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Review: LA Phil -February 18, 2020  Yuja Wang − Goddess in Gold


Tonight, at the opening of Yuja Wang’s piano performance, she is heard from the wings over a loud speaker. Her message to her fans is that she will not play in order of the program, instead she will let the music lead her. “Listen with all your senses,” says Yuja. Audiences enjoy guessing what glamorous outfit the star will make her entrance in, and murmurs can be heard in the aisles. Known for sexy, tight dresses, the anticipation is part of the Yuja experience.

The mistress of the piano donned a beautiful gold jeweled and sequenced long draping gown, which was mostly backless and very tight. Of course she wore her signature stiletto heels  you had to ask? She looked gorgeous, played like an angel and took our breath away with her mastery!

Yuja played the program out of order as foretold  tapping into her musical muse and expressing the music in the most incredible spiritual experience.

She began with Baldassare GALUPPI, Sonata No. 5 in C Major, 1. Andante. Then continued as follows.

  • RAVEL Une barque sur l’océan
  • BERG Piano Sonata Op. 1
  • BACH Toccata c minor BWV911
  • SCRIABIN Sonata No. 4

Following intermission, Yuja triumphantly entered; wearing a beautiful off-white off the shoulder, short tight dress and after her trademark vigorous bow she played brilliantly the following.

  • BRAHMS Intermezzo in A minor, Op. 116, No.2
  • CHOPIN Mazurka in C sharp minor, Op. 30, No.4
  • BRAHMS Intermezzo in C sharp minor, Op. 117, No. 3
  • CHOPIN Mazurka in A minor, Op. 67, No.4
  • BRAHMS Romance in F Major, Op. 118, No. 5
  • SCRIABIN Sonata No. 5, Op. 53

The audience cannot get enough of Yuja; nobody can, her stunning artistry brought forth four encores as follows.

  • Federico MOMPOU “Secreto” from Impresiones íntimas
  • PROKOFIEV Toccata, op. 11
  • SCHUBERT arr. LISZT Gretchen am Spinnrade D.118
  • GLÜCK arr. SGAMBATI Dance of the Blessed Spirits from Orfeo ed Euridice, Wq. 30

The Beijing-born pianist comes from a musical family. Wang has a remarkable memory with over twenty concertos in her repertoire. Wang said — as a little girl the pianos made her happy and tonight, like always, all the pedagogical methods were in full force. Yuja was extraordinary and succeeded in her desire “to have the audience listen using all their senses.”

Critical superlatives and audience ovations have continuously followed Yuja Wang’s dazzling career. The Beijing-born pianist, celebrated for her charismatic artistry and captivating stage presence is set to achieve new heights during the 2019/20 season, which features recitals, concert series, as well as season residencies, and extensive tours with some of the world’s most venerated ensembles and conductors.

Season highlights include Yuja’s year-long “Artist Spotlight” at the Barbican Centre, where she curates and performs in four distinct events: the first London performance of John Adams’ newest piano concerto (premiered by her in spring 2019) titled Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel, which they took to Boston and New York City; recitals featuring cellist Gautier Capuçon and clarinetist Andreas Ottensamer; and she concludes the residency with a solo recital.

In autumn of 2019, she toured China with the Vienna Philharmonic, presenting concerts in Macao, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Wuhan. The beginning of 2020 sees Yuja and Gautier Capuçon reuniting for a recital tour featuring 11 dates presented in Europe’s premier venues, including the Philharmonie de Paris and the Wiener Konzerthaus. She then embarks on an extensive solo recital tour, appearing in renowned concert halls throughout North America and Europe, including Carnegie Hall, Davies Symphony Hall, and the Het Concertgebouw, running from February to April.

Additionally, Yuja is the featured soloist with some of the leading orchestras of North America, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Andris Nelsons; the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Gustavo Gimeno; the San Francisco Symphony, led by Michael Tilson Thomas; and the Philadelphia Orchestra, under the musical direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Yuja received advanced training in Canada and at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music under Gary Graffman. Her international breakthrough came in 2007 when she replaced Martha Argerich as soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She later signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon and has since established her place among the world’s leading artists, with a succession of critically acclaimed performances and recordings.

Yuja was named Musical America’s Artist of the Year in 2017.

This concert at the Los Angeles Philharmonic was given on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at Disney Hall. Info:






















































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