Pianist Joyce Yang came to international attention in 2005 when she won the silver medal at the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The youngest contestant at 19 years old, she also took home the awards for Best Performance of Chamber Music and of a New Work. A Steinway artist, in 2010 she received an Avery Fisher Career Grant.
In the last decade, Ms. Yang has blossomed into an “astonishing artist” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung), showcasing her colorful musical personality in solo recitals and collaborations with the world’s top orchestras and chamber musicians through more than 1,000 debuts and re-engagements. She earned her first Grammy® nomination (Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance) for her recording of Franck, Kurtág, Previn & Schumann with violinist Augustin Hadelich. (“One can only sit in misty-eyed amazement at their insightful flair and spontaneity.” – The Strad) She has become a staple of the summer festival circuit with frequent appearances on the programs of the Aspen Summer Music Festival, La Jolla SummerFest and the Seattle Chamber Music Society.
Ms. Yang has performed with New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and BBC Philharmonic, among many others, working with such distinguished conductors as James Conlon, Edo de Waart, Manfred Honeck, Lorin Maazel, Leonard Slatkin and Jaap van Zweden. She has appeared in recital at New York’s Lincoln Center and Metropolitan Museum, Washington’s Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Symphony Hall and Zurich’s Tonhalle.
In 2018-19 Ms. Yang has focused on promoting creative ways to introduce classical music to new audiences. She will serve as the Guest Artistic Director for the Laguna Beach Music Festival in California, curating concerts that explore the “art-inspires-art” concept – highlighting the relationship between music and dance while simultaneously curating outreach activities to young students. Ms. Yang continues her unique collaboration with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet with performances of Half/Cut/Split – a “witty, brilliant exploration of Robert Schumann’s Carnaval” (The Santa Fe New Mexican) choreographed by Jorma Elo – a marriage between music and dance to illuminate the ingenuity of Schumann’s musical language. The group will tour in Aspen, Santa Fe, Dallas, Denver, Scottsdale and New York.
Also in 2018-19, Ms. Yang will share her versatile repertoire, performing solo recitals and performing 12 different piano concertos all throughout North America. Yang will reunite with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Edo de Waart for five concerts in New Zealand, following up a successful 2017 collaboration in which Yang displayed “fabulous lyricism” and “assured technique” (Otago Daily Times).
In the 2017-18 season Ms. Yang returned to the Baltimore Symphony doing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. She had her first collaboration with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet on a new work for dancers and solo piano choreographed by Jorma Elo. Ms. Yang also appeared with many other U.S. orchestras including, among others, those of Santa Rosa, Rochester, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City and Vancouver. She once again collaborated with the Alexander String Quartet, giving performances of works by Schumann and Brahms in California and New York.
Born in Seoul, Korea, in 1986, Joyce Yang received her first piano lesson from her aunt at age four. In 1997 she moved to the United States to study in the pre-college division of The Juilliard School. After winning The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Greenfield Student Competition, she performed Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with that orchestra at just twelve years old. Ms. Yang appears in the film In the Heart of Music, a documentary about the 2005 Cliburn Competition.