Washington, D.C., September 10 (Washington Bangla Radio): Described by the New York Times as “a passionate performer [who] meshes an impeccable technique and insightful artistry,” 26-year-old pianist Yuja Wang performs a program of diverse works by Prokofiev, Chopin, Kapustin and Stravinsky at the Music Center at Strathmore on October 25. Ukranian composer Nikolai Kapustin (born 1937) is known for inserting jazz idioms into classical structures.
Considered to be one of the most gifted pianists of her generation and described as “a wonder” by the New York Times, Yuja has attracted attention for her extraordinary talent, lively personality and for her concert wardrobe, which has caused a stir in the tradition-bound world of classical music. She has a vast repertoire of encores because her audiences consistently demand them. Said her former teacher Gary Graffman, “She has something you can’t really learn, and that’s charisma.”
Yuja is an exclusive recording artist for Deutsche Grammophon on which label her latest CD of the Rachmaninov, Piano Concerto No 3 & Prokofiev, Piano Concerto No 2 with Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Orchestra of Venezuela will be released on October 8. She also performed music by Benjamin Wallfisch on the soundtrack of the movie Summer in February starring Dan Stevens.
Her debut recording, Sonatas & Études, released in 2009, “suggests a combination of blazing technique and a rare instinct for poetry” wrote Gramophonemagazine, which named Yuja the Classic FM Gramophone Awards 2009 Young Artist of the Year. Yuja received an Echo Award 2011 as “Young Artist of the Year” for her second
recording,Transformation. Yuja next collaborated with conductor Claudio Abbado and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra to record her first concerto album featuring Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and his Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor which was nominated for a Grammy® as “Best Classical Instrumental Solo.” Her most recent record, Fantasia(2012), is a collection of encore pieces by Albéniz, Bach, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Saint-Saëns, Scriabin and others.
In the short time since her 2005 debut with the National Arts Center Orchestra led by Pinchas Zukerman, Yuja has already performed with many of the world’s prestigious orchestras including the Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston and National, Symphony orchestras; the Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and New York Philharmonic orchestras, and abroad with the Berlin Staatskapelle, China Philharmonic, Filarmonica della Scala, Israel Philharmonic, London Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra among others.
Yuja made her New York Philharmonic debut in 2006 at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival and performed with the orchestra the following season under Lorin Maazel during the Philharmonic’s Japan/Korea visit. In 2008 Yuja toured the United States with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields led by Sir Neville Marriner and in 2009 she performed as a soloist with the You Tube Symphony Orchestra led by Michael Tilson Thomas at Carnegie Hall. She performed with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado in Beijing, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Spain and in London, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. Conductors with whom she has worked include Daniel Barenboim, Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Daniele Gatti, Valery GergievManfred Honeck, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Sir Roger Norrington and Michael Tilson-Thomas.
Yuja has given recitals in major cities throughout Asia, Europe and North America and is a dedicated performer of chamber music, making regular appearances at summer festivals throughout the world. In March 2011 Yuja performed in a three-concert chamber series at the Salle Pleyel in Paris with principal players from the Berlin Philharmonic. She made her Carnegie Hall recital debut (Stern Hall) in October 2011.
In the 2012-13 season Yuja returned to work with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic in Israel, followed by a tour of the U.S. that included performances at Carnegie and Disney halls. She then launched into a three-week tour of Asia with the San Francisco Symphony and Tilson Thomas. In spring 2014 she returns to Carnegie Hall again in both recital and a concerto appearance with the San Francisco Symphony and then makes a recital tour of Japan, where she makes her Suntory Hall recital debut.
Born in Beijing in 1987, Yuja began studying piano at age six, with her earliest public performances taking place in China, Australia and Germany. She went on to study at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing under Ling Yuan and Zhou Guangren. From 1999 to 2001 she participated in the Morningside Music summer program at Calgary’s Mount Royal College, an artistic and cultural exchange program between Canada and China and began studying with Hung Kuan Chen and Tema Blackstone at the Mount Royal College Conservatory. In 2002, at age 15, Yuja won Aspen Music Festival’s concerto competition. She then moved to the United States to study with Graffman at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, from which she graduated in 2008. In 2006 Yuja received the Gilmore Young Artist Award. In 2010 she was awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant. Yuja is a Steinway Artist.
This performance is made possible through the generous support of Betsy and Robert Feinberg