t want to be just another concert pianist, he wants to be “the top one percent of great concert pianists.”
Albert Wong must be the first boy (or girl) to have recorded Book II of Bach’s WTC at age 10 - although another one-time prodigy, Mieczyslaw Horszowski, is said to have played all the Bach Inventions at 5. Particularly endearing, Wong’s precocity goes hand in hand with directness and lack of “sophistication.” His music-making has been beautifully guided by his teachers, but mercifully not “programmed.” His rhythm is faultless - no rushing, rubatos, or languishing nuances - and his pedaling is minimal. This wise and worldly pre-teenager speaks honestly for himself.