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Pianist Joyce Yang plays at Aspen, Bravo! Vail, and La Jolla this summer


Pianist Joyce Yang – silver medalist in the twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition – looks forward to return appearances at three major festivals this summer. At Colorado’s Aspen Music Festival she performs with a wind quintet (July 6), and with orchestra (July 7) before heading over the mountain to Bravo! Vail for two contrasting solo recitals (July 30 & 31) and a “Four-Piano Bash” (Aug 3). A pair of chamber programs at the La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest in California (Aug 14 & 16) round out a summer season that also finds the Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient performing at Massachusetts’s Rockport Chamber Music Festival (June 9); playing Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto at Idaho’s Sun Valley Summer Music Festival (Aug 7); and giving a solo recital in Salida, Colorado (July 9).
For her first orchestral collaboration of the summer, Yang is soloist in Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the Aspen Festival Orchestra under the direction of Larry Rachleff, and as a chamber musician, she performs Poulenc’s Sextet for Piano and Wind Quintet with Aspen’s artist faculty.  When Yang undertook the Rhapsody with Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Ottawa Citizen marveled: “From the opening measures it was clear that this would be no ordinary performance. The dead-on conviction from the soloist and orchestra made things gripping in every variation.”
Audiences at Bravo! Vail have two opportunities to hear the pianist in recital this summer. Demonstrating once again the “vivid and beautiful playing” that impressed the New York Times, she pairs two great masterworks of the piano literature – Schumann’s Fantasiestücke and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Sonata in B-flat minor. The following day, Yang revisits the juxtaposition found on Collage, her first solo album for Avie Records, with performances of two keyboard sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti alongside two modern American works they inspired: Scarlatti Cadences and its companion piece, Brainstorm, by Grawemeyer Award-winning composer Sebastian Currier (b.1959). Admiring the “two-way illumination” that is “most effectively achieved” on Collage, the UK’s Independent declared:
“Yang’s touch is featherlight but sure on the sonatas, fast and clear even in the most detailed passages, with a punchy rhythmic command subsequently echoed in Currier’s playful investigation of Scarlatti’s motifs. A brave and challenging debut.”
For her final Vail appearance, Yang joins forces with three fellow pianists to close Bravo! Vail’s season with a festive “Four Piano Bash.” Together with Pedja Muzijevic, Stephen Prutsman, and festival artistic director Anne-Marie McDermott, she will perform Carl Czerny’s Quatuor Concertant, Bach’s Concerto for Four Keyboards, Arensky’s First Suite for Two Pianos and a four-hand arrangement of Saint-Saëns’s haunting Danse macabre.
Yang gives two further chamber performances at the La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest, where, thanks to her combination of “virtuoso technique and cool control” she has already proved “a formidable presence” (San Diego Union-Tribune). She partners with SummerFest music director Cho-Liang Lin to play Lutoslawski’s Partita for violin and piano. Then, with pianist Joseph Kalichstein and percussionists Markus Rhoten and Steven Schick, she crowns a program of world premieres with an account of Bartók’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion.
Bartók is also on the program when Yang launches the summer at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival in Massachusetts, coupling Franck’s Piano Quintet in F minor (featuring the Jupiter String Quartet) with Out of Doors, the Hungarian composer’s suite for solo piano. When she performed the work this past winter, the Dallas Morning News reported:
“Yang opened the program with an authoritative, atmospheric and, where called for, virtuosic account of Bartók’s Out of Doors suite. From the pounding rhythms of ‘With Drums and Pipes’ through the shimmers, peeps, and twitters of ‘The Night’s Music’ to the exuberant gallop of ‘The Chase,’ this was the evening’s high point.”
As a synesthete who interprets music visually, Yang describes how she envisions the score for the opening measures of “The Night’s Music,” the fourth movement from Bartók’s suite, in a new YouTube video.
More information about her upcoming engagements can be found below, and further details are available on her web site,
Joyce Yang: summer engagements
June 9
Rockport, MA
Rockport Chamber Music Festival
Bartók: Out of Doors
Franck: Piano Quintet in F minor (with Jupiter String Quartet)
July 6
Aspen, CO
Aspen Music Festival (Harris Concert Hall)
Poulenc: Sextet for Piano and Wind Quintet, Op. 100 (with artist faculty)
July 7
Aspen, CO
Aspen Music Festival (Benedict Music Tent)
Aspen Festival Orchestra / Larry Rachleff
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43
July 9
Salida, CO
Solo recital
July 30
Vail, CO
Bravo! Vail (Vail Interfaith Chapel)
Schumann: Fantasiestücke, Op. 12
Rachmaninoff: Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 36
July 31
Vail, CO
Bravo! Vail (Donovan Pavilion)
Scarlatti: Sonata in D, L.14
Scarlatti: Sonata in A minor, L. 429
Sebastian Currier: Scarlatti Cadences
Sebastian Currier: Brainstorm
Aug 3
Vail, CO
Bravo! Vail (Concert Hall, Vail Mountain School)
“Four Piano Bash”
With Anne-Marie McDermott, piano; Pedja Muzijevic, piano; Stephen Prutsman, piano
Arensky: Suite for Two Pianos No. 1 in F, Op. 15
Saint-Saëns: Danse macabre for two pianos, Op. 40
Bach: Concerto for Four Pianos in A minor, BWV 1065
Czerny: Quatuor Concertant No. 1 for four pianos, Op. 230
Aug 7
Ketchum, ID
Sun Valley Summer Music Festival (Sun Valley Pavilion)
Sun Valley Summer Symphony / Alasdair Neale 
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23
Aug 14
La Jolla, CA
La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest (Sherwood Auditorium)
“Bach and Beyond II”
Lutoslawski: Partita for violin and piano (with Cho-Liang Lin, violin)
Aug 16
La Jolla, CA
La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest (Sherwood Auditorium)
“Musical Crossroads”
Bartók: Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion (with Joseph Kalichstein, piano; Markus Rhoten, percussion; Steven Schick, percussion)
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© 21C Media Group, June 2013



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