Yuja Wang

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About Yuja Wang

Yuja Wang has built her career on playing the meatiest and most challenging selections from Russian Romantic repertoire. She attacks Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto (1875) with a fiery brilliance, exhibits extraordinary grace when taking on the depth and dynamism of Rachmaninoff’s Third (1909)—and hear the ease with which she brushes aside the technical challenges of Prokofiev's Third (1921). Whatever the repertoire, her phenomenal agility shines through. Born in Beijing in 1987, to a dancer mother and percussionist father, she studied at Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music before moving, in her mid teens, to the U.S. to learn with pianist Gary Graffman, then director of the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. Graffman was renowned for taking on only top talent—Lang Lang was among his other pupils. Wang's international breakthrough came at the age of 20, when she replaced Martha Argerich for four performances as soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Charles Dutoit, performing Tchaikovsky's First and dazzling the audience with her pianistic pyrotechnics. Two years later, she signed exclusively with Deutsche Grammophon. With Dutoit and Valery Gergiev, she has since shown her facility with Mozart—playing the Piano Concerto No. 9 (1777). Highlights in her contemporary repertoire include John Adams’ 2019 piano concerto, Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?, which she premiered and recorded with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel.

Beijing, China
February 10, 1987
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