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Yuanfan Yang at the 2019 Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition finals (photo: John Cole)

An evening in with…Yuanfan Yang online

This Friday evening Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition prizewinner Yuanfan Yang will join us for a live performance of beautiful music, writes Chris Cormack.

The tenth in this series of short online concerts presented by Hastings International Piano is given by 2019 Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition finalist  Yuanfan Yang.

Yuanfan Yang at the 2019 Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition finals (photo: John Cole)

His performance at the 2019 finals was described as explosive when he played Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No 3 in C major,  which won him fourth prize and a special prize of £1,000 as a British contestant reaching the final.  Sometimes one wonders whether judges hesitate to offer first prize to a UK contestant for fear of being regarded as parochial. Yuanfan Yang is a composer as well as a pianist and is believed to be the first to play a piece of his own music – Waves – in his semi-final recital.

“The 2019 competition was the most successful yet, with record numbers of competitors of an extremely high standard,” HIPCC’s then chief executive Helen Winning told HOT.

Prior to coming to Hastings, Yuanfan Yang had performed and toured in many countries throughout Europe, Asia and the USA and won numerous piano competitions, including first prizes in the Roma International Piano Competition in 2018, the Cleveland International Young Artists Piano Competition in 2015 and the 4th International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Weimar in 2014. He was the Keyboard Winner and a Grand Finalist of BBC Young Musician of the Year 2012.

Yuanfan’s debut album Watercolour was released in September 2017 by Orchid Classics to critical acclaim, including four stars from International Piano Magazine.

Since then Yuanfan toured his own Piano Concerto No. 1 The Wilderness in China as the soloist with the China National Orchestra of Theatre & Dance, and in September 2019, his new Piano Concerto No. 2 The Peony Pavilion was premiered with the Hornton Symphony Orchestra in London.

Meet Yuanfan Yang here before the performance if you have time while you wait!

His programme:

ChopinBarcarolle in F sharp Opus 60 (in the style of traditional folksongs sung by Venetian gondoliers)
YangOde to the Atlantic (his own composition)
RachmaninovPrelude in D flat Opus 32, no 13, finale to the set of preludes — a chorale that is by turns “ecstatic, sad, violent, and transcendent”.

In these times when the livelihood of our musicians is at risk,  this series supports the careers of HIPCC prizewinners and, of course, they receive a performance fee.

The concerts are free to view, but viewers will be able to make a voluntary donation to Hastings International Piano Engagement Fund here, or choose to join as a Friend here.

Watch live here (the video will appear just before 8pm on Friday 22 May) or by visiting HIP’s Facebook page.

Posted 08:36 Tuesday, May 19, 2020 In: Music & Sound

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