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All In The Family at Curtis

Pianist and composer Andrew Hsu

For pianist and composer Andrew Hsu, music and family go hand in hand. From an early age, his father made sure that Andrew and his two siblings were each instilled with a love of good music. Classical was the household’s preferred genre, and the family piano its most beloved medium. Initially enraptured by the wonders of the instrument’s mechanics, by age seven Hsu began learning how to play properly, to replicate what he heard on the radio. 

But he wasn’t the only Hsu with a passion for the piano. His older sister, Ashley, and younger brother, Daniel, both also committed themselves to the instrument. And by the time Andrew was 12, all three siblings were being homeschooled in order to practice as much as possible. Before long, the family relocated from California to the East Coast in hopes of finding places at the best music schools. And it worked!

Today, Hsu and his siblings comprise one sixth of the piano student body at the Curtis Institute of Music, and have distinguished themselves as the first family of three in the school’s history to attend simultaneously.

Still, though it may seem like the trio comes as a package, they’re each extremely secure in their individual identities. In addition to a flair for jazz, writing is a key way Andrew has distinguished himself from his siblings.

Trained in composition since age nine, Andrew Hsu considers this skill an inextricable piece of who he is artistically. Perhaps this is why, as he explains on Philadelphia Music Makers, he tends to find himself playing for the “greatest glory of the composer” whether or not it’s his or someone else’s work.