Twenty-five-year-old Chinese pianist YUJA WANG is widely recognized for playing that combines the spontaneity and fearless imagination of youth with the discipline and precision of a mature artist. Regularly lauded for her controlled, prodigious technique, Wang has been praised for her authority over the most complex technical demands of the repertoire and the depth of her musical insight, as well as her fresh interpretations and her graceful, charismatic stage presence.
Wang is an exclusive recording artist for Deutsche Grammophon. Her debut recording, Sonatas & Etudes, released in the spring of 2009, “suggests a combination of blazing technique and a rare instinct for poetry,” wrote Gramophone magazine, which named Wang the Classic FM Gramophone Awards 2009 Young Artist of the Year. For her second recording, Transformation, Wang received an ECHO Award 2011 as “Young Artist of the Year.” Wang next collaborated with 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, is a collection of encore pieces by Albéniz, Bach, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Saint-Saëns, Scriabin, and others.
In the few short years since her 2005 debut with the National Arts Center Orchestra led by Pinchas Zukerman, Wang has already performed with many of the world’s prestigious orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the National Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony in the U.S., and abroad with the Berlin Staatskapelle, the China Philharmonic, the Filarmonica della Scala, the Israel Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the Orquesta Nacional España, the NHK Symphony in Tokyo, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Orchestra Mozart, and Santa Cecilia, among others.
In 2006 Wang made her New York Philharmonic debut 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 Wang 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 YouTube Symphony Orchestra led by Michael Tilson Thomas at Carnegie Hall. She has performed with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado in Beijing, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Spain and in London, and with the Hong Kong Philharmonic.
Wang 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 Wang 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.
Already Wang has also worked with many of the world’s esteemed conductors, including Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Daniele Gatti, Valery Gergiev, Mikko Franck, Manfred Honeck, Pietari Inkinen, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Sir Roger Norrington, Antonio Pappano, Yuri Temirkanov, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Pinchas Zukerman.
In the 2012/13 season Wang returns to the Israel Philharmonic to work with Zubin Mehta, followed by a tour of the U.S. that includes performances at Carnegie Hall and Walt Disney Concert Hall. She then launches into a three-week tour of Asia with the San Francisco Symphony and Tilson Thomas, traveling to Macau, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan. Wang will again join the principal players from the Berlin Philharmonic with a series of all-Brahms concerts in Paris and Berlin, and will be presented by the Berlin Philharmonic in recital at the Philharmonie. In the spring of 2014 she returns to Carnegie Hall again in both recital and a concerto appearance with the San Francisco Symphony, and then a recital tour of Japan, where she makes her Suntory Hall recital debut.
Born in Beijing in 1987, Wang began studying piano at age six, with her earliest public performances taking place in China, Australia, and Germany, and 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, when Wang was 15, she won Aspen Music Festival’s concerto competition. She then moved to the U.S. to study with Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she graduated in 2008. In 2006 Wang received the Gilmore Young Artist Award. In 2010 she was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Yuja Wang is a Steinway Artist.