Pianist Xiayin Wang, an artist of keen musicality and sweeping virtuosity, has brought audiences to their feet with playing in the grand Romantic tradition. Having made numerous celebrated recordings and performed throughout the world, from New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, to music centers in South America, Europe, and Asia, Ms. Wang’s impressive music-making excites music lovers and critics alike.
Ms. Wang’s most recent recording, an all-Rachmaninoff disk for the Chandos label, received a singularly enthusiastic review from Jeremy Nicholas in the August 2014 issue of Gramophone. This marks the second time Ms. Wang’s disks were selected as Gramophone’s “Editor’s Choice.”
I have rarely heard [Rachmaninoff’s Sonata No. 1 in D Minor’s] multi-layered writing so clearly or more powerfully delivered than here. Xiayin Wang unleashes the full sonority of the instrument in the wild outer movements but finds a touching lyrical grace in the central ‘Gretchen’ movement. She is no less successful in the revised version of the B-flat minor sonata…more thrilling and crisply articulated than either Earl Wild or Nicolai Lugansky…In between the two sonatas come three of the Op. 23 Preludes, the dreamy Nos. 4 and 6 with the famous G minor Prelude in the middle, a match for Richter’s famous recording. And that’s saying something.
When Ms. Wang performed Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto with the National Gallery of Art Orchestra in Washington, D.C., earlier this year, she received high praise from Joan Reinthaler in the January 6, 2014 edition of The Washington Post: “Ms. Wang’s finger work was precise and strong… Her drive was unrelenting and her concentration intense. It was clear that she was in command and that Lande and the orchestra were to follow, which they did well…she was great to watch.”
During the 2014-2015 season, Ms. Wang will be releasing three new recordings on the Chandos label: a solo disk of Scriabin sonatas, the Ginastera Piano Concerto No. 2 with the BBC Philharmonic, and both the Khachaturian Piano Concerto and the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Guest appearances will include a tour of China and Korea with the St. Petersburg Symphony, a solo performance with the Latvian National Symphony, and a live performance of the Khachaturian Piano Concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Scotland. Xiayin Wang and Friends will also perform in November 2014 in New York’s Merkin Hall.
This past summer, Ms. Wang played the Ravel Piano Concerto in G Major with the Pittsburgh Symphony, appeared at the Budapest Music Festival, joined the Fine Arts Quartet in concerts on the Amalfi Coast of Italy, was guest soloist with the St. Petersburg State Orchestra, and performed Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.
A highlight of last season was the world premiere of Richard Danielpour’s The Celestial Circus, a suite for two pianos and percussion at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. Other orchestral engagements included concerts with the Costa Rica National Symphony, the Santiago Symphony, and the Southwest Florida Orchestra. Engaged as soloist in Gerard Schwarz’s acclaimed All-Star Orchestra, Ms. Wang was featured as part of a nationally broadcast series of performances on syndicated PBS stations throughout the United States in fall of 2013.
During the 2012-13 season Ms. Wang recorded the Barber, Copland and Gershwin piano concertos with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Peter Oundjian for Chandos and was praised in the Barber work by Gramophone as “a virtuoso with all the power and pizzazz to encompass the work’s demands—and more. She leads from the front …it’s an exhilarating ride which does not relax its grip from beginning to end.” Wang also appeared as soloist with the Santa Barbara Symphony, CA, and toured South America with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra. She also performed the Barber and Copland Piano Concertos live with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and joined the Fine Arts Quartet for performances in Milwaukee, at the White Nights Festival in Russia, and the Musique en Graves Festival in Bordeaux, France.
Ms. Wang’s recording of Rachmaninoff’s Moments musicaux, Etudes-tableaux and Variations on a Theme of Corelli, released on Chandos in summer 2012, was praised by music critics internationally. Veteran piano authority Bryce Morrison wrote in the September 2012 edition of Gramophone: “Here, even in Rachmaninov’s most savage and turbulent pages, is playing of an awesome clarity and poise. Xiayin Wang makes her chosen composer sound greater and more indelibly Russian than ever….you will surely be lost in wonder at Wang’s pianistic but above all musical glory.” Calum MacDonald, reviewing it for BBC Music Magazine found the following words:
Every one of the nine numbers in the Op. 33 Etudes-tableaux is vividly and incisively characterized, and she conjures a wonderful depth of feeling and range of keyboard colouring … The subtlety of Wang’s pedaling and touch in the slower variations have a lot to do with the success of her interpretation, but above all it’s the taut rein she keeps on the overall structure that makes it so memorable. … I’m inclined to rate her Moments musicaux as the best currently available…”
In previous seasons, Ms. Wang made her London debut at Cadogan Hall in a program of Haydn, Liszt, Wild, Rachmaninoff and Ravel; she toured with the St. Petersburg Symphony performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in St. Petersburg, Russia as well as in the United States in Houston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, Washington D.C. and at Alice Tully Hall in New York. She was also heard in Haifa and Tel Aviv with the Israel Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Wang appeared in a solo recital at Alice Tully Hall in May 2011. She has frequently collaborated with the Fine Arts Quartet, including when they performed Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E-flat and Franck’s Quintet in F minor, as well as the Piano Sonata by Earl Wild at Alice Tully Hall. 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
Ms. Wang’s international concerts have taken her to the Festival Internacional Cervantino in Guanajuato, Mexico and to Vienna’s Mozart-Saal to perform Richard Danielpour’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 4 with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Philippe Entremont. One of Ms. Wang’s early recitals at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall drew the following praise from critic Steve Smith of The New York Times:
Even for the most gifted 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.
Other 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.
Previous recordings include a disc of Franck and Strauss sonatas with violinist Catherine Manoukian on the Marquis label; “The Enchanted Garden,” Preludes Books I and II by Richard Danielpour for Naxos; Ms. Wang performed the world premiere of Book II at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in May of 2009. Other recordings have included a cd of chamber works by Schumann with the Fine Arts Quartet, released in 2012 on Naxos, as well as a solo album, also for Naxos, featuring the great Russian composer 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, ang’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.
Ms. Wang has also recorded 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 and featured 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. 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. Ms. Wang, who began piano studies at the age of five, came to New York in 1997. She holds Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Professional Studies degrees from the Manhattan School of Music.
Competitions & Honors
- Certificate of Achievement” by the Associated Music Teacher League of New York
- Prize – performance at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall
- Manhattan School of Music – Eisenberg Concerto Competition in 2002
- Manhattan School of Music – Roy M. Rubinstein Award
- Winner – Fu Zhou National Piano Competition
- Winner – Hang Zhou Instrumental Competition
- Winner – Zhe Jiang Competition
- Shanghai Conservatory
- Manhattan School of Music
- Bachelors, Masters & Professional Studies
- Certificate of Achievement” by the Associated Music Teacher League of New York