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.
In January 2014 Ms. Wang performed Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto with the National Gallery of Art Orchestra in Washington, D.C., and 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.” 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. Ms. Wang is the focus of a five-part concert series at the Kaufman Music Center’s Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, where she is heard with such ensembles as the Escher Quartet, Fine Arts Quartet, and the Washington Soloists Chamber Orchestra under the baton of conductor Vladimir Lande. Other orchestral engagements this season include concerts with the Costa Rica National Symphony, the Santiago Symphony, and the Southwest Florida Orchestra. Ms. Wang will also be touring with the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra in China, South Korea, and Japan. This March she will perform the world premiere of The Celestial Circus, a suite for two pianos and percussion by Richard Danielpour at Alice Tully Hall. She tours Italy with the Fine Arts Quartet and will participate this summer in the Israel Festival in Jerusalem.
Ms. Wang’s latest recording, “American Piano Concertos,” featuring the Barber, Copland, and Gershwin piano concertos which she performed with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, was released on the Chandos label late last year. The disc has received rave reviews, including a four-star rating from Montreal’s La Presse (Claude Gingras) and a warm review from Gramophone’s January 2014 edition: “You only have to hear the soloist’s first entry to know that in Xiayin Wang you have a virtuoso with all the power and pizzazz to encompass the work’s demands—and more.”
During the 2012-13 season Ms. Wang was heard as guest soloist with the Santa Barbara Symphony, CA, and toured South America with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra. In June 2013 Ms. Wang performed with the Fine Arts Quartet in Milwaukee and participated in the White Nights Festival in Russia and the Musique en Graves Festival in Bordeaux.
Ms. Wang’s recording of Rachmaninoff’s Moments musicaux, Etudes-tableaux and Variations on a Theme of Corelli, released on Chandos in summer 2012, has been praised by music critics internationally. Most recently veteran piano authority Bryce Morrison (Gramophone, September 2012) lauded Ms. Wang’s new Rachmaninoff disc in the following terms: “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 reviewed it for BBC Music Magazine:
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… (June 29, 2012)
During the 2011-12 season Ms. Wang made her London debut at Cadogan Hall in a program of Haydn, Liszt, Wild, Rachmaninoff and Ravel. Ms. Wang 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. Earlier that year Ms. Wang collaborated with the Fine Arts Quartet at Alice Tully Hall, 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)
In October 2010, Wang participated as soloist at the Festival Internacional Cervantino in Guanajuato, Mexico. In June, she traveled 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 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.
Ms. Wang has released a disc of Franck and Strauss sonatas with violinist Catherine Manoukian on the Marquis label. Naxos has 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. Currently, she 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 where she studied with Solomon Mikowsky and Nina Svetlanova.