Dang Thai Son

  • Professor of Piano

Areas of Study


Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory (1977-1986)



Dang is regarded as a masterful interpreter of the works of Chopin and French repertoire. He has performed extensively in top concert halls and with major orchestras around the world, and has enjoyed collaborations with artists ranging from Vladimir Ashkenazy to Pinchas Zukerman.

Dang rose to prominence in 1980 when he won first prize and the gold medal at the X Warsaw International Chopin Piano Competition, the first major international competition won by an Asian pianist.

Born and raised in Vietnam, Dang began piano studies with his mother, Thai Thi Lien, co-founder of what is known today as the Vietnam National Academy of Music. As a boy growing up in a remote village, Dang played on dilapidated pianos that were rescued from his mother’s school in Hanoi amid a rain of bombs from U.S. warplanes. Discovered during a visit to Vietnam by Russian pianist Isaac Katz, Dang later took up studies at the Moscow Conservatory, where his teachers included Vladimir Natanson and Dmitri Bashkirov.

Dang’s extensive discography—much of it devoted to the music of Chopin—includes a pair of 2017 releases: a recording of Schubert on JVC Kenwood and a collection of works by Paderewski that includes a concerto recorded with the Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Ashkenazy. In 2016, Dang won Canada’s Prix Opus for Concert of the Year, an award presented by the Fondation Arte Musica. He is a recipient of an honorary doctorate from the Music Academy in Bydgoczsz, Poland, and is the subject of the biography A Pianist Loved by Chopin: The Dang Thai Son Story, published by Yamaha Music Media Corporation in 2003.

Dang has taught at Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo, Taipei National Normal University, and Université de Montréal. He has presented master classes throughout the world and has been a member of the juries of numerous prominent piano competitions, among them the Clara Haskil, Cleveland, A. Rubinstein in Tel Aviv, Hamamatsu, and Chopin in Warsaw.

At Oberlin, Dang mentors Oberlin-Como Piano Academy Fellows as well as undergraduate pianists.

Oberlin College & Conservatory 2021-22 Excellence in Teaching Award

2016: Prix Opus for Concert of the Year, presented by the Fondation Arte Musica, Canada

2010: Doctoris Causa of Bydgo Music Academy, Poland

1980: First Prize and Gold Medal, X Warsaw International Chopin Piano Competition

Spring 2024

Principal Private Study - Piano — PVST 001
Secondary Private Study (Piano) — PVST 051
Performance Ensembles (Artist Diploma) — APST 600
Performance Project (Artist Diploma) — APST 601

Fall 2024

Principal Private Study - Piano — PVST 001
Secondary Private Study - Piano — PVST 051
Performance Ensembles (Artist Diploma) — APST 600
Performance Project (Artist Diploma) — APST 601


Piano Professor Dang Thai Son Honored by Poland Ministry of Culture

September 14, 2018

Dang Thai Son, the conservatory’s newest member of the piano faculty—and a renowned teacher, performer, and interpreter of the Polish composers Chopin and Paderewski—traveled to Warsaw in September where he was awarded the “Zasluzony Kulturze Gloria Artis” (Gold Medal for Merit to Culture) by Poland’s Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.


Oberlin's Cooper International Competition for Piano Returns in 2023

April 7, 2023

“We are thrilled to bring back the Cooper piano competition and to collaborate with the Cleveland Orchestra once again as we celebrate the best young piano talent in the world,” says Oberlin Professor of Piano Robert Shannon, Cooper piano competition director and jury chair. Applications are due on April 25.