Yuja Wang, piano
Her singular blend of technical prowess, keen musical insight, and emotional depth have established Yuja Wang as one of the world’s finest performers. The power of her interpretations emerges from a distinct combination of her exceptional presence on stage and a natural affinity and inquisitive approach to the repertoire, which ranges from Mozart to Gershwin and beyond. ‘Charismatic,' 'breathtaking,’ ‘flawless’ and ‘heartfelt’ are just a selection of the superlatives used frequently by critics worldwide.
Yuja's 2017-18 season featured recitals, concert series, and extensive tours with some of the world’s most venerated ensembles and conductors. She recently reunited with violinist and frequent collaborator Leonidas Kavakos for a European chamber tour, whilst in the spring of 2018, Ms. Wang embarks on a far-reaching recital tour at premiere venues in the US and Europe; New York City, San Francisco, Rome, Vienna, Berlin, Paris, and beyond.
Yuja’s way of making music connects with a strikingly broad demographic. It appeals to everyone, from classical music newcomers to devoted pianophiles, and has attracted an exceptionally youthful following. Her love for fashion, recognised by her induction into Giorgio Armani’s Sì Women’s Circle, has also contributed to the popular appeal of an artist who is armed with the ability to challenge the status quo and to welcome fresh converts to the concert hall.
Yuja Wang was born in Beijing and encouraged to make music at a young age by her dancer mother and percussionist father, which served as the catalyst for the never-ending thirst for knowledge that has sustained her continued musical development. She began piano lessons at the age of six, and her progress was accelerated by studies at Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music. In 1999 she moved to Canada to participate in the Morningside Music summer programme at Calgary’s Mount Royal College, and thereafter enrolled as the youngest ever student at Mount Royal Conservatory. Wang’s exceptional gifts were widely recognised in 2001 with her appointment as a Steinway Artist, and again the following year when she was offered a place at Philadelphia’s prestigious Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Gary Graffman.
By the time Yuja graduated from Curtis in 2008, she had already gained momentum following the spectacular success of her debut three years earlier with the National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa. Wang attracted widespread international attention in March 2007 when she replaced Martha Argerich on short notice in performances of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and within the span of just a few seasons she was working with conductors of the highest calibre.
In January 2009, Yuja Wang became an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon recording artist. Her debut album, Sonatas & Etudes, prompted Gramophone to name her as its 2009 Young Artist of the Year. Her 2011 release of Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto and Paganini’s Rhapsody with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Claudio Abbado was nominated for a Grammy® Award in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category. Reviewers around the world have documented the full range of Wang’s work, capturing the essence of her musicianship and observing the development of an artist blessed with consummate technical abilities, an inexhaustible creative imagination, and an unmatched artistry.