|Yuja Wang (王羽佳)|
Yuja Wang at Stadtcasino Basel, on March 19, 2012
February 10, 1987 |
|Alma mater||Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing
Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, 2008
Yuja Wang (Chinese: 王羽佳; pinyin: Wáng Yǔjiā; born February 10, 1987) is a Chinese classical pianist. She was born in Beijing, began studying piano there at age six, and went on to study at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.
Early life 
Wang comes from a musical family. 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. After several summers of participating in the program, Wang moved to Canada at age 14 to continue her studies at the Mount Royal University Conservatory.
In 1998, Wang won 3rd prize in the Ettlingen International Competition for Young Pianists, in Ettlingen, Germany. In 2001, she won Third Prize and Special Jury Prize (awarded to an especially superior finalist of less than 20 years in age, prize money of 500,000 Japanese Yen) in the Piano Section at the First Sendai International Music Competition in Sendai, Japan. 
In 2003, Wang made her European debut with the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich, Switzerland, playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 under the baton of David Zinman. She made her North American debut in Ottawa in the 2005/06 season, replacing Radu Lupu performing the Beethoven concerto with Pinchas Zukerman conducting.
On September 11, 2005, Wang was named a 2006 biennial Gilmore Young Artist award winner, given to the most promising pianists age 21 and younger. As part of the award, she received $15,000, appeared at Gilmore Festival concerts, and had a new piano work commissioned for her. 
Starting at age 15, she studied for five years with Gary Graffman, who was also Lang Lang's teacher, at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and graduated in May 2008. She is increasing the number of concerts she is playing, and has "developed a novel reputation" of replacing sick pianists, yet going on "to deliver a knockout performance."
In 2006/2007, she performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Houston Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, and San Francisco Symphony, the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Japan, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic in the Netherlands, the China Philharmonic in Beijing and the Guangzhou Symphony and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
In March 2007, Wang 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 March 13. Wang performed Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, with Charles Dutoit conducting, receiving highly favorable reviews.
On January 21, 2008, She played at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and, to standing ovations, returned to the stage repeatedly for a triple encore that included Gluck's Mélodie from Orfeo (Wang's transcription, after Giovanni Sgambati), Rondo Alla Turca by Mozart (Volodos's transcription), and Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" (Georges Cziffra's virtuosic arrangement).
On April 2, 2008, Wang played with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in Boston Symphony Hall, on a concert originally scheduled to be conducted from the keyboard by Murray Perahia and she performed in the 2008 Verbier Festival to great acclaim.
2008 residency at SPAC 
In the summer of 2008, Wang played two performances at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), for which she was introduced by SPAC President Marcia White. Wang was called a "new pianist star", "a phenom", "a whiz", and "a sensation" after her concerto concerts at SPAC in August 2008.
It’s a very long work that goes for almost 50 minutes [actually 30 minutes] of constant playing. Like much of Liszt’s music, this one ebbed and flowed from great dramatic moments to quiet ephemeral sections filled with a romantically ethereal melody. It took a page or so of music before Wang was completely involved emotionally, but once she was—wozzah. She has technique to burn. Her octave runs at lightning speed were incredible. The volume and big sound she got out of the piano, which in the big chordal passages sounded like giant footsteps, contrasted sharply with the lacy streams of notes. Her delicate stroking of the melody was like angels singing. Now and then, she’d lift off the piano stool in her intensity. Yet with all her passion, Wang was always in control. Her concentration was focused. She was unhesitating in pacing herself in accordance with the work’s demands. Her vision was a dramatic one. It was great stuff and the crowd loved it. Wang got a standing ovation and several curtain calls.
Another reviewer wrote that:
Some say this music shows the different facets of the composer's personality, and Wang exposed the most gentle, languorous aspects of the piece every bit as perfectly as the hard-edged, pounding furor. Just 21, hair blunt-cut to hide her face in profile at the piano, Wang is a quiet, unaffected presence as she plays, utterly without body language except when the force of her arms on the keys lifts her slight frame from the bench. This young pianist is a technical whiz who makes every note speak for itself.—Judith White, in The Saratogian
She also played Brahms' Horn Trio with the Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster, David Kim, and Philadelphia's principal horn, Jennifer Montone, in which "Wang showed herself entirely capable of playing in ensemble."
For her second concert, she performed Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 1 at SPAC to spectacular reviews, in which it was noted that she "is probably not much older than Prokofiev when he wrote the work." One reviewer wrote:
Wang used punchy, dry articulated fingerwork and strongly accented the pulses, which only added to the flavor. In the inner slow movement with its plaintive melody, Wang stroked the keys tenderly and gave the lovely melody good lift. The orchestra under Charles Dutoit was solidly enthusiastic. The crowd went wild with whistles and cheers and gave her a standing ovation and several curtain calls. Wang was a real-life star....
Recording contract 
In January 2009, Wang signed an exclusive recording contract for five discs with Deutsche Grammophon. In March, she made her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. On April 15, 2009 Wang performed at the YouTube Symphony Orchestra event held in New York at Carnegie Hall. In May, she performed Sergei Prokofiev's Piano Concerto number 2 with the San Francisco Symphony. In August, she played his third Piano Concerto under Claudio Abbado in the Opening Concert of the Lucerne Festival, with live broadcast and telecast in the Swiss first national programm SF 1. In June/July, she appeared, like the year before, at the Verbier Festival, and in November, she had her first solo concert in Zurich at the prestiguous Tonhalle Zurich (her second visit after her famous European debut here in 2003, see above), with a program featuring Liszt, Schumann, and Chopin.
Personal life 
Wang currently lives in New York City, but travels most of the time playing concerts around the world.
- "Piano". Yuja Wang. Retrieved 2012-11-30.
- Kosman, Joshua (December 28, 2008). "Best classical music of 2008". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- Geraldine Freedman, "Pianist Wang enjoys unpredictable schedule", The Daily Gazette, August 14, 2008, found at Daily Gazette website. Accessed August 28, 2008.
- Yuja Wang talks about the Mount Royal Conservatory on YouTube
- "Mount Royal University - News & Media Room - Calgary, Alberta, Canada". Mtroyal.ca. 2011-10-20. Retrieved 2012-11-30.
- "1st SIMC Piano Section May 26 - June 9, 2001". Sendai International Music Competition for Violin & Piano. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
- "Gilmore Young Artist Award". The Gilmore. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
- "News: Martha Argerich Cancels This Week's Appearances with Boston Symphony". PlaybillArts. 2007-03-05. Retrieved 2012-11-30.
- Carberry, Sean (2007-03-14). "Playing Tchaikovsky On Spring Break". NPR. Retrieved 2012-11-30.
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- "2008 SPAC schedules". Dailygazette.com. 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2012-11-30.
- "Get Closer". Spac.org. Retrieved 2012-11-30.
- Geraldine Freeman, "Yuja Wang, 21, SPAC's new pianist star, is a sensation", The Daily Gazette, August 23, 2008, p. D4.
- Geraldine Freedman, "Pianist phenom Wang wows ’em as soloist and in ensemble," The Daily Gazette, August 19, 2008, found at Daily Gazette website. See also Gilmore news website. Accessed August 28, 2008.
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- "San Francisco Symphony - Calendar". Sfsymphony.org. Retrieved 2012-11-30.
- "Lucerne Festival > Articles > Programme 2009". Lucernefestival.ch. Retrieved 2012-11-30.
- "Yuja Wang - NZZ.ch, 26.07.2009". Nzz.ch. Retrieved 2012-11-30.
- "Yuja Wang: Recordings". Yuja Wang. Retrieved February 23,2012.
- "Yuja Wang: Fantasia". Deutsche Grammophon. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
- "Abbado Conducts Mahler No. 1 & Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3". EuroArts. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
- "Rising star Yuja Wang steps in for pianist Radu Lupu who has been obliged to cancel his Feb. 8–9 NAC Orchestra concerts with Pinchas Zukerman for medical reasons". Canada's National Arts Centre. January 19, 2005. Retrieved July 30, 2010. "She released her debut CD in 1995..."
- "China Philharmonic with Yuja Wang". Strathmore. Retrieved July 30, 2010. "Yuja Wang’s debut CD was released in 1995."
- "The young Chinese pianist talks with Patrick P.L. Lam". Musicweb International. Retrieved November 3, 2009. "Wang released her very début CD in 1995."
- Official website
- Yuja Wang at Allmusic
- Profile of Yuja Wang on Opus3 Artists site
- Rondo a la Turca on YouTube, Volodos transcription