YUJA WANG AND LANG LANG PERFORM RUSSIAN PIANO MASTERWORKS BY PROKOFIEV AND RACHMANINOFF WITH MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS AND THE SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY OCTOBER 27 AND 31 AND NOVEMBER 1 AND 2

Yuja Wang previews her Asian tour concerts with performances of

Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini October 27 and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 October 31

Lang Lang performs Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 November 1 and 2

Acclaimed Chinese pianists Lang Langand Yuja Wangjoin Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony for a week of concerts featuring two performances each of signature Russian piano masterworks, beginning October 27. Yuja Wang, who will tour Asia with the Orchestra in November, performs Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini October 27 and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 October 31 at Davies Symphony Hall. On November 1 and 2, Lang Lang will perform Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in place of the previously announced Bartók Piano Concerto No. 2. The Orchestra also previews repertoire it will perform on the Asian tour, including Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2, Lou Harrison’s “The Family of the Court” from Pacifika Rondo, and Henry Cowell’s Music 1957.

The Orchestra begins its seventh tour of Asia in Macau on November 7. With Tilson Thomas and Yuja Wang, they visit six cities and perform 10 concerts on this tour, including their first appearances in Beijing and Macau, and their first concerts in Taiwan and Japan in more than 15 years. The Orchestra also performs two concerts each in Shanghai and Hong Kong,

Born in Beijing in 1987, Yuja Wangbegan studying piano at age six, with her earliest public performances taking place in China, Australia and Germany. She studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing under Ling Yuan and Zhou Guangren. From 1999 to 2001 she participated in the Morningside Music summer program at Calgary’s Mount Royal College, an artistic and cultural exchange program between Canada and China, and began studying with Hung Kuan Chen and Tema Blackstone at the Mount Royal College Conservatory. In 2002, when she was 15, she won Aspen Music Festival’s concerto competition. She then moved to the U.S. to study with Gary Graffman at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she graduated in 2008. In 2006 Yuja received the Gilmore Young Artist Award. In 2010 she was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.

 

 

Since her 2005 debut with the National Arts Centre Orchestra led by Pinchas Zukerman, Yuja Wang has performed with many of the world’s prestigious orchestras. She made her debut with the San Francisco Symphony in 2006 at its annual Chinese New Year concert, and has returned to perform with the Orchestra each year since then, developing a close artistic connection with Michael Tilson Thomas. She performed in Japan and Korea with the New York Philharmonic on its 2006 tour. In 2008 she performed as a soloist with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra led by Tilson Thomas at Carnegie Hall.

Her acclaimed recordings include Transformation, for which she received an Echo Award 2011 as Young Artist of the Year. Wang next collaborated with Claudio Abbado and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra to record her first concerto album featuring Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, which was nominated for a Grammy® as Best Classical Instrumental Solo. Her most recent record, Fantasia, is a collection of encore pieces by Albéniz, Bach, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Saint-Saëns, Scriabin and others.

See a video of Yuja Wang discussing her musical relationship with MTT and the SF Symphony here. Watch her perform Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini here.

Heralded as the “hottest artist on the classical music planet” by The New York Times and the “world’s ambassador of the keyboard” by The New Yorker, Lang Langhas played sold out recitals and concerts in every major city in the world, and is the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by both the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics. He made his debut with the San Francisco Symphony in 2000, and was the special guest soloist at the SFS Centennial Gala concert in 2011, which was broadcast nationally on PBS’s Great Performances. In 2008, as part of a weeklong special residency with the SF Symphony, he visited San Francisco schools, led an educational event for music students at Davies Symphony Hall, and performed in recital, in concert with the Orchestra, and in a chamber music setting with SFS musicians. In September, he performed at the opening of the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University.

In 2011, his Liszt 200th birthday concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Charles Dutoit was broadcast live in over 300 movie theaters in the United States and 200 cinemas in Europe. He recently released his new CD “Liszt, My Piano Hero” and DVD “Liszt, Now!” to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the composer. Lang Lang also recently recorded the movie soundtrack of the Japanese blockbuster film “Nodame Cantabile,” Chopin 24 Etudes for “Project Chopin” (the largest project in honor of Chopin’s bicentenary) and “Nuit De Mai” with Placido Domingo, and performed the opening sequence for the Gran Turismo video game. In October 2012, he will release a new album of Chopin solo piano music.

Lang Lang continues to give master classes at the invitation of the most prestigious music institutions, including the Curtis Institute of Music, Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music and Hanover Conservatory, as well as all the top conservatories in China where he holds honorary professorships. He has held music residencies, which include master classes for students, in San Francisco as well as in Chicago, Toronto, London, Rome and Stockholm. For nearly a decade Lang Lang has been giving back to children around the world through volunteer activities as diverse as mentoring rising young talented pianists, convening 100 piano students in concert, performing for sick children in hospitals, delivering classical music recitals in underserved and remote communities, and donating his musical talents to raise awareness of other charitable causes. Lang Lang’s charitable efforts led to the recent launch of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, with the mission of inspiring the next generation of classical music lovers and performers by cultivating tomorrow’s top pianists, championing music education at the forefront of technology, and building a young audience through live music experiences.

 

SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY                             Saturday, October 27 at 8 pm
Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness Avenue

Michael Tilson Thomas conductor
Yuja Wang piano
San Francisco Symphony

Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Mahler Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor

 

SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY                             Wednesday, October 31 at 8 pm
Davies Symphony Hall

Michael Tilson Thomas conductor
Yuja Wang piano
San Francisco Symphony

Harrison “The Family of the Court” from Pacifika Rondo
Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Opus 16
Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Opus 27

 

SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY                             Thursday, November 1 at 8 pm
Davies Symphony Hall                                               Friday, November 2 at 8 pm

Michael Tilson Thomas conductor
Lang Lang piano
San Francisco Symphony

Cowell Music 1957
Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Opus 26 [Note: this replaces Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 2]
Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Opus 27

 

TICKETS:                        $15-$156. Tickets are available at sfsymphony.org, by phone at 415-864-6000, and at the Davies Symphony Hall Box Office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street in San Francisco.

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