Yuja Wang, Biography
Yuja Wang (Chinese, born February 10, 1987) is a classical pianist. Wang had her breakthrough at age 20 when she replaced Martha Argerich in four concerts and performed Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Wang has received attention not only for her controlled and prodigious technique in piano playing but also for her eye-catching outfits and glamorous stage presence. She is said to be quite simply, the most dazzlingly, uncannily gifted pianist in the concert world today.
Childhood and Youth of Wang
Yuja Wang was born in Beijing, Her mother, Zhai Jieming, is a dancer and her father, Wang Jianguo, is a percussionist. Wang began her piano studies at age six. She entered Beijing's Central Conservatory of Music at age seven and studied there for three years. At age 11, Wang was accepted as the youngest student in the Morningside Music Bridge International Music Festival at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada. In the same year Wang won 3rd prize in the Ettlingen International Competition for Young Pianists, in Germany. In 2001, at age 14, she won Third Prize and Special Jury Prize (awarded to an especially superior finalist of less than 20 years in age) in the Piano Section at the First Sendai International Music Competition in Japan.
Starting at age 15, she studied for five years with Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and graduated in May 2008. Graffman said that Wang's technique impressed during her audition but that it was the intelligence and good taste of her interpretations that distinguished her. In 2005, at age 18, Wang was named a 2006 biennial Gilmore Young Artist award winner, given to the most promising pianists age 21 and younger.
In 2006, at the age of 19, Wang made her New York Philharmonic debut at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival. The following season, she performed with the orchestra under Lorin Maazel during the Philharmonic's tour of Japan and Korea.
In March 2007, at age 20, Wang's breakthrough came when she replaced Martha Argerich in concerts held in Boston. Argerich had cancelled her appearances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra on four subscription concerts from March 8 to 13. Wang performed Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, with Charles Dutoit conducting.
Since 2008, Wang has performed with many orchestras, including Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, in the U.S. Internationally, she has performed with the Berlin Staatskapelle, China Philharmonic, Filarmonica della Scala, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Orquesta Nacional España, Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar, the NHK Symphony in Tokyo, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra Mozart and Santa Cecilia.
Special performances include Wang performing as a soloist with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, which was led by Michael Tilson Thomas at Carnegie Hall. And her performance with conductor Claudio Abbado and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra in Beijing. In 2009, she performed and recorded Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto in G Minor with Kurt Masur at the Verbier Festival. Her performance of Flight of the Bumblebee is featured on the Verbier Festival Highlights DVD from 2008. Wang's Bumblebee video has been viewed more than 3 million times on YouTube.
In 2012, Wang toured with the Israel Philharmonic and conductor Zubin Mehta in Israel and the U.S. In February 2013, Wang performed and recorded Prokofiev's Concerto No. 2 and Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 3 with Conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the Venezuelan Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar. Wang made her Berlin Philharmonic debut in May 2015, performing Sergey Prokofiev's 2nd Piano Concerto with Conductor Paavo Järvi. The performance was broadcast live through the orchestra's Digital Concert Hall.
Please visit her homepage for her performances
"Yuja Wang" by Fox Wu from Baden-Baden, Germany - Cropped from With Yuja Wang. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons