Pianist Joyce Yang makes her Lyric Theatre debut this season. She came to international attention in 2005, when she won the silver medal at the 12thVan Cliburn International Piano Competition. She was 19, the youngest contestant at the event. The young artists has also received an Avery Fisher Career Grant and has appeared as a soloist with the new York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Baltimore, Detroit and Pittsburgh symphony orchestras, as well as with orchestras around the world. In recital, she has appeared at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center and Chicago’s Symphony Hall. Her work has been recognized for its “poetic and sensitive pianism” by the Washington Postand its “wondrous sense of color” by the San Francisco Classical Voice.
Yang was born in Seoul, South Korea, and received her first piano lesson from her aunt when she was 4. She loved the instrument and over the next few years, she won national piano competitions in her native country. At 10, she entered the School of Music at the Korea National University of Arts and went on to perform throughout the country. She moved to the United States in 1997 to begin her studies with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky at Juilliard. During her first year there, she won the pre-college division Concerto Competition. She also won the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Greenfield Students Competition and performed with that orchestra when she was only 12. She graduated from Juilliard with special honor and received the school’s Arthur Rubinstein Prize.
Yang made her debut with the New York Philharmonic in 2006 and performed in the orchestra’s Asian tour, including a triumphant return to her hometown. She has appeared with the New York Philharmonic for the opening night of the Leonard Bernstein Festival in 2008, at the special request of Maestro Lorin Maazel in his final season as music director there.
In the last two years, Yang has embarked on a series of debuts, collaborations and premieres. She made her debut with the New Zealand Symphony under Edo De Waart and performed Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 throughout New Zealand, She appeared at the Kennedy Center with the Albany Symphony, featuring works by Michael Torke written especially for Yang and commissioned by the Albany Symphony. She collaborated for the first time with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in a new work for dancers and solo piano by Jorma Elo and gave it its world premiere. She performed with orchestras throughout the country and continued her partnership with the Alexander String Quartet.
Yang has made several records since her 2011 debut album, Collage, featuring works by Scarlatti, Liebermann, Debussy, Currier and Schumann. The New York Timeslauded her “impressive gifts” with the release of her album, Wild Dreams, and her recording of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No, 1 with Denmark’s Odense Symphony Orchestra was called “hugely enjoyable and beautifully shaped,” giving a performance “that marks her as an enormous talent.”
It is a rare treat to have her in Stuart and you won’t want to miss it.