A pianist who radiates palpable magnetism and a distinctly contemporary sensibility, Yuja Wang is an astounding artist whose awe-inspiring technique is matched only by her eloquence as a musician. Since her breakthrough debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2007 while still a student at the Curtis Institute of Music, she has established herself as an international sensation and a fixture among the world’s leading orchestras – including those of New York, London, Amsterdam, and Berlin – regularly joining them on tours of the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Championed early on by preeminent maestros including Gustavo Dudamel, Michael Tilson Thomas, and the late Claudio Abbado, she is one of today’s most sought after soloists, as well as a fiercely dedicated chamber musician, recitalist, and Grammynominated recording artist.
To launch the 2015-16 season, Yuja joins Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony on their “European Festivals Tour,” performing Beethoven and Bartók at London’s BBC Proms, the Edinburgh, Rheingau, Lucerne, and Enescu festivals, and in Amsterdam, Luxembourg, and Paris. She plays Messiaen’s Turangalila Symphony with the New York Philharmonic under Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar under Dudamel, both in Caracas and throughout Europe. Mozart’s “Jeunehomme” Concerto is on the program for her debut with the Vienna Philharmonic under Valery Gergiev, as well as for appearances with the New York, Los Angeles, and Israel Philharmonics led by Charles Dutoit, Lionel Bringuier, and Zubin Mehta, respectively. A U.S. tour with Mikhail Pletnev and the Russian National Symphony showcases both the Mozart and Tchaikovsky’s Second Concerto, the latter of which she reprises with the Moscow Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, in Amsterdam and Asia. In recital, Yuja tours France, Holland and Germany, and reunites with violinist Leonidas Kavakos for a complete Brahms sonata cycle at the Edinburgh Festival.
Yuja made her European concerto debut in 2003, and her North American concerto debut two years later. She appeared with the New York Philharmonic in Vail in 2006 and the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2007. In 2008 she toured the U.S. with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and the next year performed at Carnegie Hall with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra under Tilson Thomas. She has now partnered with nearly all of the world’s foremost orchestras, including those of Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington; the London Symphony Orchestra; Orchestre de Paris; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; Berlin and Munich Philharmonics; Orquesta Nacional de España; Accademia di Santa Cecilia; Mariinsky Orchestra; the Israel and China Philharmonics; NHK Symphony; Melbourne and Sydney Symphonies; and Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar. In 2011, she performed an outdoor concert for an audience of 25,000 with Daniel Barenboim and the Berlin Staatskapelle at the German capital’s Bebelplatz, and in 2013-14 she was the subject of a London Symphony Orchestra “Artist Portrait” series. In the 2014-15 season, she served as the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich’s inaugural Artist-in-Residence. Yuja has performed at Carnegie Hall every season since her celebrated recital debut in 2001 and frequently makes solo appearances in other major cities throughout Asia, Europe and North America. As a chamber musician, she graces summer festivals worldwide, making
regular appearances at Switzerland’s Verbier Festival.
An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2009, Yuja has released three solo albums and two concerto recordings to date. Her debut release, Sonatas & Etudes, was nominated for a Grammy, won an International Piano Award, and saw Yuja named Gramophone’s “Young Artist of the Year.” With her solo title Transformation, she took the 2011 ECHO Klassik Award for “Young Artist of the Year,” while her recording of Rachmaninoff concertos with Abbado and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra received a Grammy nomination for “Best Classical Instrumental Solo.” Next followed Fantasia, a collection of solo encores, and live accounts of Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff with Dudamel and the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar. In 2014 Yuja joined Kavakos to record the complete Brahms violin and piano sonatas for Decca Records, and she also appears on the award-winning soundtrack of the 2013 motion picture Summer in February. Her forthcoming recording on Deutsche Grammophon, Yuja Wang: Ravel with Bringuier and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, is to be released in fall 2015.
An artist who has intrigued the public both with her artistry and with her sense of style, Yuja has been the subject of television documentaries and graced the pages of magazines ranging from arts and culture to fashion, including Italian Vogue, French Elle, and Chinese Marie Claire. She is a Steinway Artist and serves as a brand ambassador for Rolex. An internet sensation, she has multiple fan blogs dedicated to her, and a video of her playing Flight of the Bumblebee on YouTube has been viewed almost 4 million times.
Born in Beijing in 1987, Yuja began piano lessons at the age of six and went on to study with Ling Yuan and Zhou Guangren at Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music. In 1999 she joined the Morningside Music summer program at Calgary’s Mount Royal College, and in 2001 she embarked on two years of study with Hung-Kuan Chen at Mount Royal College Conservatory. Following studies with John Perry at Aspen Music Festival and a win in the concerto competition, Yuja became a student of Gary Graffman at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute, graduating in 2008. Yuja is the recipient of the 2006 Gilmore Young Artist Award and winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.