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Listening Quest #17: Yuja Wang

Monday, June 13, 2016 by Vicki Martin | Listening Quest

Last Listening Quest for the 2015-2016 school year! I hope you've gotten to know some new composers and performers. Since I've focused a little more on composers than performers, to finish off I'd like to introduce you to a contemporary concert pianist that you really ought to know.

Her name is Yuja Wang, (you-jah) and she's young (28) and loves to wear high fashion, including short skirts and stilettos, which unfortunately often gets more attention than her playing. She has said, "I can wear long skirts when I'm 40." Her playing certainly deserves attention, though! She has been signed on by Deutsche Grammophon, one of the leading classical music recording labels since 2009 when she was only 21 and has 8 CD releases with them including the Complete Orchestral Works of Maurice Ravel, which is actually 4 CD's all on its own. Here are two fast and furious performances just to show you what she can do!

The first is Mozart's Turkish March, although this has been transcribed by Arcadi Volodos, so it's even faster and more furious than the original:

And who can resist The Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov?

Extra Exploring: Want more of Yuja? Try listening to her play Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2: