Russian repertoire suits her very well at the moment, because she has a very personal approach to it, concludes Claire Huangci. Not just because of the virtuosic vigour that the dainty pianist brings to her playing, but because of the wealth of images and emotions. Concertgoers who have seen the young Chinese-American perform live will understand at once. It is simply that she has a special energy, powerful and yet flexible, with which she can give intelligent context and nimble form to the smallest detail or fling wonderful arches across time and space.

No surprise, then, that she decided on "Sleeping Beauty" as the title of her CD debut with music by Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev: the selections from the ballets Sleeping Beauty and Romeo and Juliet admirably capture the youthful freshness of a pianist in her early twenties. Little character pieces recount the story of the two ballets; magical images and great passions unfold side by side. This is piano literature for the virtuoso, but that is by the way. Claire Huangci simply loves painting these miniatures with her palette of colours, the original orchestra sound always present in her ears. Most of her listeners will know some of the tunes – and yet through Claire's interpretation they will discover them anew.

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