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Joyce Yang partners with Takács Quartet, Augustin Hadelich, and more in 2014-15

Joyce Yang’s 2014-15 season offers significant opportunities for the gregarious pianist to play chamber music with her friends. “Alongside her burgeoning career as a soloist and concerto performer,” the New York Times has stated, “the pianist Joyce Yang has also demonstrated impressive gifts as a chamber musician.” These gifts will be on display in March when she takes part in Lincoln Center’s prestigious Great Performers Series, performing with the esteemed Takács Quartet (March 19). She partners for several recitals with leading young violin virtuoso Augustin Hadelich (March 22 & 31, April 4, May 3) with repertoire that they will put on disc for Avie Records in June. At SubCulture in New York, Yang joins Detroit Symphony Orchestra festivities celebrating the 70th birthday of music director Leonard Slatkin (Oct 29). She also returns to Texas to play a solo recital for the Van Cliburn Foundation, whose famous piano competition gave Yang her career breakthrough in 2005 (April 7), and throughout this season she performs works by Falla, Franck, Mozart, Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff with orchestras in Canada, Australia and across the U.S.

The Leonard Slatkin celebration at SubCulture on October 29 opens with Yang’s performance of Ginastera’s Danzas Argentinas, a piece she played with “fluidity and flair” (Washington Post) at the Kennedy Center this past spring. She also partners with saxophonist Branford Marsalis in music of Franz Liszt. Additional performers include David Del Tredici, Michel Camilo, Fred Zlotkin, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians, Yang’s past collaborators at Detroit’s Orchestra Hall.

Yang joins the Takács Quartet to perform Dvorák’s much-loved Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81 in the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center (March 19), two days after they perform the same piece together for the Sarasota Concert Association (March 17). The Takács Quartet celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2015, having maintained its status as one of the pre-eminent quartets in the world throughout its career. Yang’s relationship with the group dates back to the 2005 Cliburn Competition, where at the tender age of 19 she not only won the Silver Medal, but also the award for the best performance of chamber music. The close rapport she established with the Takács musicians at the Cliburn continues to blossom, with regular appearances together in the great piano quintet repertory. The Washington Post wrote of a 2010 performance of Schumann’s Piano Quintet: “Yang’s skill at melding her keyboard tone with the strings suggested musical maturity well beyond her 23 years of age. Together these five players gave luminous voice to Schumann’s magical slow movement, and finished the piece with an infectious exuberance.”

First violinist Edward Dusinberre says of working with Yang: “She delights in chamber music. When you’re on stage with her, you feel that if you change a subtle dynamic thing or want to move the music forward a little bit, she’s always going to be right there. It feels alive. That’s one of the things we really love about her playing.” The feeling is mutual, says Yang: “It’s really a dream scenario for me. Takács is an ensemble that can go in any direction. I always feel free to do exactly what is true at the moment, and I am never in doubt that they will come with me.”

Another of Yang’s major collaborators this season is violinist Augustin Hadelich. The duo appears at Chamber Music San Francisco (March 22); in Charlottesville, VA (March 31); at Dallas Chamber Music International (April 4); and in Rockville, MD (May 3). Like Yang, Hadelich started his career winning a major prize, the gold medal at the 2006 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. The two are perfectly matched, as the San Diego Union-Tribune has noted: “They sounded as if they had been playing together all their lives.” Vancouver Classical Music added: “On this occasion, they also served as a sterling example of an equal musical partnership, selflessly interacting to bring out each other’s strongest qualities. … The freshness and sense of camaraderie in this music making certainly gave us all great pleasure.”

This camaraderie has brought Yang and Hadelich together several times in the last few years, including in a program of tango music alongside guitarist Pablo Villegas which they first performed at the Kennedy Center in April, and again at the Aspen Festival. In June they go into the studio to record, for Avie Records, Schumann’s Sonata No. 1, Kurtág’s Tre Pezzi, the Franck Sonata, and André Previn’s Tango, Song and Dance, the centerpiece of their Kennedy Center and Aspen program (“at once light and fiendishly difficult” – Washington Post). This recording follows three albums that Yang released in quick succession in 2014: her second solo disc for Avie Records, Wild Dreams, on which she plays music by Schumann, Bartók, Hindemith, Rachmaninoff, and arrangements by Earl Wild; Brahms and Schumann Piano Quintets with the Alexander Quartet; and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, hailed as “hugely enjoyable, beautifully shaped…a performance that marks her out as an enormous talent(International Record Review).

Yang will delight her many fans “Down Under” in November with her first appearance at Musica Viva Australia’s Huntington Estate Music Festival. She has developed a strong following in Australia since her first appearance in 2010, making regular recital and concerto appearances ever since.  J-Wire commended “her wide program choices, vivacious personality and towering technique.” She joins in the opening weekend of the festival (Nov 23-24) and then performs a solo recital including Rachmaninoff’s Piano Sonata No. 2 (Nov 27); a program of Albéniz and Ginastera (Nov 29-am); Hindemith’s Theme and Variations (“The Four Temperaments”) with the Australian National Academy of Music Chamber Orchestra (Nov 29-pm); and Taneyev’s Piano Quintet in G minor (Nov 30).

The season also includes many concerts across the United States. On April 7 Yang returns to the scene of her competition success in Fort Worth, to play a recital for the Van Cliburn Foundation, one of eight former prizewinners paying tribute to John Giordano, former jury chairman of the competition, as he retires. She also performs with various North American orchestras, including multiple performances of Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini: in Albany (Oct 18), Erie, PA (March 7), Las Vegas (Apr 26) and Victoria, British Columbia (May 9, 10). Yang is renowned for her Rachmaninoff interpretations, and has performed the composer’s complete cycle of works for piano and orchestra with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra under Edo de Waart. This past July the New York Times praised her sumptuous, powerful, subtle performance” of the Russian composer’s First Concerto with the New York Philharmonic.

A complete list of Joyce Yang’s upcoming engagements follows, and additional information may be found at her web site: High-resolution photos may be downloaded here.

Joyce Yang: upcoming engagements

Oct 11 & 12                        
Spokane, WA
Spokane Symphony Orchestra
Falla: Nights in the Gardens of Spain for piano and orchestra
Franck: Symphonic Variations

Oct 18                                     
Albany, NY
Albany Symphony Orchestra / David Alan Miller
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Oct 26
Bethel, NY
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
Chamber music concert with Liang Wang, oboe; Philip Myers, horn

Oct 29                                     
New York, NY
Leonard Slatkin @70
With Michel Camilo, David Del Tredici, Branford Marsalis, Fred Zlotkin, musicians from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Ginastera: Danzas Argentinas; Liszt: Die Lorelei (with Branford Marsalis)

Nov 9
Mamaroneck, NY
Singer Hall

Nov 16
Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale Center for the Arts
Albéniz: Iberia (selections)
Debussy: Estampes
Ginastera: Danzas Argentinas, Op. 2
Rachmaninoff/Wild:  Dreams, Op. 38 No 5; The Little Island, Op. 14 No 2; Vocalise, Op. 34 No 14
Rachmaninoff: Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor

Nov 23-30
Mudgee, Australia
Musica Viva Australia
Huntington Estate Festival
Nov 23-24: Taneyev: Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 30; solo works TBA
Nov 27: Rachmaninoff/arr. Wild: Vocalise; Rachmaninoff: Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor
Nov 29 (am): Albéniz: Iberia (selections); Ginastera: Danzas Argentinas
Nov 29 (pm): Hindemith: Theme & Variations (“The Four Temperaments”) with Australian National Academy of Music Chamber Orchestra
Nov 30: Taneyev: Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 30

Jan 23, 24, 25                                    
Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Symphony / Aram Demirjian
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3

Jan 31
Duluth, MN
Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra
DECC Symphony Hall
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21, K. 467

Feb 12
Montreal, Canada
I Musici de Montréal
Hindemith: Four Temperaments
Liszt: Malediction

Feb 21
East Providence, RI
Rhode Island Philharmonic / Larry Rachleff
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21, K. 467

Feb 27 & 28
Toledo, OH
Toledo Symphony Orchestra
Peristyle Theater
Falla: Nights in the Gardens of Spain

March 7
Erie, PA
Erie Philharmonic / Daniel Meyer
Warner Theater
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

March 14 & 15
Melbourne, FL
Brevard Symphony Orchestra
King Center for the Performing Arts
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3

March 17
Sarasota, FL
Sarasota Concert Association
With the Takács Quartet
Dvorak: Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81

March 19
New York, NY
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Great Performers Series, Alice Tully Hall
With the Takács Quartet
Dvorak: Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81

March 22
San Francisco, CA
Chamber Music San Francisco
Marines’ Memorial Theater
With Augustin Hadelich
Stravinsky: Suite Italienne
Schumann: Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Minor
Janacek: Violin Sonata
Previn: Tango Song and Dance

March 27 & 28
Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra / Kynan Johns
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21, K. 467

March 31
Charlottesville, VA
Tuesday Evening Concert Series
With Augustin Hadelich

April 4
Dallas, TX
Chamber Music International
With Augustin Hadelich
Stravinsky: Suite Italienne
Albéniz: Iberia (selections)
Kurtág: Tre Pezzi
Franck: Sonata in A Major

April 7
Fort Worth, TX
Van Cliburn Foundation
Solo recital – honoring the retirement of jury chair John Giordano

April 18 & 19
Wichita, KS
Wichita Symphony
Century II Concert Hall
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3

April 26
Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Philharmonic
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

May 3
Rockville, MD
Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington
With Augustin Hadelich

May 9 & 10
Victoria, BC
Victoria Symphony Orchestra
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

June 11-16
Purchase, NY
Recording with Augustin Hadelich
Schumann: Sonata No. 1 in A minor
Kurtág: Tre Pezzi
Franck: Sonata in A major
Previn: Tango, Song and Dance
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©21C Media Group, October 2014



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