Praised as a “tour de force” (Santa Barbara News-Press), for the “breathtaking beauty and pure lyricism” of her playing (Le Soleil, Vancouver), and for her “fearless performance” (The Straits Times, Singapore), Karen Hsiao Savage is Associate Professor of Collaborative Piano and Chamber Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Conservatory. She holds a doctoral degree and two master’s degrees in both solo and collaborative piano from Juilliard, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Victoria (Canada).
Active as a collaborative pianist, she has performed internationally in such venues as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, Merkin Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Shanghai Grand Theatre, and the Perlman Music Program in New York and Shanghai. Her performances have been broadcast on internationally syndicated NPR programs, and Vietnamese and Chinese national television. Her diverse collaborations include recent performances with the Spokane String Quartet, violist Masumi Rostad, oboist Keri McCarthy, euphonium player Chris Dickey, and cellist Michael Mermagen. Committed to working with living composers, Karen has given international and recording premieres of works by Daniel Ott on Navonna/PARMA Records (2019), and she will perform the world premiere of Matthew Fuerst’s piano trio in 2021, with violinist Hyeyoung Yoon and cellist Gregory Beaver.
Karen’s piano duo 88SQUARED with husband Jeffrey Savage received critical praise for international premieres of Liebermann’s Sonata for Two Pianos, and were invited by the composer to record his complete works for two pianos on Albany Records. The duo won the Ellis Duo Piano Competition, the Abild Prize in American Music, and second prize and a special mention award at Concours Grieg International Competition (Norway).
Dr. Savage is in demand as a presenter, adjudicator, and guest teacher. Her students are active in the field as performers and teachers, and have been awarded competitive graduate assistantships at major programs. She previously served on the faculty of Washington State University. Her recent performances, master classes, and presentations include those at Indiana University, Eastman School of Music, MusiQuest National Piano Festival (India), Ho Chi Minh Conservatory (Vietnam), and Yong Siew Toh Conservatory (Singapore). Karen’s major teachers include Jonathan Feldman, Veda Kaplinksy, Margo Garrett, Sam Sanders, Robin and Winifred Wood and Edward Parker; additional studies were with Anne Epperson and Robert McDonald.
“I will certainly be on the lookout for more music by this exceptionally gifted composer, and these equally gifted pianists who have brought his music to life.” David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare Magazine, on Daniel Ott’s 2019 Falling Pieces recording by 88SQUARED