Grammy nominee Joyce Yang performs March 24

Great Artists Series concert to feature music of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Bach, Kernis and Stravinsky

Joyce Yang (Photo: KT Kim)

Grammy-nominated pianist Joyce Yang plays with “agility, balance and velocity” (Washington Post), her “vivid and beautiful” (New York Times) performances combining “exuberant flights” with a sly “improvisatory bounce” (Chicago Tribune).

At 7 p.m. March 24, Yang will perform the music of Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Johann Sebastian Bach, Aaron Jay Kernis and Igor Stravinsky as part of the Great Artists Series at Washington University in St. Louis.

Joyce Yang (Photo: KT Kim)

Sponsored by the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences, the series hosts intimate recitals with some of the brightest stars in contemporary classical music. Yang’s performance also serves as the department’s annual Carlin Event.

The program will open with selections from Tchaikovsky’s beloved cycle “The Seasons” (1875-76), which explores the rhythms of the natural world and of Russian daily life. Next will be seven selections from Rachmaninoff’s “Preludes” Op. 32 (1910), opening with the impassioned No. 10 in B minor: Lento and concluding with the majestic No. 13 in D-flat Major: Grave.

Following intermission, the program will continue with Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze,” from Cantata, BWV 208 (1713). Next will be Kernis’ “Un Bacio – A Kiss (Romance and Transfiguration),” a work based on themes by John Corigliano and Mark Adamo, and which Yang performed in its 2020 world premiere. Concluding the program will be Stravinsky’s tour-de-force “The Firebird Suite” (1911), inspired by Russian folktales.

Joyce Yang

Captivating audiences with virtuosity, lyricism and interpretive sensitivity, Yang first came to international attention in 2005, when she won the silver medal at the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. In the years since, she 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.

Yang’s numerous honors include the 2010 Avery Fisher Career Grant and a Grammy nomination for her recording, with violinist Augustin Hadelich, of Franck, Kurtág, Previn and Schumann. Other recordings include Michael Torke’s “Piano Concerto,” created expressly for Yang, as well as “Wild Dreams,” which interweaves works by Rachmaninoff, as arranged by Earl Wild, with pieces by Schumann, Bartók and Hindemith. In 2020, Yang released her 10th album, performing Jonathan Leshnoff’s “Piano Concerto,” a piece that was written for her, with the Kansas City Symphony.

Read the full biography here.

Tickets and related events

The performance will begin at 7 p.m. March 24 in WashU’s E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall. Tickets are $40, or $37 for WashU faculty and staff, and $15 for students and children. The E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall is located in the 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Ave., at the intersection with Delmar Boulevard. Tickets are available through the Washington University Box Office or 314-935-6543. For more information, visit

In addition, from noon to 1:30 p.m. March 25, Yang lead a piano masterclass in the E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall. Joining Yang will be WashU senior Si Tong He, WashU sophomore Gus Bachner and Kirkwood High School student James Decker, to perform works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Lowell Liebermann and Alexander Skriabin. The class is free and open to the public. View more information here.

Following Yang, the 2024 Great Artists Series will conclude April 28 with legendary soprano Christine Goerke, accompanied by pianist Craig Terry, in a “Celebration of the American Diva.” The series is made possible with support from the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

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