Critics have hailed Ernest So as a performer who exerts a “phenomenon presence on stage” and who “evokes the romanticism and technical brilliance of a 19th century pianist”. Mr. So’s early manifestation as concert pianist brought prizes such as the Best Performer Award in Singapore and later the Beethoven Trophy. His years at the Juilliard School were spent under the artistic influence and instruction of renowned Beethoven scholar Jacob Lateiner (1928 – 2010); other teachers include Solomon Mikowsky, the late Constance Keene, and Jonathan Feldman.
Besides active concertizing in the United States, Europe and Asia, Mr. So is equally devoted to musical education, founding Atelier des Artistes in New York (2000) and then PerformNow in Hong Kong (2005), thus contributing vastly to the artistic scenes in both cities. Mr. So is well-known for his wide repertoire, including not only standard concert works by composers such as Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin, but also masterworks by Scriabin, Godowsky, Medtner, Antheil, Poulenc, Ibert, Bortkiewicz, Catoire, Guastavino, Kapustin, Stanchinsky, Mompou, Viñes, and many other lesser known composers. In 2008, Mr. So was invited to perform for over 20,000 spectators at the celebration of Guangxi University’s 80th Anniversary.
Mr. So has also given masterclasses and lectures on Beethoven, and is the author of numerous essays on music. He additionally uses his expertise to advise as a professional consultant on piano manufacture and restoration techniques, working for various leading piano builders and restorers; he is currently the Chief Technical Consultant for Asia Piano Japan. A personal friend of Paolo Fazioli and Luigi Borgato, two of the greatest piano builders of our time, Mr. So performs regularly on Fazioli pianos and had been invited to perform on a 2007 Borgato piano in Italy. Besides his accomplishments in music, Mr. So is also an aficionado of the sartorial arts, an antique collector and is actively involved in philanthropical activities.