Blessed with “poetic and sensitive pianism” (Washington Post) and a “wondrous sense of color” (SanFrancisco Classical Voice), Grammy-nominated pianist Joyce Yang captivates audiences with her virtuosity, lyricism, and interpretive sensitivity.
She first came to international attention in 2005 when she won the silver medal at the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The youngest contestant at 19 years old, she took home two additional awards: Best Performance of Chamber Music (with the Takàcs Quartet), and Best Performance of a New Work. In 2006 Yang made her celebrated New York Philharmonic debut alongside Lorin Maazel at Avery Fisher Hall along with the orchestra’s tour of Asia, making a triumphant return to her hometown of Seoul, South Korea. Yang’s subsequent appearances with the New York Philharmonic have included opening night of the 2008 Leonard Bernstein Festival – an appearance made at the request of Maazel in his final season as music director. The New York Times pronounced her performance in Bernstein’s The Age of Anxiety a “knockout.”
In the last decade, Yang has blossomed into an “astonishing artist” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung), showcasing her colorful musical personality in solo recitals and collaborations with the world’s top orchestras and chamber musicians through more than 1,000 debuts and re-engagements. She received the 2010 Avery Fisher Career Grant and earned her first Grammy nomination (Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance) for her recording of Franck, Kurtág, Previn & Schumann with violinist Augustin Hadelich (“One can only sit in misty-eyed amazement at their insightful flair and spontaneity.” – The Strad).
Other notable orchestral engagements have included the Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Hong Kong Philharmonic, the BBC Philharmonic, as well as the Toronto, Vancouver, Sydney, Melbourne, and New Zealand symphony orchestras. She was also featured in a five-year Rachmaninoff concerto cycle with Edo de Waart and the Milwaukee Symphony, to which she brought “an enormous palette of colors, and tremendous emotional depth” (Milwaukee Sentinel Journal).
In solo recitals, Yang’s innovative program has been praised as “extraordinary” and “kaleidoscopic” (Los Angeles Times). She has performed at New York City’s Lincoln Center and Metropolitan Museum, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Chicago’s Symphony Hall, Zurich’s Tonhalle, and all throughout Australia on a recital tour presented by Musica Viva.
As an avid chamber musician, Yang has collaborated with the Takács Quartet for Dvořák – part of Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series – and Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet with members of the Emerson String Quartet at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. Yang has fostered an enduring partnership with the Alexander String Quartet and together released three celebrated recordings under Foghorn Classics.
In 2020, Yang released her tenth album performing Jonathan Leshnoff’s Piano Concerto with the Kansas City Symphony (Reference Recordings) that was written for her. Textura magazine wrote “Joyce Yang delivers a riveting performance others would be hard pressed to better. … The opening movement dazzles from the start, with Yang expertly voicing chiming figures over insistent strings and the syncopated rhythms restlessly churning”. As a champion of new music, Yang has also premiered and recorded a World Premier discography of Michael Torke’s Piano Concerto with Albany Symphony and David Alan Miller (Albany Records). Yang’s wide-ranging discography also includes two celebrated solo discs (Collage and Wild Dreams, Avie Records), where she “demonstrated impressive gifts” (New York Times). Yang also released a live-performance recording of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Denmark’s Odense Symphony Orchestra (Bridge Records), which International Record Review called “hugely enjoyable, beautifully shaped … a performance that marks her out as an enormous talent.”
In recent years, Yang has focused on promoting creative ways to introduce classical music to new audiences. She served as the Guest Artistic Director for the Laguna Beach Music Festival in California, curating concerts that explore the “art-inspires-art” concept – highlighting the relationship between music and dance while simultaneously curating outreach activities to young students. Yang’s collaboration with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet of Half/Cut/Split – a “witty, brilliant exploration of Robert Schumann’s Carnaval” (The Santa Fe New Mexican) choreographed by Jorma Elo – was a marriage between music and dance to illuminate the ingenuity of Schumann’s musical language. The group toured nationwide, including five performances at the Joyce Theater in New York.
In the 2021/2022 season, Yang will share her versatile repertoire in over 40 cities in the US and Europe. After returning to the stage in summer performances at Wolf Trap (with the National Symphony Orchestra), Grant Park Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Sun Valley Music Festival, Yang will appear with the New World Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Utah Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Tucson Symphony, and Rhode Island Philharmonic, among many others. Furthermore, Yang will give a World Premier performance of Reinaldo Moya’s Piano Concerto with Bangor Symphony, which draws inspiration from Venezuelen artist Carlos Cruz-Diez. In recital, Yang will present daring programs of Bach, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky and Kernis as well as collaborate with the Takacs Quartet.
Born in 1986 in Seoul, South Korea, Yang received her first piano lesson from her aunt at the age of four. She quickly took to the instrument, which she received as a birthday present. Over the next few years won several national piano competitions in her native country. By the age of ten, she had entered the School of Music at the Korea National University of Arts, and went on to make a number of concerto and recital appearances in Seoul and Daejeon. In 1997, Yang moved to the United States to begin studies at the pre-college division of the Juilliard School with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky. During her first year at Juilliard, Yang won the pre-college division Concerto Competition, resulting in a performance of Haydn’s Keyboard Concerto in D with the Juilliard Pre-College Chamber Orchestra. After winning the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Greenfield Student Competition, she performed Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with that orchestra at just twelve years old. She graduated from Juilliard with special honor as the recipient of the school’s 2010 Arthur Rubinstein Prize, and in 2011 she won its 30th Annual William A. Petschek Piano Recital Award.
Yang appears in the film In the Heart of Music, a documentary about the 2005 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. She is a Steinway artist.
SIWOO KIM is an “incisive” and “compelling” (Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times) violinist who plays with “stylistic sensitivity and generous tonal nuance” (John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune). Siwoo performs as soloist and chamber musician, and he is the co-founding artistic director of VIVO Music Festival in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio. Siwoo gave the world premiere performance of Samuel Adler’s violin concerto which was written for him. He recorded the work on Linn Records to commemorate the composer’s 90th birthday, and the BBC Music Magazine praised his “notable fire & impassioned playing.” Siwoo made his Carnegie Hall concerto debut in Stern Auditorium with the Juilliard Orchestra. He has since performed with orchestras around the world including the Staatsorchester Brandenburgisches Frankfurt, Columbus Symphony, Gangneung Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Johannesburg Philharmonic, Kwazulu-Natal Philharmonic, Orchestre Royal de Chambre, Seongnam Philharmonic, Springfield Symphony, and Tulsa Symphony in venues such as Walt Disney Concert Hall and Lotte Concert Hall. Siwoo received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from The Juilliard School where he studied under Robert Mann and Donald Weilerstein with full scholarship. He went on to complete a two-year fellowship with Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect and spent his summers at the Marlboro Music Festival, collaborating with musicians such as Jeremy Denk, Denes Varjon and Mitsuko Uchida. Prior to college, Siwoo studied under Roland and Almita Vamos at the Music Institute of Chicago. Siwoo performs on a 1753 “ex-Birkigt” Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin on generous loan through Rare Violins In Consortium.
Laura De St. Croix Vicic
Praised for her warm and beautiful sound, Laura brings enthusiasm and energy to her performances. She has enjoyed performing with acclaimed ensembles such as Chattanooga Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic, Quad City Symphony, Mankato Symphony, and is a tenured member of the Duluth-Superior Symphony. Currently, Laura holds a position with the Paducah Symphony and regularly performs with Orchestra Kentucky in Bowling Green. Laura has performed with Roberto Diaz, Leon Fleischer, Sharon Isbin, Jennifer Koh, Itzhak Perlman, Christopher O’Reilly, and The Joffrey Ballet. As a soloist, she has performed Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante at the University of Minnesota with conductor, Dr. Jeffrey Specht.
As a chamber musician who has performed across the United States and Canada, she has been a participant in chamber music festivals such as The Castleman Quartet Program, Lyricafest, North American Viola Institute, Niagara International Chamber Music Festival, Bravo!, Madeline Island Music Camp, Chamber Music Midwest, and Northern Lights Chamber Music Festival. In 2014, Laura was the Assistant Dean for The Castleman Quartet Program and has served as junior faculty and counselor at Stringwood Chamber Music Festival and Green Lake Chamber Music Festival. Laura has participated in readings with Natasha Brofsky, Charles Castleman, Norm Fisher and Roger Tapping. She has played in masterclasses for members of Arianna, Artaria, Concord, Emerson, Julliard, Pacifica, Parker and Takács String Quartets, as well as the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Since moving to Louisville in March 2015, Laura has kept up a busy schedule including performances with Stevie Wonder at the Yum! Center while on his Tour in the Key of Life, Louisville Ballet, and Louisville Master Chorale. As an educator, she maintains a private studio at Suzuki Stars Music Academy in addition to teaching strings at Montessori School of Louisville.
Laura holds viola performance degrees from Texas Tech University (BM) and the University of Minnesota (MM). She is nearly complete with a Doctorate of Musical Arts also from the U of M. Her most influential teachers and mentors include violists, Alice Preves, Renee Skerik, Korey Konkol; violinist Laura Bossert; and cellist Terry King.