Performance Saturday, May 14, 2016 | 8 PM

Yuja Wang

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
With impeccable technique and tremendous musical sensitivity, few artists generate as much electricity as Yuja Wang. The New Criterion wrote of her playing, “crystalline, sensitive, and musical … utterly composed, with hands and mind in balance.” She returns to Carnegie Hall for a recital you simply cannot miss.


  • Yuja Wang, Piano


  • BRAHMS Ballade in D Minor, Op. 10, No. 1
  • BRAHMS Ballade in D Major, Op. 10, No. 2
  • SCHUMANN Kreisleriana, Op. 16
  • BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat Major, Op. 106, "Hammerklavier"

  • Encores:
  • SCHUBERT FRANZ SCHUBERT "Gretchen am Spinnrade," D. 118 (arr. Liszt)
  • GLUCK CHRISTOPH WILLIBALD GLUCK Melodie from Orfeo ed Euridice (arr. Giovanni Sgambati)
  • HOROWITZ VLADIMIR HOROWITZ Carmen Variations (after Bizet)
  • MOZART WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Rondo all Turca from Piano Sonata in A Major, K. 331 (arr. Arcadi Volodos, Fazil Say, Yuja Wang)
  • CHOPIN Waltz in C-sharp Minor, Op. 64, No. 2

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission. 


  • Yuja Wang

    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 Grammy-nominated recording artist.

    To launch the 2015-2016 season, Ms. Wang joined Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony on tour, performing works by Beethoven and Bartók at London's BBC Proms; the Edinburgh, Rheingau, Lucerne, and Enescu festivals; and in Amsterdam, Luxembourg, and Paris. She played Messiaen's Turangalîla-symphonie with the New York Philharmonic under Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela under Gustavo Dudamel, both in Caracas and throughout Europe. Mozart's "Jeunehomme" Concerto was on the program for her debut with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra 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 US tour with Mikhail Pletnev and the Russian National Symphony showcased both the Mozart and Tchaikovsky's Second Concerto, the latter of which she reprised with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam and Asia. In recital, Ms. Wang tours France, Holland, and Germany, and reunites with violinist Leonidas Kavakos for a complete Brahms sonata cycle at the Edinburgh Festival.

    An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2009, Ms. Wang has released three solo albums and two concerto recordings to date. Her debut release, Sonatas & Etudes, was nominated for a Grammy Award and earned her Gramophone's Young Artist of the Year. For Transformation, Ms. Wang earned the 2011 ECHO Klassik award for Young Artist of the Year, while her recording of Rachmaninoff concertos with Claudio 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 concertos with Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. In 2014, Ms. Wang joined Leonidas Kavakos to record the complete Brahms violin and piano sonatas for Decca Records, and also appeared on the award-winning soundtrack of the motion picture Summer in February. Her latest recording-Yuja Wang: Ravel, with Lionel Bringuier and the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich-was released last fall.

    Born in Beijing in 1987, Ms. Wang 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 Bridge summer program at Calgary's Mount Royal University, and in 2001, she embarked on two years of study with Hung-Kuan Chen at Mount Royal University Conservatory. Following studies with John Perry at Aspen Music Festival and a win in the concerto competition, Ms. Wang became a student of Gary Graffman at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music, graduating in 2008. She is the recipient of the 2006 Gilmore Young Artist Award and winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Ms. Wang is a Steinway artist.

    More Info


HOROWITZ Variations on a Theme from Bizet's Carmen
Yuja Wang, Piano
Deutsche Grammophon

At a Glance

JOHANNES BRAHMS  Ballade in D Minor, Op. 10, No. 1; Ballade in D Major, Op. 10, No. 2

Brahms, like Schumann, had a strong affinity to the characteristically Romantic genre of the short instrumental character piece. The closely related tonalities and motivic kinship of these two early ballades suggest that they were intended to be heard as a pair. The grim D-Minor Ballade was inspired by “Edward,” a traditional Scottish ballad about a son who murders his father, while its D-major companion evokes a more wistful mood. 

ROBERT SCHUMANN  Kreisleriana, Op. 16

German Romantic writer E. T. A. Hoffmann, who created the memorable character of the half-crazed Kapellmeister Johannes Kreisler, was Schumann’s soulmate and literary counterpart. Kreisleriana pays homage to its namesake in the form of eight fantasy-like pieces that also reflect the contrasting personalities of the composer’s fictional alter egos: the impulsive Florestan and the dreamy Eusebius.

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat Major, Op. 106, “Hammerklavier”

This monumental—and notoriously difficult—sonata marked a watershed in Beethoven’s artistic development. With its soaring rhetoric and penetrating introspection, the “Hammerklavier” anticipates the musical language of the composer’s so-called late period. The centerpiece of the work is the intensely ruminative Adagio sostenuto, which German critic Paul Bekker famously called “the apotheosis of pain, of that deep sorrow for which there is no remedy, and which finds expression not in passionate outpourings, but in the immeasurable stillness of utter woe.” 

Program Notes
This performance is part of Keyboard Virtuosos I.

Part of