Performance Wednesday, March 23, 2016 | 8 PM


Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
The New York Times has written of YUNDI’s “sovereign technique” and “sensitive touch,” all essential to expressing the power and poetry of Chopin’s music. The four ballades are brilliantly original works where pure music weaves mesmerizing tales. Chopin’s remarkable knowledge of the piano’s tonal and technical capabilities informs every note. The 24 Preludes, Op. 28, are superbly crafted miniatures, each concise and expressive, conveying moods of joy, sorrow, or fury.


  • YUNDI, Piano


  • CHOPIN Ballade No. 1 in G Minor
  • CHOPIN Ballade No. 2 in F Major
  • CHOPIN Ballade No. 3 in A-flat Major
  • CHOPIN Ballade No. 4 in F Minor
  • CHOPIN 24 Preludes, Op. 28

  • Encore:
  • REN GUANG "Colorful Clouds Chasing the Moon" (arr. Wang Jian Zhong)

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission. Please note that there will be no late-seating before intermission.



    YUNDI was propelled onto the international stage when he won first prize at the 14th International Chopin Piano Competition at the age of 18, becoming the youngest and first Chinese winner in the history of the renowned competition. Since then, he has been regarded as a leading exponent of Chopin's music. In recognition of his contribution to Polish culture, YUNDI was presented with a Gold Medal for Merit to Culture "Gloria Artis" in 2010. He maintains a strong connection with Poland, recently serving on the jury of the 17th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw.

    On his recital tours, YUNDI performs at such prestigious venues as the Royal Festival Hall in London, Berlin's Philharmonie, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Munich's Herkulessaal, Leipzig's Gewandhaus, Paris's La Salle Pleyel, Moscow's International House of Music, St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Concert Hall, Beijing's National Centre for Performing Arts, Seoul Arts Centre, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Orchestras and conductors with whom YUNDI has collaborated include the Berliner Philharmoniker and Seiji Ozawa, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Daniel Harding, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Philharmonia Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis, Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Gustavo Dudamel. He has also performed with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and NHK Symphony Orchestra.

    YUNDI has a large following and is a household name in his native China. During the 2013-2014 season, he embarked on a 35-city recital tour of the country, bringing classical music to provincial capitals, as well as second and third-tier cities. Equally committed to promoting classical music in an educational context, he is one of the pioneers of music education in China. He has given master classes at the Royal College of Music, University of Cambridge, and Qinghua University in Beijing. In the fall of 2012, he was appointed associate dean and professor of the piano faculty at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music, the youngest member of the faculty to achieve this status.

    YUNDI has an extensive discography with Deutsche Grammophon and EMI Classics. In 2007, he became the first Chinese pianist to record live with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Seiji Ozawa. This Deutsche Grammophon recording was met with rave reviews and named Editor's Choice by Gramophone magazine. YUNDI's most recent CDs on Deutsche Grammophon feature Chopin's 24 Preludes, Op. 28, and the composer's ballades and
    Op. 17 Mazurkas. 

    More Info


CHOPIN Nocturnes in B-flat Minor Op. 9, No. 1
YUNDI, Piano
Warner Classics

At a Glance

Few composers are as closely identified with a single instrument as Chopin is with the piano. Contemporary accounts of his playing attest that his powers were phenomenal; one ear-witness marveled at his effortless arpeggios, “which swelled and diminished like waves in an ocean of sound.” In an age replete with keyboard virtuosos, Chopin’s combination of bravura technique and poetic feeling defined a new school of Romantic pianism. His dozens of nocturnes, mazurkas, waltzes, ballades, scherzos, and other solo pianos works imbued the brilliance of the salon style with unprecedented emotional depth.

As this evening’s program showcases, Chopin’s genius expressed itself in both short musical forms as well as longer pieces. Chopin worked on a grand scale in his four ballades, which resemble tonal narratives in their dramatic interweaving of harmonies, rhythms, textures, and figurations. He lavished great care on these elaborate structures, apologizing to his publisher that he could not give the F-Major Ballade “enough polish.” Patterned after Bach’s keyboard preludes in all 24 major and minor keys, Chopin’s 24 Preludes pack a weighty musical and emotional punch despite their extreme brevity. Franz Liszt, whose own tone poems were strongly influenced by Chopin, characterized them as “poetic preludes, analogous to those of a great contemporary poet, who cradles the soul in golden dreams, and elevates it to the regions of the ideal.”
Program Notes


This performance is part of Keyboard Virtuosos II.