An artist with a winning combination of superb musicianship, personal verve, and riveting technical brilliance, pianist Xiayin Wang conquers the hearts of audiences wherever she appears. As recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral soloist in such venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, she has already achieved a high level of recognition for her commanding performances.
This past fall, Ms. Wang released a recording of the piano music of Earl Wild, including his celebrated Gershwin arrangements, on Chandos. She was praised by journalist Scott Noriega in Fanfare:
(Wild’s pieces) require the type of pianistic abilities that he himself possessed, namely a solid virtuoso technique allowing an ease of execution, and an elegant and graceful quality with the musical intricacies. Thankfully pianist Xiayin Wang brings with her these qualities and then some.
The recital begins with the Grand Fantasy. [..] In Wang’s hands the piece seems to last only a few moments, so persuasive is her ability to shape the melodies, dreamily arpeggiate the cascades of notes, and make the higher registers of the instrument sparkle. Her way with the etudes is no less enticing. She can be at one moment sensual and the next rhythmically driving. She has a beautiful palate of sound colors that she uses to shape the melody of Someone to Watch over Me. Her playing never sinks to the level of sentimentality, but she does have the ability to capture an aura of heartfelt nostalgia. One of the most beautiful (and astonishing, given the difficulty!) moments occurs in the first variation of the set. Wang manages to not only balance the different textures and lines of music well, but also to shape the original melody, now in rapid repeated notes, with such assuredness, such delicacy, that one forgets the difficulties inherent in the performance, and is left breathless in musical awe. (March 28, 2011)
In November 2010, Ms. Wang performed at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall with the renowned Fine Arts Quartet, in a program which included Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E-flat and Franck’s Quintet in F minor, as well as the Piano Sonata by Earl Wild. Reviewing the concert for The New York Times, Allan Kozinn wrote:
In the Schumann and Franck (piano quintets) Ms. Wang proved an ideal chamber player. Both works have demanding piano parts, and she gave nuanced, spirited, crisply articulated and occasionally assertive readings. But she was also mindful of the context: even in passages where the piano has the principle themes, Ms. Wang offered her carefully shaped lines as a part of the ensemble fabric, not as solo turns with quartet accompaniment…
Ms. Wang’s latest recording (on Chandos) is devoted to Mr. Wild’s piano music, which she plays with a vitality and fluidity that she matched, and at times surpassed, on Tuesday. (November 27, 2010)
Recently, Ms. Wang appeared in a solo recital at Alice Tully Hall. In October, Ms. Wang participated as soloist at the Festival Internacional Cervantino in Guanajuato, Mexico. In June, Ms Wang travels to Vienna’s Mozart-Saal to perform Richard Danielpour’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 4 (2010) with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Philippe Entremont.
Ms. Wang’s April 2008 recital at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall drew the following praise from critic Steve Smith of The New York Times:
Even for the most giften young pianist, it takes a lot to be noticed…Xiayin Wang is clearly doing something right. Ms. Wang’s recital at Zankel Hall on Monday night offered plenty of evidence for her success. Bach’s Violin Chaconne in D minor, as arranged for piano by Busoni, served as her calling card. It neatly illustrated two of her principal strengths: an estimable grasp of pianistic color and an ability to maintain and illuminate a strand of melody within the thickest of textures.
More recent concert and recital commitments have taken Ms. Wang throughout the United States at such venues and locations as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Jordan Hall in Boston, Tanglewood, the University of Miami, Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Naples Florida, the Caramoor Center in Katonah, NY, Saratoga Arts Festival, Coastal Carolina Arts Festival, the Meyer Concert Series at The Smithsonian in D.C., and the East Hawaii Cultural Center on the island of Hawaii. Ms. Wang has also been heard on radio stations WFMT in Chicago and on WNYC’s “Soundcheck” with John Schaefer in New York, among others. Abroad she has appeared with the National Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic.
Ms. Wang recently released a disc of Franck and Strauss sonatas with violinist Catherine Manoukian on the Marquis label. Naxos has recently released a CD of “The Enchanted Garden,” Preludes Books I and II by Richard Danielpour; Ms. Wang performed the world premiere of Book II at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in May of 2009. Ms. Wang is also recording chamber works by Schumann with the Fine Arts Quartet soon to be released. Other recordings have included a solo album for the Naxos label featuring the great Russian composer Aleksandr Scriabin in a range of works from his early Chopinesque period to such later compositions as “Vers la Flamme,” Op. 72 and Deux Danses, Op. 73. In a review of the disc for Gramophone, the noted piano authority critic Bryce Morrison wrote:
“Wang plays all this music with a special brilliance and refinement . . . . she comes up with a performance of Vers la flamme that moves superbly from a brooding menace to a final apocalyptic blaze. Finely recorded, Wang’s recital provides an unusually perceptive introduction to Scriabin’s piano music, and I now look forward to hearing her in a wide range of repertoire.”
In June 2008, Ms. Wang released a highly praised recording of Brahms’s Quartet for Piano and Strings in G Minor, Op. 25 and Quartet for Piano and Strings in C minor, Op. 60 with the Amity Players on Marquis Classics. Her debut CD, “Introducing Xiayin Wang,” was released on the Marquis Classics label in 2007. This disc features works by Mozart, Ravel, Bach, Scriabin and Gershwin.
Xiayin Wang completed studies at the Shanghai Conservatory and garnered an enviable record of first prize awards and special honors for her performances throughout China, most notably in the Fu Zhou National Piano Competition, Hang Zhou Instrumental Competition, Zhe Jiang Competition and the National Piano Competition in Beijing. She was heard with some of China’s leading orchestras, including the Beijing Opera House Symphony and the Zhe Jiang Symphony, and in many of the country’s most prestigious concert halls. In addition to her performances in China, Ms. Wang has been heard in Europe with the Tenerife Symphony of Spain. Ms. Wang, who began piano studies at the age of five, subsequently came to New York in 1997 and, in 2000, was awarded the “Certificate of Achievement” by the Associated Music Teacher League of New York, winning an opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall. She also pursued studies at the Manhattan School of Music and won the school’s Eisenberg Concerto Competition in 2002, as well as the Roy M. Rubinstein Award. Xiayin Wang holds Bachelor’s, Master’s and Professional Studies degrees from the Manhattan School of Music.